PIANIST ENVY

The singer takes to his grand piano to play tracks from 'No More Shall We Part' at London's Cobden Club...

NICK CAVE played a surprise live set at the launch party of the new NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS album ‘NO MORE SHALL WE PART’ last night at the LONDON COBDEN CLUB, NME.COM can reveal.

The singer, who played grand piano and was accompanied only by Bad Seeds violin player Warren Ellis, debuted a host of new tracks from the album, as well as old favourite ‘The Mercy Seat’, which had the packed room of some 200 press and friends of the star enraptured.

Other highlights included the singer having to stop the song ‘Little Janie’s Gone’ momentarily when he broke into fits of giggles, and him urging the audience to sing along at the end of ‘Love Letter’.

Despite his impressive performance on the grand piano, Cave admitted to NME.COM before the gig that he’d only learned the instrument for two years when he was 12 “but I was terrible at it. I’m actually not very good,” he said. “It’s actually all done with mirrors! I can only play slow, I can’t do any Jerry Lee Lewis stuff,” he joked.

But Nick, who is settled in London with his wife and children(he’s just become the father of twins), said that the entire new album had been written on piano at his new office. He explained: “[Working in the office] has made my life much more successful, as it means I have a relationship, a homelife that isn’t bludgeoned to death by my work process, it isn’t destroyed by me working at home. I think an artist should work at home behind a locked door! Anyway, London’s a good place to work. It’s so grim outside the office, you might as well stay indoors.”

The album is released by Mute on April 2, preceded by a single, ‘As I Sat Sadly By Her Side’, on March 19.

The full setlist was: ‘God Is In The House’

‘We Came Along This Road’

‘The Mercy Seat’

‘And No More Shall We Part’

‘Love Letter’

‘Little Janie’s Gone’ (the B-side of the forthcoming single)

‘Grief Came Riding’ (an extra track on a limited-edition version of the new album).

Nick Cave is also taking part in an NME.COM exclusive Fan-Ish Inquisition this Thursday. To submit your questions, click here…

Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds also embark on a tour of the UK and Ireland next month. The dates are: Dublin Olympia (April 28-29) Glasgow Barrowlands (May 1)

Manchester Academy (2)

London Brixton Academy (5-6, May 5 is sold out)