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.