In the latest instalment of Nick Cave’s audience outreach programme, the Red Hand Files, the Australian singer writes back to Nik, a fully-fledged Nick Cave impersonator with some stellar advice.
The Red Hand Files is an ongoing series which sees Nick Cave speak to some of his fans, answering their questions, offering support and advice, all while generally being the rock star we all need in our lives. The latest entry saw Cave speaking with the lead singer of The Cave Dogs, Nik – a Serbian tribute band.
Nik writes to the Aussie singer to introduce his band, “I’m currently (and have been for the past 9 years) emulating your rock n’ roll persona in a Nick Cave tribute band. I dress up like you (a cheap version, no stylist, can’t find a shirt like yours) and in a shamanistic way recreate your live performances, sometimes succeeding to trick the audience into a feeling of being nearer to you.”
After offering a short apology “I’m sorry if you feel I am a vampire sucking on you, but I’m not ready to ‘do my own thing'”, Nik then asks if Nick Cave, his idol, has ever heard of the little known tribute band from Serbia. Cave’s response is a typically honest and hilarious reply.
“I was not familiar with the Cave Dogs, I am afraid, but having watched you on YouTube, I have this to say — you sound fucking terrifyingly like me. You have even perfected my peculiar relationship with the Gods of Intonation.” Some praise indeed, the singer even added an extra personal caveat.
Cave writes, “In fact, when I was playing it Susie, my wife, walked in the room with her arms full of dresses and fabric swatches and said, “Wo! Babe, you’re sounding good.” And I’m like, “Thanks. It’s not me. It’s a Serbian imposter.” And she says, “Oh, sorry,” and walks out again. So, you are obviously doing something right.”
The best thing for Nik, we’d assume, is Cave’s agreement about his shirt and with it he offers some sartorial support, “But you are also correct to suggest you don’t have the right shirt. If you send me your email address, I’ll send you one of my old ones and a suit — I have many — or a hit squad. I’m not sure which.”
Cave, signs off, “Love, the other Nick” and with another joy-giving Red Hand Files is concluded.