The first band that Nick Cave was in was The Birthday Party. They were a punk band of sorts out of Australia in the late 1970s and early 1980s. They were one of those bands that weren’t directly successful but had so much talent that they were nonetheless hugely influential. I want to highlight a song off their first album, Door, Door. Now officially, the album is by the band “The Boys Next Door.” But they were, in fact, The Birthday Party.
The song is, “Shivers.” It is not a Nick Cave song. It was written by the band’s guitarist, Rowland S Howard (although all the songs were credited to the whole band). He wrote it when he was only 16 years old, which is kind of annoying. But he died young, so I guess I will forgive him. It is a very funny song, in the Nick Cave sense. That is to say that I’m not sure that it’s meant to be funny. It does render very much what it’s like to be dumped when you’re 16 years old. But it seems self-aware — that it understands just what a silly song it is.