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Nick Cave cuts a truly formidable figure on Idiot Prayer: Alone at Alexandra Palace

A demonstration of the power of stripped-back simplicity on Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace

Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace album art
(Image: © Bad Seed Ltd)

This is masterful: a live album and film, recorded at the height of the COVID lockdown in June at London’s iconic Alexandra Palace, streamed globally on July 23. 

Nick Cave alone at a grand piano and with his thoughts, surrounded by a great vat of emptiness and minus his solid musical support, artfully and without ceremony brings in silence and loneliness as a third instrument, and ploughs his way through a back catalogue and newer songs that are littered with remorse and religion and dark humour, always shaped by unyielding events.

The Mercy Seat is stately in a way it’s never been heard before; Galleon Ship near impossible to hear; The Ship Song magnificent and brooding; Girl In Amber bleakly powerful and so human. 

Intense and stripped back, with only his own art to fall back on, Cave cuts a truly formidable figure. This is an album you will return to again and again.