THOUGH billed as a solo tour of concert halls, Nick Cave’s latest live outing was conducted with a supporting cast including several of his precious Bad Seeds, who were very much involved in making this generous root around the Cave catalogue sound superb.
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
The too-short-at-two-hours set ranged from early efforts such as the curt, strident, melodramatic title track of the Bad Seeds’ debut album,From Her to Eternity, right up to a brace of enthusiastically received tracks from their most recent outing, Push the Sky Away, whose stealthy minimalism was well served by the less roistering though still utterly potent set-up of this ensemble.
Cave was incorrigible and irresistible throughout, theatrically casting aside the sheet music as each song was passionately dispatched. Given the slightest provocation, he would eyeball the front rows, communing with his flock in positively Pentecostal fashion. His testifying turn on Red Right Hand was greeted with suitably cathartic yelps of appreciation, though even this gothic tour de force was trumped by the cosmic alchemy of Higgs Boson Blues.
Yet Cave could also calm the crowd frenzy in an instant with the gentle heartache of Love Letter, the swooning romance of The Ship Song and the spine-tingling love balladry of Into My Arms. In any other company, his wingman Warren Ellis would have stolen the show with his magnificently mournful violin on Leonard Cohen’s Avalanche or fluttering flute on We Real Cool.