Mick Harvey – When We Were Beautiful And Young

15th February 2024 · Uncategorised

I’m not a big fan of nostalgia but I do have a natural inclination towards the melancholy, and even the maudlin, and this ticks both those boxes.

I went to see Mick Harvey play recently, for the first time since I’d seen him more than 40 years earlier in The Birthday Party, so this video fills a lot of gaps for me.

It’s a video diary of a stellar career spanning nearly half a century, from those early days in Melbourne with Nick Cave through to today’s very different, but equally majestic, baritone balladeering.

The song itself is lovely – sentimental, sure, but that goes with the territory of a song called When We Were Beautiful And Young.

It comes from his first solo album in a decade, his last record being a set of duets with the Mexican singer Amanda Acevedo, with whom I saw him at a lovely East London church on a sultry September night with Suzie Stapleton.

There’s a gorgeous elegiac quality to the song, as there is to so much of his music since his days with Cave in both The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds, especially his soundtrack work (Ghosts Of The Civil Dead, Chopper, Australian Rules, Suburban Mayhem) and his collabs with the likes of PJ Harvey, Rowland S Howard and Robert Forster of The Go-Betweens.