Despite being born in Australia, Nick Cave has always been considered an adopted son of Brighton, after making it his home for the best part of 20 years. An artist that needs no introduction, he’s a musician that has matured like a fine wine with his last two albums – Push the Sky Away and Skeleton Tree – becoming arguably his most well reviewed works to date.
After 33 years, 16 studio albums and countless line-up changes, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds have made it to arenas. Many were critical of the move to a more anaemic, corporate and soulless setting, especially because of his last album, the sombre, tenebrous masterpiece Skeleton Tree – which this tour is in aid of. The critics have been silenced, however, as his show at The O2 Arena was nothing short of a masterpiece; an intimate, brooding performance for every single member of the 20,000 capacity venue and a mesmerising, intense religious experience you’d be hard pushed to find exceeded at the Vatican.
One More Time With Feeling (a line from one of the songs featured, and a playful musical clique often invoked by musicians in trying to capture the essence of a song) has at its centre the death of Arthur Cave, with Nick Cave airing his raw grief, sometimes in the back of a cab, sometimes off-camera, and at other times sitting at his desk, whilst there are studio-based performances of almost all the tracks on Skeleton Tree, an album that inevitably became to mean something very different from the original premise.
The tensions between music and film, especially those created in isolation, can, as Cave has observed, create ‘…suddenly something quite magical…’ Together, with musical colleague Warren Ellis, this is what they have attempted to do with Director David Olehoffen’s Loin des Hommes (Far From Men), a triple prize-winner at the Venice Film Festival last year, and which stars Viggo Mortensen and Reda Kateb.