Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Live From KCRW

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

For anybody who hasn’t seen this Australian genius live then this record has to be a part of your Bad Seeds collection. The audio has a somewhat raw quality to it, an authenticity so beautifully constructed, you feel as though you’re in the very room with the band. Nick Cave’s vocal performance is, as always, on perfect form.

On this fine recording, you can feel the strums of the guitar along with the mellow and haunting backing vocals, the mournful burst of violin by the one and only Warren Ellis adds to the musical canvas. Mr. Cave has had a couple of live albums released before now but this feels and sounds incredibly different. It’s Nick and co. unplugged at their most poetic and sublime.

The choice of songs here is an interesting arrangement, classics from the most recent album, ‘Push The Sky Away’ appear alongside sombre melodies from ‘The Boatman Calls’ era, which still evoke raw power. Others derive from albums such as ‘No More Shall We Part,’ the transgressive ‘Murder Ballads’ album, ‘Tender Prey’ and ‘Your Funeral…My Trial’.

The wondrous ‘Higgs Boson Blues’ commences the experience with its spellbinding riff and blistering lyrics followed by the transcendental ‘Far From Me’. Every track from the Bad Seeds’ imperious backlog will undoubtedly have you in immense awe. Besides the ballads, there are moments when they burst into the more experimental side especially with the inclusion of ‘Push The Sky Away’.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQud7EFQ3zQ”]

In between tracks, Cave often converses with the audience; it adds a little humour and dimension to the record. The audible clips of tuning in their guitars and the lively bravura of the audience is a charming input as it invokes a warm picture of a fairly sized room whilst a masterful band plays before the lucky crowd.

These guys are incredibly prolific now; the potential for creativity is just phenomenal. Not only are they just The Bad Seeds but Grinderman also delivers the more obscure qualities that they can offer. Indeed, this live performance is more than just a mere projection of what they can do; it’s an exhibition of strength. It’s this strength in a band that confirms the longevity of their career.

We’ll be expecting a hell of a lot more from them that’s for sure. So, if you’re thinking ‘oh, it’s just another live record’ then I suggest you should change your tune and purchase this, it’s rather a remarkable listen; it’s moving and affective, perfect for a grey winter afternoon. Not all bands these days can capture such beauty live on record except for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds; Live From KCRW is indeed evident of this.

Craig Podmore

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