Source: (c) NME
Date: 24 June 1995
Contributor: Ingrid Knetsch

If there’s one thing Public NME loves it’s the sound of tinkling glass, crunching bone and mangled expletives as rock star mates have a go at each other. This week it was rakishly degenerate Shane MacGowan’s turn to headbutt the boundaries of his beautiful friendship with that equally louche Nick Cave gentleman.

Apparently, the pair and an army of like-minded individuals recently descended on London’s hyper-exclusive Atlantic Bar (where hapless non-trendies bereft of Jean-Paul Gaultier rucksacks or a certain degree of celebrity are rumoured to be turned away sobbing at the door) to celebrate the anniversary of Cave’s 4,006th year on this earth.

All was going well (mainly in liquid form down the throat) until Cave suddenly deceided that he was hungry. An unusual occurrence in itself, but Cave proved adept at remembering what tickled his gastronomic fancy and ordered a tasty sounding salmon and two veg dish.

As luck would have it, when the meal arrived Cave was away from the table answering the call of nature. In a sudden frenzy, Tommy, MacGowan’s guitarist, wolfed down the huge hunk of salmon (in one go!) and was still munching discreetly when Cave returned. MacGowan, being a complete and utter piss-taking bastard, then pointed to the vegetable strewn plate and pretended that the fish had failed to arrive in the first place. “They didn’t bring your salmon, man,” he quavered in his customary, almost Shakespearean fashion. “Compla-aaain! COMPLA-AAAIN!”.

Cave rather violently proceeded to do just that, allegedly stressing his point by attempting to throttle the establishment’s astounded manager. Meanwhile, Shane reached over with a fork and necked the lonely vegetables. When Cave returned to find an empty plate, MacGowan looked him straight in the eye and sniggered: “Look, they didn’t even bring your vegetables, man … Compla-aaain! COMPLA-AAAIN!”

At this point, glasses were thrown at a certain gutter-celebrity’s head, words not usually heard outside of late-night hostelries in the back streets of Belgium were roared at top volume, and a big rock star fight looked deliciously imminent.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line Cave remembered that he had a sense of humour and riotous back-slapping and cries of, “You got me there, motherf—ers!” rent the air. The gangly Child Of Satan never did get to eat, unless you count a large portion of humble pie he had to consume when apologising to the openly relieved manager.