Pixies, Brixton Academy


It’s hard to say very much about seeing one of your favourite bands for the first time in about fifteen years. You know all the words; even if they start with a series of B-sides you can sing along. Everyone else does the same, even the ones who weren’t born when Come On Pilgrim came out. At times, like the first few lines of ‘Hey’, the Academy sings louder than Frank Black, hits all the notes, gets the timing exactly right. It’s powerfully affecting. It’s great.

But: if they’re only playing Doolittle, and you follow the heresy of thinking it’s not their best album, what do you do?  OK, it’s a great record and it hasn’t dated and everyone loves it and there’s a book on it and everything. And I guess this was the point of this evening in a Don’t Look Back way. But when you’ve written so many great songs it does seem a bit odd to lock them away. Or to choose those B-sides – you do need something else to pad out Doolittle, as no Pixies album breaks the 40-minute mark , but all three of ‘Here Comes Your Man’s backing tracks instead of ‘Velouria’, ‘Ed Is Dead’, etc etc?!

Anyway, it was great and they sounded fantastic; ignore my moaning. Kim Deal’s little asides stole the show, as usual, especially her warning that a ‘doddery old fella’ named Vaughan Oliver was lurking in the crowd. Here’s some live Pixies, from one of the CDs from the 2004 reunion tour: ‘Goodnight Kim!’ ‘Goodnight Charles!’

River Euphrates‘ – Pixies – NYC December 18 2004 (late)

Where Is My Mind‘ – Pixies – NYC December 18 2004 (late)

Gigantic‘ – Pixies – NYC December 18 2004 (late)

Buy the very good digital download of the gig here – it’s where I got the image above.



About jkneale

BothBarsOn's London correspondent.

Posted on October 18, 2009, in Gig reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I know they don’t have as much cultural capital as the Pixies, but the Stuffies did a similar b-sides bit at the 8LGM gigs – straight after the main album. Those sad completists like myself loved it, but I did remember thinking that the atmosphere suffered a little.

    Still, it sorts the ‘authentic’ fans from the chaff, eh? ;-] (that’s a BIG wink)

  2. But all the Pixies’ b-sides are available on one CD, and everyone seemed to know them. It’s not like they put that much out… they even do the Eraserhead one live every now and again. Oh well. 🙂

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