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Why ‘Distant Sky’ captures Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at a new level as one of the best bands on the planet

The concert film, shot in Copenhagen, is screened worldwide on 12th April.
Published: 10:39 am, April 09, 2018
Why ‘Distant Sky’ captures Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds at a new level as one of the best bands on the planet
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Typing those words create a whole myriad of emotions, images and sounds from a band who over the course of nearly 35 years - have always innovated and grown in the sort of manner that has you hooked and hungry with whatever they do next. Captivating audiences around the globe, in the past few years it’s felt like they’ve hit a new defiant creative stride, stepping up to huge stages and growing from a renowned and revered cult following into that status as one of the planet’s great bands with one of the most mercurial and iconic figures in modern music leading the way.

No matter the age, no matter the city, no matter the time - a Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds show has the power to change things. Big time.

After the release of the devastatingly raw and gripping ‘Skeleton Tree’, there was always a wonder what Nick Cave would do next, and what he would do when it came to stepping on stage again. Over the past 12 months, the world got its answer - delivering some of the most emphatic performances of his and the band’s career, and confirming a whole new level and platform for him to deliver his untouchable sermons and staggering performances. Kicking into a whole ‘nother gear, it’s a time captured perfectly on one night of that run in good ‘ol Copenhagen and up for the whole world to see with ‘Distant Sky’ - a concert film so powerful that it’s probably unfair to class it as simply a concert film.

Ripping through an extraordinary set, that command over the arena in front of him is nothing short of mesmerising - so it’s only fair, ahead of its one-night-only screening on Thursday (12th April) that we pick out five defining moments to look out for, all proving just why Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are unlike any other band out there. Then you can go along to your local cineplex, buy a couple of tickets (or win them here, if you're quick) and join the whole world in watching the show together. That’s pretty nice too right?

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Dueting with Danish soprano Else Torp on ‘Distant Sky’, which will have you bawling your eyes out sharpish

Understandably, ‘Skeleton Tree’ tracks made up a large proportion of the band’s set over the past year, and it’s shown in full flight with their show in Copenhagen. Sounding as powerful and heavy as they did on the album, cuts like ‘Jesus Alone’, ‘I Need You’ and ‘Girl In Amber’ are as mesmeric as they are devastating - silencing the arena in front of them. Above them, all though is ‘Distant Sky’ itself, which finds Nick joined on stage by soprano Else Torp (who appeared on the album itself and resides in Denmark) for one of the most emotional performances of the entire show. As Nick’s eyes glisten, and tears begin to gather - it’s something that has the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, and we promise there won’t be a dry eye in the house (or cinema - because that’s where you’ll be).

The mesmerising moment Nick shares with a fan during ‘Push The Sky Away’

Becoming a sort of shining moment in sets over the past year, this track from their 2013 record of the same name has taken on a whole new life - and in Copenhagen, it produces a phenomenal moment where the man himself connects with a young chap on the stage. As they mirror each other's movements, and the glacial organ in the background swells, it’s a dazzling moment where devotion, love and awe meet. As they share a tender hug as the song ends, it’s undeniable that both have just experienced something beyond words.

The ferocity that the Bad Seeds pack when ripping through ‘Stagger Lee’, as an entire arena bows down in unison

The balance Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds tread is one always on the edge of unimaginable darkness and explosive reactions - and the latter reign supreme in a manner that seems to keep getting more and more ferocious as the years go on. ‘Stagger Lee’ is as punchy as ever, with crowds flocking the stage and Nick himself pouring himself into the crowds in front, it’s the moment where anger, defiance and more all come together in one of the most dominant cuts of the entire life - proving how unstoppable they really are.

Nick Cave in full prowling mode during ‘Tupelo’

While recent albums have taken them to a whole ‘nother level - one of the oldest tracks played packs its own unparalleled flavour, showcasing the depth and shadows Nick Cave has operated himself in for the majority of his life. ‘Tupelo’ was released in 1985, but its now a fleshy beast that finds him prowling up and down the stage, reaching down and grabbing the pit of your stomach with the sort of chilling ease that has you wrapped from beginning to end. Mercurial and almost inhuman, it’s a moment where Nick Cave becomes much more than simply a cracking singer, but a deity of his own that’ll stalk nightmares and dreams alike.

When an entire arena claps in unison to ‘The Weeping Song’

Now here’s something you don’t see every day, and a shining example if we ever did see one of Nick Cave’s unrivalled stage presence. ‘The Weeping Song’ sees Mr Cave lead the Royal Arena in a mass clap-along (if that’s a thing) to the rich number, which also finds him diving into the crowd, rising on another platform and even getting some fine folk to help out in holding his microphone for a bit. Not too shabby eh?

Catch ‘Distant Sky’ this Thursday, 12th April, showing at over 500 cinemas across the UK. For ticket details, and to find the nearest screening, head here.

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