Filmed in 2001 in Lyon, France, this DVD documents part of the promotional tour for the band’s critically acclaimed ‘No More Shall We Part’ album. This record saw the band return to the studio after a four year departure due to Nick Cave’s rehabilitation progress regarding his heavy alcohol and heroin addictions.
The slightly grainy picture quality of the live show adds to the esoteric and mystically dark atmosphere that surrounds the concert. The set is split between the slower, more ballad-like songs from the bands repertoire (including excellent renditions of Into My Arms, God Is In The House and Lime Tree Arbour) with the faster, and more manically articulated songs such as Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry and Saint Huck. The quality of Cave’s stage performance brought back a lot of great memories from when I first saw the band perform at Latitude ‘09. He possesses more energy than most 20-year-olds and spends most of his time hovering over the captivated front rows of the audience who cling to every twisted and demented word he spits. Cave’s luring figure is accentuated by a spotlight which magnifies his already towering figure onto the side wall of the venue, creating a fitting visual metaphor for the man who seems to have been mythologized into some kind of celestial and supernatural god-like figure by his hoards of adoring followers.
The documentary section of the DVD portrays the making of ‘No More Shall We Part’ and details the immense care and attention required to make such beautiful and effortless music. The documentary is presented in a fly-on-the-wall style and there are no direct interviews with any of the band members; the group seem to act completely natural. The seemingly irritable and touchy German guitarist Blixa Bargeld almost verges into Spinal Tap territory when he repeatedly shouts “the guitar is not in my headphones!” whilst trying to create a wall of feedback, and Cave’s naturally dry wit reminds us that underneath all of the darkness remains a man with a rapier sharp sense of humour. Cave’s own son and several other children appear in the documentary - a surprising reminder that these men are human after all.
The accompanying promotional videos included on the DVD once again remind us that you can’t always take Nick Cave 100% seriously, as Jason Donovan and Jarvis Cocker are both used as dancers in the video for Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow. The DVD provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of Nick Cave and co. providing a much sought after peek into the band’s everyday life.