European Tour: London – Hammersmith Apollo

Apollo Hammersmith, London / UK – May 2nd, 2015

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What a weekend! I was in London to attend both concerts and to say that I’d been looking forward to them would be an understatement! The first surprise of the evening (well we actually found out a few days earlier) was that the show would be professionally recorded and available to buy immediately after the concert!  Thank you to Live Here Now who were in charge of the recording. If you weren’t there, no worries, you can still order the concerts on their site as cds or as mp3s. Then one of little spies informed us that security had no strict order for that night so we took our chance and immediately stood at the stage when the concert was about to start. If there was one venue where the audience would stand, it had to be London. And what do you know, the rest of the crowd followed. Even if Nick Cave spends a good part of this tour on the piano, there is something slightly frustrating about being seated at a Bad Seeds concert and I know many fans agree with me.

Update: The site has stopped selling the official live recording. You might still find in on eBay.

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The setlist was pretty similar from the previous nights but still epic.

Water’s Edge
The Weeping Song
Red Right Hand
Brompton Oratory
Higgs Boson Blues
Mermaids
The Ship Song
From Her to Eternity
I Let Love In
Love Letter
Into My Arms
West Country Girl
Tupelo
Black Hair
the Mercy Seat
Jubilee Street

Encore

We No Who U R
Breathless
Stranger Than Kindness
Avalanche
And No More Shall We Part
Up Jumped the Devil
Jack the Ripper
The Lyre of Orpheus
Push the Sky Away

 

The set was absolutely flawless and each member of the band just brilliant. It was real a joy to see Thomas Wydler back on drums. He has such a unique style and it’s a pleasure to see him play with such passion.

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A couple of highlights for me… There was a dad with his very young son at the front row and I think Nick greeted him by “hello little guy”. It was really adorable and I think it made the dad’s evening. He was also aknowledged during Up Jumped the Devil. From her to Eternity was already my favourite song during the 2013 tour but at the piano it takes another dimension and the way it slowly escalades is just mindblowing. The same goes for Jack the Ripper. I absolutely love the interaction between Nick and Warren during it. I was lucky to be standing in front of Warren and he is such an incredible musician. I can’t believe the sound he manages to produce from all of his instruments.

All in all it was a brilliant evening and a tour that will certainly become one of the best of their career.

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I didn’t take many pictures as I don’t like to do that when I am so close, but if you want to download the high-resolution ones, you can find them in my Flickr account.

Thank you to Inez for the wonderful videos.

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3 thoughts on “European Tour: London – Hammersmith Apollo

  1. My review of Hammersmith:

    After a very surreal journey, which included witnessing an elderly gentleman attempting to buy someone’s young son on the bus through London, I arrived at Hammersmith.
    I checked out the venue first (stage door again, just incase), then made me way to a pub to see some fellow fans I have been lucky enough to befriend through recent Cave events.

    Making sure I was back at the venue with plenty of time to spare, I spent some of it chatting to the lovely venue and security staff – trying to get an idea of how rules lay for the evening. I was told we essentially had free reign. The man himself had issued strict orders that staff held no authority over fans, and we could stand and dance as wanted – within reason and respect of course.
    And that was exactly what happened.

    As soon as the floor lights began to dim, some of us found ourselves at the front of the stage. By the time Nick was onstage, many many more had followed suit.
    Getting to be that close with quite a low stage and no barrier was an incredible experience in itself. At the furthest away, he was close, at the closest as he towered over me, I could see every pore.

    Rather than his usual picking of a handful of people at the front row, which we all pleaded to be (and a few were to a degree), he broadened his gaze and gait, welcoming the whole hall into his arms.
    Whilst this was a brave leap, it did lose a little of the intimacy, and I think he suits better to being ‘the front row man’ he has described himself as in the past. Somehow, always through every movement and inflection, there is always a deeply personal connection, and even if focused on one person, that is shared by every watcher.

    At times during the show it felt he seemed a little detached or not quite ‘in’ the performance to his usual standard, but I have seen there were two main reasons for this:
    Preparing for tomorrow’s venue, the Royal Albert Hall. After attending that too it became clear Hammersmith could be seen almost as a warm up to encompassing that space, and put the show in a context which has made me admire it far more. After all, if an artist wasn’t nervous about a show like that, I think their love of what they do would be in question.
    Secondly, the show was being recorded for immediate buy CD, so possibly needed to be a ‘cleaner’ more stream-lined production, and he was clearly focusing on conducting and his voice to ensure it was the best it could be.

    And, oh, his voice… I feel quite comfortable in saying it is probably the best it has ever been.
    Thick, dark and sweet as molasses, you could gladly drown in it, giving yourself up to the jagged razors that rise from the depths at certain moments.
    It was utter perfection for every second and every song, from the roaming romantics of Lover Letter and Into My Arms, to the plain brutality of From Her to Eternity and more.

    The stripped back version of classic, The Mercy Seat, was a particularly special moment tonight I felt – throwing me into the darkest of places for a second time that week, but this time an entirely different one. An achingly different story, despite using the same words.
    Tonight’s verged on pitiful, rather than the bitterness of Thursday’s rendition, or the head-strong regretless one which would follow the next day at the RAH.
    I didn’t fear today’s murderer. I wanted to hold him close and comfort.
    This is one of the things that is most incredible in Nick, how he can breathe new life and character into something familiar. Simply with a few slight differences in tone or inflection, there is fresh intention, and he becomes a new, yet constant, person each time.

    From the close proximation I was also able to give the attending Bad Seeds more attention.
    Warren, less than a few feet away, is an endless fascination to watch. Seeming to create such staggering sound with immense ease, almost lazily breezing through what blows so many of us away.
    On the few times you get a hint of him letting himself go, it is as if a beast is close to being unleashed, snagging at the restraints. One of the best things of these moments is seeing Cave’s reaction – a real glow, which lights up the room.

    Thomas was on fire and watching his face was a joy, every smile dangerously contagious.
    Martyn kept to his understated yet endlessly impressive position. Carrying Cave’s quieter moments over a rolling depth, and opening the doors to a rumbling blackness for the darkest.

    Larry (or Toby as possibly more often known) really found his space tonight, possessing the organs in a well pressed suit with effortless cool.
    His punk credentials possibly making this venue, as well as the more cohesive band feel, possibly a more comfortable experience for him where he could really flex.

    The set was straight forward, launching from song to song, with little pause or interaction and Cave often stationary at the piano.
    But the emotion flooded from everyone around to the stage, and you knew there was no way any person could be disappointed by such a show.

    At the end of their set, before encore, I managed to hand Nick what I had taken for him: a bunch of deep pink peonies, with a small but deeply heartfelt note of thanks wrapped around the stems.
    On the note I signed myself as the West Midlands Girl for the first time, something I feel I might be using for a while to come.

    Poor weather and an after party meant I didn’t manage to wait for long after the show.
    Besides, after them giving so much already, I felt a sense of guilt having hoped for any more from them that weekend.

  2. Brilliant review, Valerie. I’m thrilled that you were able to attend both shows.. How wonderful to know that Thomas Wydler is back on tour with Nick. I’ve missed him. Tx & big hugs for the pics. (And to Inez for the videos.)

    Great job with the new blog design, btw. Love it! ♥

    • Hi Morgan! I am glad that you like the review and the look of the blog. 🙂 I think it’s quite classy. OMG Thomas is so adorable! I can’t wait to see him a few more times.

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