The Los Angeles-based KCRW sessions are legendary to some; its Morning Becomes Eclectic broadcasts were
a must-hear throughout the 90s. Now Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds release a live album recorded for the radio station in an intimate venue.
It must have been something for the lucky few present, but this document doesn’t quite do the job.
The brilliance of the Bad Seeds’ current live show, touring Push The Sky Away,
is how they create intimacy in a large venue: Cave grasps onto front-row fans’ hands as if they’re crutches; at the piano, in October this year,
he had the 6,000-seater Hammersmith Apollo rapt at his every word on the likes of God Is In The House and Mermaids. In the intimate setting of LA’s Apogee Studio – undoubtedly a pants-wetting joy for anyone there – the game’s too easy. There’s no intimacy to strive for in a small venue, while, paradoxically, the likes of Higgs Boson Blues
and a calmer, more measured
The Mercy Seat don’t really
have anywhere to go.
Criminally, Jubilee Street
doesn’t feature here. The Bad
Seeds have worked up such
a phenomenally good live
version of it that playing it
at the top of the show on
tour seems an act of selfsabotage.
to top. Perhaps they had
to leave it off this album
because the mics picked up
the sound of faces melting
in the front row.