Pixies review – still thrillingly raw and vital
De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea
The alt-rock veterans focus on their new album, but you’re never far from classics that haven’t dated at all
Tonight’s gig is billed as “a very special show”, in a small venue. Then it adds another fact that some might consider a caveat: “giving fans a taste of their new album.” Uh-oh. There may be people who prefer the music that the legendary US alt-rock band, Pixies, have made since their reformation to the music that made them legendary in the first place, but you never actually meet one.
A gig featuring three-quarters of their latest album, Beneath the Eyrie, should theoretically be for diehards only. But you clearly don’t get through a reunion that’s lasted 16 years, weathered the departure of bassist Kim Deal and then her replacement leaving, and new albums that received the worst reviews of the band’s career, without a certain pragmatism. So while the setlist is apparently being decided on the hoof by frontman Black Francis, it’s both hugely expansive – 34 songs, including B-sides and a cover of Neil Young’s Winterlong – and structured so that you’re never more than a couple of minutes away from something off Doolittle or Surfer Rosa. No 13 Baby, Bone Machine, River Euphrates, songs that are 30 years old but haven’t dated at all, and that Pixies, to their immense credit, still play with thrilling rawness and vitality.Continue reading...