hmv.com reviews... Pixies @ Eden Sessions
Fresh from the release of their long, long awaited comeback album Indie Cindy, Pixies tore up the Eden Sessions last night (July 10th), here's our full review...
Pixies, the alternative rock band that has had a major influence on a generation of more alternative rock bands.
The Eden Sessions arena at the Eden Project in sunny Cornwall.
Any good supports?
Tricot, an energetic female four piece math rock band from Kyoto, Japan, were the engaging opening act. They easily captured the attention of the swiftly growing crowd with their tastefully intricate sound that is a little soul, a little jazz, somewhat progressive and most definitely loud. An inspired choice.
Was it full? And how were the crowd?
It was full indeed. The receptive crowd were rewarded with clear skies and an unforgettable evening's entertainment.
So what was the set like? What did they play?
With a legendary back catalogue and the impressive material from their new album, Indie Cindy, Pixies must find it difficult choosing what not to play. Consider this; such is the quality of their output that they played every song from their debut EP Come On Pilgrim bar 'The Holiday Song' and “Ed is Dead” (a firm fan favourite). 'Levitate Me' seemed extraordinarily magical in the ethereal Eden Sessions surroundings. During 'Mr Grieves' singer Black Francis questioningly delivered the line “hope everything's alright?” directly to the crowd and the roaring response was one of mass approval.
'Bagboy' was the first new song to feature and it went down seamlessly well as did 'Magdalena 318' a little later on. Other new songs included 'Green and Blues', a raucous version of 'What Goes Boom' (with added screams) and there was a breathtaking rendition of 'Indie Cindy' too. Almost a third of the set was taken from their career-best Doolittle and it was during songs like 'Debaser' and 'Gouge Away' (featuring a lengthened intro) that the audience were able to fully appreciate new addition Paz Lenchantin's absolutely rock-solid bass playing contribution (she has been touring with the band since December last year). Her backing vocals too were excellent and brought out interesting new colours in the harmonies - 'La La Love You' sounded particularly fresh and playful.
Drummer and part-time magician David Lovering consistently powered his way through the entire set giving extra kick to the sound whenever needed. 'Vamos' found guitarist Joey Santiago soloing with his guitar facing backwards, then he turned it back around and continued playing it with a drumstick borrowed from Lovering (who never missed a beat). And as the song came to its loud, abrupt ending, so too did the show. The cheering crowd was bathed in light for the band members to see as they waved and bowed in appreciation before disappearing into the night.
Any good between song banter?
None, apart from a few surprising words uttered following a mishap right at the beginning of the very first song 'Rock Music' which prompted Francis to say that they were starting over, which they did. Pixies just don't do banter – they simply fill any available time with more incredible music – tonight they managed to pack 29 songs into 94 minutes.
Did they put on much of a show?
There were no video displays or lasers, but there was an array of what looked like twenty rectangular tin/mirror panels suspended behind the band in two rows of ten that caused the smoke and spotlights to reflect in weird ways every now and then. In stark contrast to their incredibly dynamic and chaotic sound the band members were quite composed throughout, preferring to focus on their musical performance.
What was the highlight of the set?
There was tremendous enthusiasm displayed in the sea of hands held high with fingers counting from five to seven in the exploding crescendo of 'Monkey Gone to Heaven.' However, 'Where Is My Mind?' was always guaranteed to be a crowd favourite and Francis slyly pre-empted this by strumming a muted, muddy set of chords on his acoustic guitar that melted into the familiar introduction prompting an ecstatic roar from the arena as Santiago let loose the lead guitar. The arena rapturously sang along to the chorus and gleefully continued echoing the falsetto “ooh-oohs” of the outro.
Where can I catch them next?
Pixies play Manchester and then the T in the Park Festival.
Indie Cindy, along with the rest of the Pixies' back catalogue, is available from hmv stores across the UK.