The independent London newspaper

Grooves: Nick Cave; Save Our Venues; Virtually Green Note

17 July, 2020 — By Róisín Gadelrab

 Nick Cave. Photo: Joel Ryan

NOW we know streamed gigs cannot replicate the unique atmosphere of experiencing the same live performance as a set group of people at a set time, every additional sound helping to create each event’s unique soundprint. And online gigs can be guilty of failing to connect with their audience. But that is what we have right now and it is up to the audience and performer to find a way to make it work for them. Nick Cave is an extremely watchable performer live, whose shows are made by his theatrics. But he has taken a different tack with his planned global streaming event Idiot Prayer next week (July 23) – filmed from Alexandra Palace and protecting the unique nature of the event by promising it will not later be made available online. Shot in June, Cave performs alone, with a piano, in the stark, emptiness of the iconic London venue. Emerging from Cave’s “Conversations With…” events, the Australian musician worked with his team and cinematographer Robbie Ryan to create a filmed performance of deconstructed versions of his songs. He said: “Surrounded by Covid officers with tape measures and thermometers, masked-up gaffers and camera operators, nervous-looking technicians and buckets of hand gel, together we created something very strange and very beautiful that spoke into this uncertain moment, but was in no way bowed by it.” Tickets for the streamed event, where Cave plays more than 20 songs, are on sale from DICE.

WHILE festival season 2020 has been eradicated by the Covid-19 outbreak, the government’s announcement that some live gigs can resume shortly – with a number of restrictions, does give some hope that music IRL will return on a wider scale soon – if the virus is kept at bay. And, while there are due to be pilots for a limited number of indoor venues and vague talk of funding available for the arts, this sadly still doesn’t give much clarity for the future of the many indoor venues out there, particularly those of a smaller scale. As the we reported recently, The Dublin Castle, Camden’s HQ of emerging talent over the years, will not reopen under the current restrictions even just as a pub. Music Venues Trust’s Save Our Venues campaign is still going and while this is a recurring theme of this page, without our venues, Camden wouldn’t be Camden – and this column would be lost. This is a vital sector that needs support and we will continue to raise awareness as long as they need it.

DON’T forget to keep checking the Roundhouse’s website for online gigs and workshops, Barbican’s ever-increasing online content and The Green Note’s latest set of online gigs “Virtually Green Note” and open mics. Always worth checking out your fave venues online to see if they have any streamed shows planned.

FOREVER to be associated with Christmas, Slade have announced their December tour will be going ahead with a stop off at Islington Assembly Hall on December 4.


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