Monday, 20 April 2015

The Road To God Knows Where

Watched Uli M Schüppel's 1990 documentary The Road To God Knows Where, a grainy, dimly-lit b/w record of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' month long tour of North America in 1989. "This is the last song, of the last show of our American tour. Thank God" announces Cave at a gig in LA, and you can't help but sympathize, the band having to contend with dingy venues, bad sound, and the deadening boredom of life on the road. For Cave, the process seems especially tortuous, he's clearly uncomfortable among the strangers at backstage parties, or dealing with journalists and their inane questions. One suspects the band poured all that boredom and frustration into their music and the film includes a number of full-blooded, volcanic performances, the highlight, an incredible impromptu rendition of a stripped-back Mercy Seat at a radio station. Essential viewing.

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