Sunday, May 10, 2015

YouTube of the day

Well I'm not sure how long this will be allowed to remain online, so we had better do this while we can. It's the final scene from "20000 Days on Earth", the Nick Cave mockumentary (docudrama?), which I wrote about a few months ago. It contains footage of the Bad Seeds at the Sydney Opera House performing "Jubilee Street", the song which, I think, is the pinnacle of late-period Cave. (Of course, I have been wrong before.)

What makes it so powerful, though, is the way the filmmakers intersperse the concert footage of that show with the fleetingest fragments of Cave shows over the years, from the Birthday Party onwards. It's a bit like watching Nick Cave's life flash before one's eyes, and it is especially moving for those of us who have been with him across that unfeasibly long span.

Here, "Jubilee Street" builds, and builds, like a prowling, monstrous thing, complete with strings, a children's choir, a full complement of Bad Seeds (take note, the less hirsute (by a wide margin) of the two guitarists, the one on the left, is none other than Mr Edmund Kuepper; take note, also, Barry Adamson is tinkling the ivories up the back), and Cave, like an emperor, ruler of the stage, and (you realise) the only one moving, except for Warren Ellis, who is every bit the coiled rock guitarist.

To observe the full experience of the song as performed, you may choose to watch the clip below. (You can also buy it as a song, with way better audio, as the B-side of "Give Us A Kiss", a song that otherwise only exists as part of the film.)