Nick Cave has shared the trailer for his upcoming new project Idiot Prayer which sees the Bad Seeds-man recite a poem in his usual irresistibly deadpan delivery, earnest in every way.
The project, which took place in an empty Alexandra Palace, has been titled Idiot Prayer and was filmed in the West Hall of the iconic London location.
The show sees the Australian frontman roll through his extensive back catalogue, performing a string of hits and rarities from the earliest and most recent Bad Seeds material. On top of that, Cave revisits a series of tracks taken from his Grinderman side project too.
Now the first trailer has been shared and it’s a captivating watch. About the trailer Cave said: “Idiot Prayer evolved from my Conversations With… events, performed over the last year or so. I loved playing deconstructed versions of my songs at these shows, distilling them to their essential forms—with an emphasis on the delivery of the words.
“I felt I was rediscovering the songs all over again, and started to think about going into a studio and recording these reimagined versions at some stage—whenever I could find the time.” It was a moment of refreshment that was sadly cut short thanks to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Then, of course, the world went into lockdown,” Cave continues. “The Bad Seeds’ global 2020 tour was postponed. Studios shut down. Venues shut down. And the world fell into an eerie, self-reflective silence.
“It was within this silence that I began to think about the idea of not only recording the songs, but also filming them – and so we started to assemble a small team, including the great cinematographer, Robbie Ryan, sound man, Dom Monks, and editor, Nick Emerson, with the intention to film as soon as it became feasible to get back to business in some way.
Meanwhile, I sat at home working out how to play more songs in the ‘Conversations’ format—new songs and songs from the Ghosteen album, Grinderman songs and early Bad Seeds stuff, and everything in between.” It’s a tantalising prospect and if there’s one man in rock who can play stripped back rock and still command a room—however empty it may be—then it’s Nick Cave.
Cave also reflected, once given the all-clear to go ahead with his project, on what a strange situation they were in during filming. “We worked with the team at Alexandra Palace – a venue I have played and love – on securing a date to film just as soon as they were allowed to re-open the building to us. We had an amazing production team and crew, and what they did within this extraordinary situation was a marvel.
“Surrounded by Covid officers with tape measures and thermometers, masked-up gaffers and camera operators, nervous-looking technicians and buckets of hand gel, together we created something very strange and very beautiful that spoke into this uncertain moment, but was in no way bowed by it.”
The final word from Cave on the project sees him confirm that the film arrives as perhaps one of his final concert films, or at least in this series: “Idiot Prayer serves as the final film in a trilogy— along with 20,000 Days on Earth and One More Time with Feeling—and is its luminous and heartfelt climax.
“Idiot Prayer is a prayer into the void—alone at Alexander Palace. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.”
Watch the trailer below: