Ambition is not always an admirable quality. When pop stars start branching out into other areas of the media, it’s rarely a cause for celebration. Many a once brilliant career has foundered on the rocks of the ill-advised vanity project. In this context, the publishing of Nick Cave’s debut novel, ‘And The Ass Saw The Angel’ in 1988 should have prefaced his artistic death. Amazingly it didn’t. Actually, if you could cope with his oppressive gothic tone throughout, it wasn’t even that bad a book.
He should have left it at that, though, for with this belated companion piece – a collection of readings from the novel accompanied by the incidental music from the theatrical adaptation, originally released with ‘Tender Prey’ in 1989 – Cave has gone too far. An adjunct from his previously flawless musical career, ‘And The Ass Saw The Angel’ is a truly pointless release. He is knowingly presenting us with something less than his best work, which is as grave an insult to his patient supporters as you can get.