The image came before the sound. Nick Cave's name carries a charge. It meets you halfway as you say it. Rock'n'roll has always had a preoccupation with faces, charms, looks and appearances. And the leader of The Bad Seeds is the very incarnation of this extra-musical charisma. Luckily, Nick Cave is also – and above all – a writer and a voice. Born in autumn 1957 in Warracknabeal, 300km north of Melbourne, Cave struck out in the middle of the 1970s, at the centre of the Punk Rock cataclysm - at the time he was playing with The Boys Next Door who would become The Birthday Party in 1980. The post-punk gang left their native Australia for Europe. They made for London, then West Berlin. Deconstructed rock, massacred blues, punk rock energy, alcohol and drugs of all varieties, this charming, sombre musical ball of chaos was carried by the charismatic Cave... Towards 1983, Cave and Harvey set out on their new adventure, "The Bad Seeds". They were joined by the German crypto-dadaist Blixa Bargeld who would simultaneously pilot his own group, Einstürzende Neubauten. The excellent American guitarist Kid Congo (who would also play with Cramps and as part of the Gun Club) would join the band between 1986 and 1990. Their music flowed through, and rooted itself in, pioneer blues and early rock. For all their punk excess, this band of misfits still displayed real musical values, as can be heard on the 1986 album Kicking Against The Pricks made up entirely of covers of songs by John Lee Hooker, Micky Newbury, Johnny Cash, Leadbelly, Roy Orbison, The Velvet Underground and even Gene Pitney.