26 September 2023

Live From KCRW

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Kobalt label Services 2013.

This review is as much an endorsement of Record Store Day as it is of this Nick Cave album.

My friend Neil picked up this excellent double live album in vinyl from his favourite record store on their recent global celebration day.

The album was released back in 2013 by Nick and the boys at the end of a gruelling world tour.

The three-month world tour in the spring of 2013 to promote the Push The Sky Away album ended with a pared down version of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds performing a live show in California for radio station KCRW.

They performed in front of 180 lucky station listeners who’d won the opportunity to be in the audience.

The show was recorded live with no rehearsals, no retakes, no cameras, and no overdubs.

It was raw and intimate and the audience loved it.

The band consisted of Nick Cave on lead vocals and piano; Warren Ellis playing tenor guitar, violin, piano, loops and backing vocals; Martyn Casey on bass; Jim Sclavunos on percussion, drums and backing vocals; and Barry Adamson playing organ, percussion and backing vocals.

The 12-song set included many songs from their most recent album but it also included some earlier classics such as The Mercy Seat, People Ain’t No Good, and Into My Arms.

The performances were outstanding and the paired down backing resulted in lovely re-interpretations of well-known tracks.

I particularly liked the different, sparser, version of The Mercy Seat.

World Record Store Day is an industry reaction to the fact that most of us no longer consume our music via hard copies such as vinyl, CD and cassette.

It’s an opportunity to again enjoy the wonderful tactile, audio and visual sensations associated with entering a record store and leafing through the offerings there.

And just as video didn’t kill the radio star neither has streaming killed off records, CDs and cassettes.

So next time World Record Store Day comes around head down there.

You never know what gems you might find.

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