Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Higgs Boson Blues (Music Video)

by Steven Spoerl

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds have widely been regarded as one of the best live bands on the planet since the 1980’s. Live documents like the legendary Abattoir Blues Tour and Live Seeds have featured material startling enough to support this notion. Recently the band released Live From KCRW, which leaned heavily on the material from their most recent record; this year’s superb Push the Sky Away.

They aren’t anywhere close to finished with live releases though, as is proved by the music video they unveiled today for Push the Sky Away standout “Higgs Boson Blues”. Ian Forsyth & Jane Pollard are found at the helm of this video once again, having worked on a variety of projects before for the band. Forsyth and Pollard are also largely responsible for the upcoming film 20,000 Days on Earth, which recently was officially selected for screening at next year’s Sundance Film Festival, which is a pseudo-documentary about the band.

Some collaborations yield fruitful results and he Pollard, Forsyth, Bad Seeds triumvirate is certainly one of them. The live performance clip of “Higgs Boson Blues” is definitive proof. Featuring a searingly intense yet eerily quiet live performance from the band, the co-directors weave in and out of close-ups, shadows, and the nervous frenetic movement of the band’s central character. All of their directorial impact would be somewhat diminished if not for the outstanding cinematography work courtesy of the BBC’s Lol Crawley.

“Higgs Boson Blues” doesn’t take long to settle in, extending its incisors to lock the viewer into its deadly vice-like grip. This is a live performance that has the potential for complete captivation, erasing any thoughts of a daunting run-time of over nine minutes. There’s a slow hypnosis at work that can completely surround the viewer, forcing them to lose all perspective of their surroundings. While the impact isn’t quite as strong as being physically present for the performance, it’s about as close as anyone could wish for.

After a slow build, an entrancing unraveling, a small-yet-explosive climax, the song winds to a hushed, hair-raising outro. This is evidence of masters at work and it’s something completely deserving of its length. Go get lost in Cave & co.’s black magic below.