Thursday 28 November 2013

Review: Nick Cave And the Bad Seeds – 'Live From KCRW'

'Live From KCRW' 

Nick Cave is a man that needs no introduction. An artists whose career has spanned decades and legendary acts such as The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman and crossed all manner of genres. Cave's credibility is simply beyond reproach. Hot on the heels of the last Bad Seeds studio album 'Push The Sky Away' released earlier this year, comes the band's fourth official live album; 'Live From KCRW', a recorded for radio broadcast.

The album was recorded live for KCRW by Bob Clearmountain on 18th April 2013 at Apogee Studio in Los Angeles, between the band's two Coachella appearances. It's an intimate and stripped back recording that features a streamlined line-up and favours the more mellow tracks in the band's sizeable back catalogue.

Classic cuts such as 'Far From Me', 'The Mercy Seat', 'Mermaids' and the newest offerings 'Higgs Boson Blues and 'Push The Sky Away' sound brilliant as the band lean heavily on the warm acoustic sounds of piano coupled with violin and bass for the most part. Which in turn gives the electric instruments a lot more pop, when they are sparingly used, but especially in the raucous closing track 'Jack The Ripper'.

The crowd is small and the noise is unobtrusive even as Nick's brief bits of banter break up the set. There are no overdubs, no additional trickery to polish the sound, just a raw but relaxed document. The odd minor blemishes in the recording picked up from the microphones and the crowd only serve to heighten the atmosphere of the album.

This is a recording aimed at the fans. But it is one that will no doubt be embraced as an official release in deluxe packaging, especially when considering that similar such set ups such as the Nine Inch Nails and Peter Murphy radio performances captured on the 'With Teeth' tour have been bootlegged to death. 'Live From KCRW' may not be the casual listener's cup of tea, but Nick Cave collectors will find this to be a must have.

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