Keep On Pushing (Godfatherecords G.R. 914)
Glastonbury Festival, Worthy Farm, Pilton, UK – June 30, 2013
CD (79.28) 1. We No Who U R, 2. Jubilee Street, 3. From Her to Eternity, 4. Deanna, 5. Jack the Ripper, 6. Tupelo, 7. People Ain’t No Good, 8. The Mercy Seat, 9. Stagger Lee, 10. Push the Sky Away, Encore: 11. Red Right Hand – Bonus Tracks: KCRW Radio FM Broadcast, Santa Monica, CA, April 18, 2013 12. Higgs Boson Blues, 13. The Mercy Seat
With the release of his 15th studio album in February, “Push The Sky”, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds became staples of the summer Festival scene so it only made sense that they would make their Sunday appearance as second billed on the Pyramid stage at one of the most storied and anticipated British summer festivals of 2013.
Recovered from his nasty fall off the stage, during a show in Iceland the night before, Nick stormed the Glastonbury Pyramid stage wearing a sharp black silk suit and lounge singer black and white two tone paisley patterned shirt with the latest incarnation of his band the Bad Seeds.
With no introduction and wasting no time with pleasantries the band kicks off the show with two dark slow smoldering songs, “We No Who UR” and the slow building “Jubilee Streets”, off of the recent 2013 “Push the Sky” album.
Nick proclaims to the crowd “I want to tell you about a girl” as the band then launch’s into one of my favorite songs of the day the hypnotic almost tribal sounding “From Her to Eternity”. Watching the youtube video of the concert we see Nick dancing in front of the drum riser like a demented TV preacher while violin player Warren Ellis dances and sways to the music playing his violin like a guitar.
Next comes the as close to pop as Nick Cave will ever get song “Deanna” before returning us to the dark side with the relentless “Jack the Ripper” and the early classic “Tupelo”.
Just as the band and crowd are approaching the boiling point Nick throws on the brakes allowing audience to catch their breath with the beautiful piano ballad “People Ain’t No Good”.
With everyone starting to calm down the train to hell starts up again with the haunting classic “The Mercy Seat” with its slow acoustic beginning slowly building to a frantic crashing conclusion.
With the crowd sufficiently wound up again the band begins the slow climb into the highlight song of the set for me with a stunning 10 minute cover of the Fred Waring His Pennsylvanians classic “Stagger Lee”. As good as it sounds on disc you really need to watch the youtube video of the song as Nick crosses the no man’s land between the stage and the crowd climbing the barrier to be close to the fans. With the crowds help he slowly walks his way down until he stops in front of a beautiful raven haired woman dressed all in white sitting on top of a friends shoulders. He takes her hand and proceeds to serenade her as she looks at him hypnotized with a mixture of awe and lust for several minutes.
After a haunting version of “Push the Sky Away” the band returns for an encore of the setlist staple “Red Right Hand”.
As is his usual practice The Don rounds out this fantastic release, using up every last bit of available space on the CD, with two excellent pristine sounding bonus tracks “Higgs Boson Blues” and another version of “The Mercy Seat” from a KRCW FM radio broadcast.
The CD comes in the trademark high quality Godfather trifold album style cover with a nice collection of live photos of Nick Cave’s Glastonbury performance. The source appears to be from one of the BBC feeds of the show and as a result it is an excellent warm sounding professional stereo recording with just the right amount of audience included to give it a satisfying live experience.
Nick is very slightly forward in the mix but all the instrument are well balanced with a nice wide soundstage and stereo separation.
I have to admit I did not know much about Nick Cave’s music going into this review but after watching YouTube videos and several listens this new Godfather release is one of my favorite bootlegs of the year and has been in continuous rotation on my CD player. It is highly recommended to Nick Cave fans and would make an excellent introduction to his music for new fans like myself.
Nick definitely has me as a new fan and I hope Godfather will consider other releases from this underrated performer in the future.