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Albums Of The Week: Nick Cave | Idiot Prayer: Alone at Alexandra Palace

Cave tackles everything from Bad Seeds to Grinderman in his one-man show.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Idiot Prayer: Alone at Alexandra Palace was recorded in June 2020 as the U.K. slowly emerged from lockdown, and was conceived as a reaction to the confinement and Isolation of the preceding months.

In Idiot Prayer, Nick Cave plays his songs alone at the piano in a rarely seen stripped-back form, moving from early Bad Seeds and Grinderman right through to the most recent Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds album Ghosteen.

The performance was filmed by award winning cinematographer Robbie Ryan (The Favourite, Marriage Story, American Honey) in Alexandra Palace’s stunning West Hall. It was edited by Nick Emerson (Lady Macbeth, Emma, Greta). The music was recorded by Dom Monks.

Idiot Prayer is the fourth film that Nick Cave has released in collaboration with Trafalgar Releasing, following 2018’s Distant Sky: Live in Copenhagen, directed by David Barnard, 2016’s One More Time With Feeling, directed by Andrew Dominik and 2014’s award-winning 20,000 Days on Earth, directed by lain Forsyth and Jane Pollard.

Says Nick Cave: “The film Idiot Prayer evolved from my Conversations With… events. I loved playing deconstructed versions of my songs at these shows, distilling them to their essential forms. I felt I was rediscovering the songs all over again, and started to think about going into a studio and recording these reimagined versions at some stage — whenever I could find the time.

Then the pandemic came — the world went into lockdown, and fell into an eerie, self reflective silence. It was within this silence that began to think about the idea of not only recording the songs, but also filming them. We worked with the team at Alexandra Palace — a venue I have played and love — on securing a date to film just as soon as they were allowed to re-open the building to us.

On 19th June 2020, surrounded by Covid officers with tape measures and thermometers, masked-up gaffers and camera operators, nervous looking technicians and buckets of hand gel, we created something very strange and very beautiful that spoke into this uncertain time, but was in no way bowed by it. This is the album taken from that film. It is a prayer into the void — alone at Alexandra Palace — a souvenir from a strange and precarious moment in history. I hope you enjoy it.”