Bad Seed LTD
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Distant Sky – Live in Copenhagen
Last October, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds performed a special concert at Copenhagen’s Royal Arena; the
gathered masses were treated to seminal LP ‘Skeleton Tree’ in its entirety along with a selection of highlights from the collective’s broad back catalogue. The performance was released as a concert film in April and as a further companion element, Nick Cave and Co are releasing an EP of 4 tracks via 12inch vinyl or digital download.
‘Distant Sky – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen’ cherry picks from four different albums to makeup the short but very sweet EP. ‘Push Away The Sky’ is represented by ‘Jubilee Street’, the EP’s title is taken from a ‘Skeleton Tree’ song, whereas ‘From Her to Eternity’ is taken from its eponymous record and ‘Mercy Seat’ is lifted from 1988’s ‘Tender Prey’. Even though the track listing is meagre, it’s a deep and broad dive across the Australian band’s burgeoning cannon of material.
To be treated like a taster, something to wet the appetite rather than a full on meal ‘Distant Sky’ captures Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are their alluring best, the likes of ‘Jubilee Street’, ‘Mercy Seat’ and ‘From Her To Eternity’ illustrate the outfit’s use of crescendo, as songs commence with a barebones approach but then gradually swell to a cacophony of feral but controlled noise.
The final track in particular ‘From Her…’ has Cave’s rich baritone taking on a devilish guise while fragmented shards of guitars clash and obliterate behind him. ‘Mercy Seat’ is cut from the same cloth, slowly morphing from solemn, to on the verge of maniacal collapse. Slow burning and atmospheric to massive bar-room blues stomper is how ‘Jubilee Street’ evolves. The EP’s title track takes on a different persona, with Danish soprano Else Torp joining Cave on vocals, this is a wonderfully gentle moment on ‘Distant Sky’. Words and music carelessly float with a soothing penchant, as the whole thing is brought to a peaceful close by a quivering violin.
Right at the heart of the EP and the cover art is Cave; ever the protagonist, his leathery croak, part preacher, part possessed sinner, ebbs and flows with the music – tender and delicate on ‘Distant Sky’ and at all ends of the spectrum on the remaining tracks, it’s like being beckoned into your own personal performance by one of the world’s most captivating frontmen.
Live albums can sometimes sanitize the original performance but with ‘Distant Sky’ you feel like you’re there,
being sucked into the world of The Bad Seeds.
Words and thoughts of Adam Williams
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