It's taken a while, but Mute has finally got around to repackaging Uli M. Schüppel's excellent Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds tour documentary The Road To God Knows Where and the concert film Live At the Paradiso as a double DVD set. The live footage shot at the famed Amsterdam venue during the Henry's Dream tour in June 92 is nothing special. It's a mediocre show, and filmmaker John Hillcoat tries to make the most of it by annoyingly cutting back and forth between various performances within songs. And instead of simply keeping the camera trained on the most charismatic frontman in rock 'n' roll and capturing the magic/mayhem as it happens, Hillcoat keeps shifting focus all over the stage and audience, missing out on the essential drama.
Conversely, Schüppel's grainy black-and-white behind-the-scenes view of Cave and company as they roll across North America in February and March of 1989 effectively conveys the unsavoury side of cult rock stardom -- the mind-numbing drudgery of being on the road. There's no sex, drugs or fistfights with Blixa Bargeld, but Schüppel somehow finds a way to make the whole ordeal fascinating, and I'm not saying that just because I make a brief cameo.
Watch as the bored Seeds try to make light of a pre-show photo shoot with frustrated photographer Chris Buck backstage at the Guvernment (then RPM), make small talk with people they don't know, argue with sound men, bicker with promoters, forget laundry at the hotel, read a letter from a troubled fan written on a chocolate-bar wrapper, chortle at bad jokes and answer inane interview questions on a brick-sized cellular. Just as interesting is Schüppel's bonus short The Song, which reveals how Cave collaborates with long-time writing partner Mick Harvey in a studio setting to work up a tune for the Wim Wenders film Until The End Of The World.