Watch Nell & The Flaming Lips Cover Nick Cave On ‘Colbert’

The teen fronted the band on "Red Right Hand.”

By Andy Kahn Jan 5, 2022 1:35 pm PST

Teenage vocalist Nell Smith and The Flaming Lips were the musical guests on Tuesday’s episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. The performance featured a cover of Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand.”

Nell Smith recorded “Red Right Hand” on her 2021 debut album, Where the Viaduct Looms, which saw her backed by The Flaming Lips. The collaboration dates back to 2018 and a meeting between a then-12-year-old Nell and The Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne at one of the band’s shows in Calgary, Canada. Nell had already attended several of the band’s concerts, often wearing a recognizable parrot costume in the front row that eventually got Coyne’s attention.

Staying in touch in subsequent years, Coyne and Smith developed a musician connection as the latter learned to play guitar. The pair also began collaborating together, which led to plans to record together that were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic. At Coyne’s suggestion due to her unfamiliarity, Smith recorded a batch of Nick Cave covers for The Flaming Lips to add backing tracks to, and ultimately becoming Where the Viaduct Looms.

Recognizable to some as the song used for the Peaky Blinders intro (and from whose lyrics the album’s title comes), “Red Right Hand” covered by Nell and The Flaming Lips on The Late Show can be seen below:

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