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In Warren Ellis, Nick Cave found his ideal factotum, the multi-instrumentalist who is able to put the wildest ideas down on record. In the rare moments that Ellis isn’t on stage as a Bad Seed or driving on his own band Dirty Three, he works on projects of his own, like the wonderful book he will present at Passa Porta: Nina Simone’s Gum.
On Thursday 1 July 1999 the legendary musician and activist Dr Nina Simone gave one of her last, rare performances at the Meltdown Festival. This feverish event at the Royal Festival Hall in London was organized by none other than Nick Cave. After the performance, a stunned Warren Ellis went onto the stage to get hold of the chewing gum that Nina Simone had stuck to the piano during her performance. He has kept the piece of chewed-up candy as a relic ever since. It became a sacred spiritual object that, strange as it may sound, would continue to inspire him.
Kurt Overbergh, artistic director of the AB, will talk to Warren Ellis about Nina Simone’s chewing gum, about the meaning we attribute to seemingly small things and experiences. An unmissable conversation about artistic inspiration, whimsical creative paths, friendship and, dare we say it, love.
about the guests
Warren Ellis is an Australian multi-instrumentalist and composer. He has been Nick Cave’s musical partner for almost twenty years, both with the Bad Seeds and Grinderman. Ellis is also a much sought-after composer of film music and producer (including Marianne Faithfull and Tinariwen). In addition to the many albums made with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, he has recorded eight albums to date with his own band, Dirty Three.
As artistic director of the AB and a DJ, Kurt Overbergh is almost maniacally involved with music. He also puts on exhibitions centred on his sizeable collection of records featuring cats on the cover. Since 2020 Overbergh has been working on a musical stage monologue about Nick Cave.
Organization: Passa Porta, AB, Faber & Faber