If there is any release that fully highlights that abject disposition that 2020 has left us in, it is 'Idiot Prayer (Nick Cave Alone At Alexandra Palace)'. In a year where so many have halted their live performances, although sometimes resorting to livestream shows with no responsive audience in sight, this new live album from Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds sums up all that has been missing from our lives this year; the company of others. So while this collection was created under unpreventable circumstances, it has come to symbolise the loneliness that many of us have had to endure so far this year.
While fans of the group will be familiar with everything on here, 'Idiot Prayer (Nick Cave Alone At Alexandra Palace)' is so much more than another live compilation. The choice of songs on this record are intended to fill the now empty space in which Nick Cave sits, reverberating across an empty hall and adding a great levity to each and every one of them. Nick Cave has always been one of those artists that can inject true emotion into his music, but his pain of loss, both personally and professionally, can be felt across the setlist, creating a warm yet heartfelt release that seems shrouded in darkness from start to finish.
At times it almost feels like an uncomfortable listen. A poet and showman performing his heart out with no-one around to witness or appreciate it almost seems like a waste of his talent. But it will now go down in infamy as what this year did to the live music circuit, forcing our best and brightest to perform in solitary, denying their beauty to the world and hollowing out our lives even more.