It takes a special eye to capture something as profound, as stunning, as Nick Cave performing solo within the tremendous atmosphere of Alexandra Palace‘s West Hall in London. The cinematographer’s point of view, much like the performer, must be unique. It’s not an everyday occurrence. The mood and mystique of such a moment must be reflected in the approach of the filmmaker. Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Robbie Ryan was up to task, and with editor Nick Emerson, the magic is dark and alive within “Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace.”
The idea for the performance originated from Cave’s Conversations With… events in cities throughout the world. He enjoyed the exchange with audience members, and performing these outstanding deconstructed versions of songs quite near and dear to fans’ hearts. Your AMM host witnessed this first hand at one of two performances scheduled at ACL Live at The Moody Theater last year. Describing it as “moving” doesn’t do the show justice.
The solo performance, filmed in June, includes several favorites from Cave’s extensive catalogue, everything from solo work rarities to early Bad Seeds and Grinderman, as well as songs from the latest album, Ghosteen. See the film in a special worldwide live stream starting at 9 p.m. (Central) tonight, Thursday July 23. Your virtual ticket provides a link to the viewing.
-Photography by Matthew Thorne.