In this world there are a lot of incredible rock bands, Pixies are better than them! Finishing off a special year that saw surprise departures, new music and a renewed hype around the band, the Boston legends played one final UK date of the year at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Support act The Jezebels just don’t work. Their sonic aspirations clearly veer towards ethereal, dream-pop but having stripped all the dreamy elements away they sounded like nothing more than a pastiche of eighties pop indulgence. On stage they acted like they were playing the most cerebral music, but sounded more like Texas than Cocteau Twins. The Aussie four-piece were a lack-lustre start to the evening.
The roar of excitement as Pixies take to the stage is deafening, and the band plug straight into that energy to produce a performance of epic brilliance.
Pixies are one of those rare bands that can allow their music to do all the talking. They played to a minimal back-drop and offered zero crowd interaction as they shot through a career-spanning set-list at relentless pace. They transitioned from tune to tune with no gap and with note perfect delivery.
In pure Pixies fashion the set was a full on tug-of-war between darkness and light, fury and calm, quiet and loud. Their sound remains rock music that has never sounded like anything else, and that always sounds at its best when unleashed on stage.
It would be easy to dismiss Pixies as a mere nostalgia act these days, but the new tracks ‘Andro Queen’, ‘Bagboy’ and ‘What Goes Boom?’ added new depth to the group’s repertoire whilst seamlessly fitting into their careers work.
The set on the whole was solid classic after solid classic that managed to match the mood of the audience at every turn. It later gets mentioned that there was no set-list, with Black Francis instigating each new tune, effectively tailoring the set to the audience needs.
Songs from each Pixies album got an airing with some unexpected inclusions such as fan-favourite ‘La La Love You’ with drummer David Lovering taking vocal duties, and early tunes such as ‘Cactus’, ‘Ed Is Dead’ and ‘I’ve Been Tired’.