Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace

Nick Cave - Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
User Score
Based on 105 ratings
2020 Ratings: #13
Liked by 11 people
November 20, 2020 / Release Date
Live / Format
Bad Seed Ltd. and Ros & Lawrence Ltd. / Label
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The Observer

For all the elaborate staging and the high-end production, it is Cave’s commanding presence as a performer that compels. Throughout, his extraordinarily expressive face is a measure of his immersion in these old and new songs.

Without crowds, chatter and the mess of thousands of human bodies all bumping up against each other, it’s possible to focus purely on Cave’s devastating lyricism: religion, death and romance all getting their chance to shine in the golden and purple lights that softly illuminate the room.

As a showcase for his life’s work, Idiot Prayer is extraordinary, breathtakingly varied within its minimal format, and compelling throughout.


Stripped of the Bad Seeds and rooted to a glossy grand piano, Cave gracefully and purposefully rolls through his back catalogue ... The performance of a lifetime.

The Sydney Morning Herald
Cave no doubt seized upon a time when folks were largely stuck at home in order to channel his own creativity, but in doing so he has delivered one of the finest, most heartfelt albums of his career.
The Guardian

Ultimately ... Cave stands up and walks away and we all click off. Idiot Prayer is over, and it is beautiful, but in the way of an object to admire from the outside because it’s too polished to crack open and crawl inside.

The Telegraph
To surrender to his quietly devastating performance offers a mesmeric and emotionally cathartic experience.
The Independent
Let’s be clear: this is no substitute for a Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds gig, with its riotous swagger and the faintly ludicrous spectacle of a sixtysomething man spouting fire and brimstone in a shirt split to the navel. By contrast, this is stately and beautiful, a strange and quietly impassioned showcase for a truly remarkable body of work.
The Arts Desk
Cave is known for his showmanship, and although he is necessarily curtailed by circumstance, the dramatic minimalism of this setting is perfect for an expressive face, and such powerfully emotional songs.
FLOOD Magazine

If you were ever hoping to examine the singing Cave up-close, Alexandra Palace offers ample room and space for dissection. Far from a “hits” package made skeletal, Idiot Prayer is a soft-skinned, tenderly rendered primer on Cave as a poet and pianist in still life.

Cave performed these 22 career-spanning songs alone in a deserted concert hall, reworking them into haunted piano sermons that glow with unnerving intimacy.
Classic Rock

A demonstration of the power of stripped-back simplicity on Idiot Prayer: Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace.

Spectrum Culture

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times, but there is something undeniably beautiful that one of rock’s darkest artists has become one of its most hopeful symbols of endurance, and as such Idiot Prayer remains arguably the highlight of a year’s worth of frantic attempts by artists to make the best of an awful situation.

Under The Radar

Kudos ... go out to Cave for daring to find new ways of performing and entertaining us with a distinctive and eclectic perspective on some compelling music.

The best storytelling is given with little distraction.
Swag Prayer!
This version of Nick Cave has almost become familiar for listeners, especially those who have just started discovering him within the last decade like myself. Cave and the Bad Seeds have progressively become far more intimate and emotionally charged since their 2013 album Push the Sky Away. This closeness was intensified by the death of Cave's son. That event led to the release of the groups last two albums, Skeleton Tree and Ghosteen, which continued to reveal more layers to Cave as a ... read more
Heartbreaking live album, without a doubt my favorite this year. Catches perfectly my idea of a live show during these times, the atmosphere is amazing to say the least. I just hope that Nick is ok now, he's such an amazing person even before a musician, he doesn't deserve anything from what happened to his family.

FAVORITE TRACK: Spinning Song, oh god the goosebumps on that intro
I got this Vinyl as a christmas present...
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Track List

  1. Idiot Prayer
  2. Sad Waters
  3. Brompton Oratory
  4. Palaces of Montezuma
  5. Girl in Amber
  6. Man in the Moon
  7. Nobody's Baby Now
  8. (Are You) The One That I've Been Waiting For?
  9. Waiting for You
  10. The Mercy Seat
  11. Euthanasia
  12. Jubilee Street
  13. Far From Me
  14. He Wants You
  15. Higgs Boson Blues
  16. Stranger Than Kindness
  17. Into My Arms
  18. The Ship Song
  19. Papa Won’t Leave You, Henry
  20. Black Hair
  21. Galleon Ship

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Added on: July 29, 2020