And why am I dredging up this old 80s punk/indie stalwart? Well its because I was at the Pixies Play Doolittle Live show at good old Festie Hall - 2nd night!
On top of Black Francis' surprisingly powerful vocal chops, the rest of the band were equally super tight. I would have liked to have been on the other side of Festie hall closer to Joey Santiago, but I had a relatively clear view of Black Francis's shiny pate and David Lovering's (who looked the oldest) ferrulic mastery ... the man can certainly bang those cans!! From where I was, Kim Deal looked like she was set back a little, but she was her usual smiley chatty kathy self. And really, she just has to pluck a couple of strings and you're hearing cannonball ... am I right ... or is it just me?
Anyways, on the lead up to this I deliberately stayed away from Doolittle, but pumped myself up by watching Pixies live on Youtube. Still I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Festie Hall freaked me a little, mainly because its so bright when you first get in and you can really see the size of the place and the size of the crowd that you're about to be acquainted with in an eventual body crush.
The show opened with the Bunuel/Dali classic Un Chien Andalou projected onto the backdrop of the stage. The lights go out and the Pixies come out on stage to thundering shouts and applause. I've never felt such a surge of excitement from a crowd before. They started the gig with a couple of B-sides, then it was straight into Debaser and the rest of Doolittle in running order!
Doolittle was one of the defining albums of my teenage years and The Pixies were probably the last rock based band that offered anything new and innovative (you may of course object!). Its sometimes hard to understand the fervour that this band generates in their fans. They've always divided the indie/hardcore communities but I think they can be all things to everyone ... even an awkward spotty and confused individual cursed with an avid imagination and a lack of opportunity!
It was a relatively "older" crowd (so the young 'uns haven't quite caught up with this part of the 80s in these revisionist times) with a soupcon of young headbangers including a group near me doing the hardcore dance! They got told off by this other guy halfway through telling them to move up to the front and they gesticulated back saying why didn't he move to the back ... Juvenile all round! And they quietened down so it was a FAILED on their part!. Anyhoo, each track was met with howls of excited recognition ... and we were all singing along ... don't you worry. Its hard for me to actually say which were the standout tracks because they were all brilliant (I know I don't mean to sound like a total fangirl) but if I had to choose for me it would have been "Tame, Crackity Jones, Hey and Gouge Away". No scrap that ... they were ALL great.
The band did 2 encores, completing the canon of Doolittle b-sides and then playing a song each from their other albums including an amazing version of Caribou from Come on Pilgrim!
I swear they cranked the sound up for the encores. My right ear was throbbing from the Planet of Sound!! Or perhaps it was simply a manifestation of euphoria from witnessing such an amazing gig from a band we had all given up on many moons ago.