Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cave: no cave-in

Anyone who, like myself, was hoping that Nick Cave might possibly come to regret pressing ahead with his two shows in Tel Aviv last year will be disappointed to learn that, far from backtracking, he's actually doubled down on his position.

To recap, on one side we have the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement, spearheaded by Roger Waters and supported by Brian Eno and one-time Cave collaborator Thurston Moore, among others; on the other, we have (most prominently) Cave and Radiohead. The former have criticised the latter for disregarding the boycott and thereby tacitly lending cultural credibility to the Israeli government; the latter are affronted at being lectured by the former about decisions they claim have been taken carefully and with due consideration.

Cave has admitted to some doubts: "Occasionally I wonder if The Bad Seeds did the right thing in playing Israel. I cannot answer that question. I understand and accept the validity of many of the arguments that are presented to me. Indeed, some of my dearest friends in the music industry found my decision very difficult to accept." But he nevertheless went on to insist that "I simply could not treat my Israeli fans with the necessary contempt to do Brian Eno's bidding", and branded the boycott "cowardly and shameful". The gentleman's not for turning, it seems.

Meanwhile, principles and ethics have also been the subject of discussion with regard to Neil Young's Hyde Park show with Bob Dylan next July. Keen environmentalist Young had objected to the fact that the sponsors of the BST Festival series are Barclaycard because Barclays have a deplorable record of investing in fossil fuels. It's now been announced that the show will still go ahead, but as a stand-alone event rather than beneath the BST banner. Fair play to him for taking a stand and forcing this through - though it does perhaps beg the question why he wasn't so concerned about the issue when he last played there in 2014.

No comments: