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(Credit: Henry W. Laurisch)

Music

Glastonbury Flashback: Watch Nick Cave perform 'Loverman' in 1994

@josephtaysom

Glastonbury is the pinnacle of festival season and, over its long and illustrious history, has created some of the most poignant moments in the careers of the great and good of the world of music. With the 2022 event finally upon us, we’re exploring a prime example of festival magic by revisiting Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ 1994 performance at the celebrated Pyramid Stage. It would prove to be a set that would cement their legacy as a seminal group.

The Worthy Farm event in 1994 is perhaps the greatest in the history of the festival and saw an incredible number of momentous performances which have become a thing of legend⁠, including Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ glorious set.

Oasis famously made their Glastonbury debut with an early afternoon slot on the NME Stage in ’94, an occasion which arrived as such a major success that they were invited back to headline the Pyramid Stage the following year. Johnny Cash also took to the stage for an iconic performance on Sunday afternoon, a show which captured the essence of everything that Glastonbury represents.

On June 25th, 1994, there was no greater place to be than sitting by the Pyramid Stage, a location that was spearheaded by Elvis Costello & The Attractions and saw sets from Paul Weller as well as Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds which kickstarted proceedings perfectly.

Just two months before his show, Cave and The Bad Seeds had released their pioneering record Let Love In, material which had been greeted with vast critical acclaim and his performance of ‘Loverman’ at the festival is a demonstration of an artist at the top of the world.

Incredibly, the track initially didn’t meet Cave’s high standards and was almost not included on Let Love In, with the Australian artist later explaining: “‘Loverman’ was a song we almost didn’t do because it seemed like a very weak idea at the time of recording. It was supposed to be just a throwaway song about desire. I was squirming about how banal it was. I changed the whole atmosphere, so the guy who’s the telling the story is weak and dysfunctional. I put in the bits where I spell out loverman. It was a great surprise to everyone.”

Cave has since returned to the event on plentiful occasions in the years that followed, becoming a stalwart of the Worthy Farm festival. Returning in 1998, second to the top on the Pyramid Stage with a heroic set before Pulp took to the stage, the group returned again 11 years later in the very same slot playing before Blur. He then made his return in 2013 in that same Sunday evening slot that he has made his own and he also made a special guest appearance in 2019 during his friend Kylie Minogue’s legends slot.

This footage of ‘Loverman’ which kickstarted his wonderous relationship with the iconic festival is an image of Cave at his quintessential best who is a true legend of Worthy Farm. See the clip, below.