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(Credit: Bleddyn Butcher)

Music

Nick Cave pays tribute to Mark Lanegan in touching message

@SamWKemp

Nick Cave has paid tribute to grunge icon and former Screaming Trees frontman Mark Lanegan, who died earlier this week aged 57. Lanegan is best known for his work with Screaming Trees and Queens of The Stone Stage. He passed away at his home in Killarney, Ireland, on Tuesday, February 22nd.

The late musician’s family recently issued a statement in which they asked fans to respect their privacy during this period of mourning. As of yet, no cause of death has been revealed.

Following news of Lanegan’s tragic passing, artists from all over the world have paid tribute to the musician via social media, including Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, Tim Burgess, Manic Street Preachers, and Sleaford Mods. Nick Cave, who worked with Lanegan on numerous occasions, has also paid tribute, publishing a new entry on his Red Hand Files site, in which he recalled memories of the musician.

Cave wrote: “I encountered Mark many times over the years — we engaged in some extremely dubious escapades back in the ’90s; he sang ‘White Light/White Heat’ and ‘Fire and Brimstone’ with Warren [Ellis] and me on the Lawless soundtrack; he recorded my favourite ever Nick Cave cover — an astonishing version of ‘Brompton Oratory’; we did something together for the Jeffrey Lee Pierce record, I think; and he toured and hung out with us on The Bad Seeds’ 2013 Australian tour. Go online and watch Mark sing Blixa’s ‘father’ part with me in ‘The Weeping Song’ on that tour.”

Cave went on to express his admiration for Lanegan’s performance style: “As a frontman, I move around a lot on stage, I can’t help it, it is a habitual nervous thing, a kind of neurotic compensation for a voice I have never felt that comfortable with.

“But watch Mark”, Cave continued, “watch how he walks onto the stage, plants himself at the mic stand, one tattooed fist halfway down the stand, the other resting on top of the mic, immobile, massive, male. When the time comes to sing, he simply opens his mouth and releases a blues, a blues lived deeply and utterly earned, and that voice tears right through you, his sheer force on stage absolutely humbling.”: “A greatness, Mark, a greatness — a true singer, a superb writer and beautiful soul, loved by all. Love Nick.”

Warren Ellis, a longtime Nick Cave collaborator, also offered some kind words in light of Lanegan’s passing. Taking to Twitter, Ellis wrote: “Mark wherever you are I hope you hear the tears. True gentleman. One of the great voices. Love to your loved ones. Warren x.”