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Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds

nick

Live At KCRW

Bad Seed Ltd

After the release of this year’s Push The Sky Away – an anomalous record in many ways, with its smoky atmospherics and Nick Cave’s predominantly hushed tones – Live From KCRW is an accessible release that is about as close to ‘easy-listening’ as the group’s music will ever get.

Recorded this year in the interval between the Bad Seeds’ two Coachella Festival appearances, the band are in a casual and good-natured form playing in front of a small audience at Santa Monica studios.

Lead single from Push The Sky Away, Higgs Boson Blues kicks things off with the crowd loving its grandiose critique of modern society – the Miley Cyrus reference in the song is eerily on point with twerk-gate. The live recordings see the group stripping back the sound, as the group morph from mesmerising melancholia, Far From Me, which features Conway Savage’s elegaic organ section to demonic aggression, Jack The Ripper. Perennial contender for the group’s best song, The Mercy Seat, once again steals the show with the piano-driven interpretation giving the song the theatrical edge that Cave has made his own.
As anyone who has seen the band will vouch for, there is no experience like seeing Nick Cave, Warren Ellis et al play live. Volatile, perverse and always dramatic, the record captures how the group have found their own comfort zone. Live At KCRW is testament to that, and will invariably please the group’s fanbase but beyond that there’s nothing here to generate strong interest.

LARRY LAI

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