Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Nick Cave pens tribute to Sinead O’Connor and Shane MacGowan

Nick Cave has written a poignant tribute to the late Shane MacGowan and Sinéad O’Connor.

The 66-year-old singer hailed The Pogues frontman a “true friend and the greatest songwriter of his generation” when his death was announced on Thursday (30.11.23), and he’s now written on an essay reflecting on the singer’s 60th birthday gig, where he performed on a bill which included the ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’ hitmaker, who passed away five months ago.

Asked about his memories of the stars on his Red Hand Files website, Nick told how he felt “agitated and nervous” about performing alongside the likes of Bono, Carl Barat and Bobby Gillespie but Sinead offered him comfort.

He wrote: “I saw Sinéad O’Connor standing slightly separate from everyone else, half hidden by the curtain, gazing at the floor, looking fierce and intense.

“I didn’t really know Sinéad, I’d met her a few times here and there, and maybe chatted briefly with her, but I had always liked her uniqueness, her raging spirit, her disagreeableness, her beautifulness and, of course, her celestial voice.

“Sinéad looked up and caught my eye, smiled, and walked over and hugged me. I’m not sure why, but I was terribly moved by her gesture. She was so warm and giving and kind in that moment. I was unaware quite how precious a moment it would turn out to be.”

Nick didn’t get chance to speak to Sinead as he was “ushered” on stage to perform ‘Summer in Siam’ with Shane, and what struck him most about that moment was the love between the ‘Dirty Old Town’ singer and his wife, Victoria Mary Clarke.

He wrote: “Shane’s wife, Victoria, then pushed Shane on in a wheelchair and, well, I know I should be talking about the pure unbridled genius of Shane MacGowan and how he was the greatest songwriter of his generation, with the most terrifyingly beautiful of voices — all of which is true — but what struck me at that moment was the extraordinary display of love for this man, so powerful and deep, that poured forth from the audience. It was like nothing I’ve ever experienced…

“Shane was not revered just for his manifold talents but also loved for himself alone. A beautiful and damaged man, who embodied a kind of purity and innocence and generosity and spiritual intelligence unlike any other.”

The ‘Into My Arms’ singer described both artists as “truly beloved and greatly missed”.

He concluded: “Sinéad once said of Shane, ‘He is an angel. An actual angel’. Whether or not this is the case, who’s to say?

” But Shane was blessed with an uncommon spirit of goodness and a deep sense of what is true, which was strangely amplified in his brokenness, his humanness. We can say of him most certainly, ‘he was beloved on the earth,’ and Sinéad too — truly beloved and greatly missed, both.”

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