Carnage coming to Tyneside courtesy of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

Carnage, in its hyperbolic colloquial sense rather than literally, is nothing new in Tyneside on a weekend night, but a one-off variant is on offer tonight, September 24, and, better still, it’s unlikely to leave Newcastle and Gateshead’s quaysides covered in urine, vomit and kebab packaging.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 10:18 am
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 2:58 pm
Nick Cave pictured in Copenhagen in Denmark in November 2020 (Photo by Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix/AFP via Getty Images)

This evening’s altogether more enticing prospect is Nick Cave and Warren Ellis returning to the Sage Gateshead as part of a tour to promote Carnage, their first non-soundtrack album together.

Released digitally in February and on CD and LP in June, it was a No 3 hit in the UK and a chart-topper in Scotland.

Six or seven of its eight tracks have been featuring in setlists for shows so far this tour so fans going along tonight can expect to hear a fair chunk of it, along with a fair few from the Australian pair’s last album as Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Ghosteen, a No 4 UK hit upon its release in October 2019.

This is Cave and Ellis’s first tour as a duo – accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Johnny Hostile and backing vocalists T Jae Cole, Janet Rasmus and Wendi Rose – though they’ve been playing together for years in the Bad Seeds, offshoot band Grinderman and on past solo tours by the veteran alternative rock frontman.

This will be the 64-year-old’s fourth visit to the riverside venue following shows in 2005 and 2015 and a question-and-answer evening featuring songs in 2019.

He’s also played north of the Tyne with the Bad Seeds twice, at the former Tiffany’s Ballroom in 1985 and the old Riverside in 1989.

Tickets are still available for tonight’s show, starting at 8pm and priced at £93.50. For details, go to

Other venues on the itinerary for Cave and Ellis’s tour include Stockton Globe next Wednesday, September 29, and Glasgow Theatre Royal on Monday, October 4.