jakub | May 28, 2023

Nick Cave on the reaction to attending King Charles’ coronation

Nick Cave has discussed his decision to attend King Charles’ coronation this month after being criticised for the choice.

Addressing the invitation on his blog The Red Hand Files ahead of the coronation, Cave responded to fans who appeared confused at his decision to attend, with one writing: “What would the young Nick Cave have thought of that?!”

After defending the decision, Cave has now spoken to NME about the response to his decision, and that fans have disowned him because of it.

“I don’t want to get into this at all, but I just had a guy write into the Red Hand Files,” Cave began. “He said, ‘I’m a longtime fan, I love your work, and it gives me great sadness to pack it all up in a box and take it down to the secondhand shop because I can no longer listen to you because you went to the coronation.”

He added: “It just feels to me that the wrongs get less and less and less. It’s not like I’m a fucking fascist, child-molesting whatever. I just think the wrongs get less and whatever.”

Asked whether he enjoyed himself at the coronation, Cave told NME: “I’m not talking about that!” adding: “It was acutely interesting… and extremely British.”

Nick Cave, 2023. Credit: Megan Cullen
Nick Cave, 2023. Credit: Megan Cullen

Going on to discuss taking others’ advice, including fans who write to him on his newsletter, Cave added: “That’s essentially what The Red Hand Files is – it’s people writing in and me going, ‘Woah’. They write in and say, ‘You think you can call yourself an anti-monarchist and still go to the coronation?’ Then occasionally, you get a really reasoned response that makes you think it’s teaching you something.”

He added: “In amongst that, however, you get all the shrill self-piteous superior screeds that are written around this sort of stuff that are very difficult to read and are written like someone in a pub shouting at you.

“They seem to me to have jumped straight off social media onto my Red Hand Files – that are usually free of that sort of thing. Usually what people write in with is very beautiful, then occasionally things turn very nasty for a week or two, then it calms back down.”

Defending his decision to attend the event in his initial Red Hand Files entry, Cave told the fan in question: “I am not a monarchist, nor am I a royalist, nor am I an ardent republican for that matter; what I am also not is so spectacularly incurious about the world and the way it works, so ideologically captured, so damn grouchy, as to refuse an invitation to what will more than likely be the most important historical event in the UK of our age. Not just the most important, but the strangest, the weirdest.”

The musician then went on to recall once meeting the late Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, which he described as a “mostly awkward affair”, but that the Queen herself “seemed almost extraterrestrial and was the most charismatic woman I have ever met”.

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