Mick Harvey – Intoxicated Women, Mute Records
About Mick Harvey
Mick Harvey, recognized for co-founding The Birthday Party and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and for his partnerships with PJ Harvey, has delivered a string of solo works over the past twenty years. This began with ‘One Man’s Treasure’ in 2005, peaking with ‘FOUR (Acts of Love)’ in 2013. Since then, he’s completed a four-part translation series of Serge Gainsbourg’s songs, begun in the 90s, and most recently launched a song collection inspired by a fictional WW1 poet, alongside Christopher Richard Barker, titled ‘The Fall and Rise of Edgar Bourchier and the Horrors of War’ (2018).
While attending Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia, Harvey began his musical journey by playing in bands. Eventually, he found himself in the band The Boys Next Door with three of his classmates: Nick Cave, Phill Calvert, and Tracy Pew. The band performed across Australia in the late 70s before relocating to London in 1980 and changing their name to The Birthday Party. In the early 80s, they became famous for their energetic shows and aggressive music, leaving a lasting legacy.
When The Birthday Party dissolved in 1983, Harvey found himself embroiled in the inception of The Bad Seeds, collaborating once again with his bandmate Nick Cave. He also contributed to Simon Bonney’s Crime and the City Solution project in various capacities until 1991. In the mid-80s, Harvey relocated to Berlin, where these bands were based in the late 80s.
Following the end of Crime and the City Solution, Harvey crafted two albums featuring Serge Gainsbourg’s songs translated into English, ‘Intoxicated Man’ and ‘Pink Elephants’ (1995 and 1997), started working with English singer PJ Harvey, and produced tracks for Anita Lane, among others. He continued contributing to Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds and branched into the world of film soundtrack composition.
As the new millennium rolled in, Harvey, now based in Melbourne, started focusing on his solo works. This resulted in four albums, ‘One Man’s Treasure’, ‘Two of Diamonds’, ‘Three Sisters – Live at Bush Hall’, and ‘FOUR (Acts of Love)’, primarily comprising obscure and cherished songs, as well as his original compositions. This album series was enriched by 2011’s ‘Sketches from the Book of the Dead’, consisting entirely of Harvey’s compositions, and followed by ‘FOUR (Acts of Love)’ in 2013.
By 2009, his three-decade-long collaboration with Nick Cave had run its course, prompting Harvey to exit The Bad Seeds. He’s since completed his series of solo albums, performed live in various band setups, and even solo. He’s found more time for projects like PJ Harvey’s ‘Let England Shake’ and ‘The Hope 6 Demolition Project’, co-producing the former, and also being a part of the touring band. He also found the opportunity to record with his former Birthday Party comrade, the late Rowland S Howard, on Howard’s last album, ‘Pop Crimes’, having previously played drums on Howard’s iconic solo debut ‘Teenage Snuff Film’.
2014 found Harvey deeply immersed in German culture again, working with the Ministry of Wolves (including Alexander Hacke, Danielle de Picciotto, and Paul Wallfisch) on the Dortmund theatre production ‘Republik der Wölfe’, based on the Brothers Grimm’s tales.
The re-release of his mid-90s Gainsbourg translation albums led Harvey to perform Gainsbourg’s works live for the first time in Australia and Europe under the title ‘Intoxicated Man’. This resulted in recording two additional translation albums, ‘Delirium Tremens’ and ‘Intoxicated Women’, with the latter being released in 2017.
Harvey resides in Melbourne with his wife, painter Katrina Beale, their son Solomon, and a Burmese cat named Misha.