Monday, December 28, 2020

Pixies - live @ Brixton Academy 2004 - Album Review

Formed in Boston, Massachusetts in January 1986, ‘Pixies’ comprised of Charles Thompson [Black Francis] and  Joey Santiago. The pair met whilst studying  at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Thompson dropped out of school and moved to Boston, managing to persuade Santiago to join him in his ventures to form a band. 

Going on to bring Kim deal into the fold, the duo also recruited drummer David Lovering, and so it goes the Pixies began serenading us with their dynamic and idiosyncratic sound.

The most remarkable thing about the Pixies’ reunion - 11 years after their split - is they still can boast about selling out four London shows to a demographic that were potentially too young to remember the quartets first run. There are a few staggering hairlines and full waists on display but the Pixies were a rather interesting looking band when they first walked onto British stages over 14 years ago.
They open the set with a muted cover of Neil Young’s ‘Winterlong’. With bold bouts of improvised noise, this is the kinda flavour most bands would leave until an encore. But true to style the Pixies play it within moments of taking the stage.  It wasn’t the intrinsic onslaught expected, but hearing Kim and Frank harmonise as if they were twins or held an essence of symbiosis was somewhat an ethereal occasion. This was the show that was over a decade in the making, fermenting alone making it a standing  event of the year. Tickets dissipated in under an hour.

Like the songs themselves, the set innately flowed between  loud  aggression to quiet passions, each track followed with succession.

The UK Surf edition of ‘Wave Of Mutilation’ kept the audience ever so blissful for a further few minutes, until the heat was turned up yet again. Every song, as you’d rightfully expect, was incredibly strong. ‘Velouria’ ‘Dead’ and ‘No. 13 Baby’ built the succession of live monsters that could hardly be bettered by a single band, and only blows in the forms of ‘Broken Face’, ‘Something Against You’ and ‘Tame’ could have bled evermore minutes of chaos and excitement from an exhausted and elated crowd. 

When the final rings of Tame ended and echoed across the venue, the Pixies set down their instruments to a much earned  bow to their captive audience, thousands in attendance roared like rabid animals with approval, cries and scream that never seemed to dim ever up until the very moments the four returned for a three song encore.

The Pixies took incentive and brought us some idiosyncratic sounds for 2020, they are back with a brand new single, the Paz Lenchantin-sung ‘Hear Me Out’ that is accompanied by the western-themed video posted here and will appear as the A-side of a new limited-edition 12-inch single .The single, pressed on yellow vinyl, was released Oct. 16  ‘Hear Me Out’ was recorded during sessions for the quartets most recent album  ‘Beneath the Eyrie’ released earlier this year. 

Continuing to brew new music and new sounds for out ears and ideologies, but never too far from slipping back into classic tones of the Boston born group and asking Alexa to play their live brixton academy performance circa 2004. Whilst tickets sold out the album is at your leisure to live those moments as if you were right at the academy with them.

— Patricia Poulton
Image: Travis Shinn


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