Pixies at Brixton Academy
The term “legend” is bandied around the music industry so much these days that the term has become almost meaningless. However, when looking for the definition in its purest term, you cant look much further than The Pixies. Fresh from dropping a new single Um Chagga Lagga which preceded the announcement of new album Head Carrier, The Pixies stormed into the Brixton Academy to play their only UK date this year.
There’s often a temptation for bands to play new material in their live shows, especially with an imminent new album. However, those fears were quickly put to bed last night, with opener Bone Machine sending the expectant crowd into an instant frenzy. Despite their advancing years, Black Francis et al seemed more than sprightly, happily skipping about the stage, almost goading the audience to increase their frenetic dancing. Rarely will you see those of an age over thirty get fully stuck into a mosh pit, but clearly the nostalgia of youth was too much for some to resist, as spectacles and cardigans went flying. Wave of Mutilation was quick to follow, and the Pixies hit machine was now fully up and running. New track Head Carrier was perhaps the trough of the evening, drawing many blank expressions from the assembled crowd, but clearly The Pixies got the message quickly, heading straight back into the classics, with a euphoric rendition of Monkey Gone To Heaven.
From then on, the songs seem to skip on at a ludicrous rate, such was the energy that Francis and co, 150+ years between them, were expelling from the stage. There was no time for the usual chit chat between the band and the collected revellers present, not when you have thirty two songs to play in just over an hour and a half. Gouge Away was the next classic hit to draw an ecstatic scream from the crowd – Black Francis’s snarling lyrics drowning in the high shriek of Joey Santiago’s guitar. Hey was next, its simplistic melody proving a welcome relief from the fast paced madness of the previous twenty songs. The end came with the big one, as 2000 people readily sang along to the classic Where is My Mind?
It’s been a long ride for the Pixies, and few could have guessed back in 1986 the impact that they would have, and continue to have, forty years later. For those needing a reminder of what legendary looks like in music, go see The Pixies.
Photos: Guifré de Paray
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Watch the video for Monkey Gone to Heaven here: