If there's a band that should release more live albums, it's Nick Cave's Bad Seeds. The most versatile backing group in rock, they can show the greatest restraint or unleash the most disgraceful trash noise you'll ever here - on stage they are incendiary, and never more so than as Cave approached his commercial breakthrough in the early-to-mid-nineties.
However, Live Seeds was never really about showing the competence of the Seeds as a live act. Nick Cave himself was not a fan of how the previous year's criminally underrated Henry's Dream had turned out, and in truth its weak production blunted the impact of what could otherwise have been his greatest album. Thusly, Live Seeds was mostly a way of showing the masses what Henry's Dream should have sounded like.
Indeed, the cuts from Henry's Dream are probably the best songs here. 'Jack The Ripper' is a staple of Cave's live set up to now, and this album shows why, the bass-heavy riff making what was once disconerting into something utterly terrifying. The collapsing dynamics of 'John Finn's Wife' are majestic even if this writer does miss the string section (here replaced by an organ). Best of all, depsite some unwelcome lyrical tweaks, is a truly frightening 'Papa Won't Leave You, Henry.'
The non-Henry's Dream tracks are almost as good, a mandatory take on 'The Mercy Seat' opens things superbly and an equally obligatory 'Ship Song' is beautiful. Hardcore fans may be most interested in the creepy 'Plain Gold Ring,' which doesn't appear on any other album, and whilst it's not worth buying the album for that alone it's certainly worth a look.
This live album may have been released for the wrong reasons, but in the end it's the music that matters, and the performances here are second to none. This is a worthy, if not obligatory, addition to any Nick Cave fan's collection.