January 2018
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Manta:

I won’t go on about the Pixies gig too much because I’ve gone on about the Pixies too much before and I’m sure to do it again before very long. Whilst I’m not a particular fan of the album as gig format, in the absence of any new material I can see that they need to do something to spice up the reunion, and Doolittle is a majestic album after all.

Whereas the 2004 gigs were a bit austere, the 2009 edition is far more multimedia. Before the band appear we get huge digital adverts telling us to buy the CD or USB of the gig – of our gig – in the foyer afterwards. And then, for what seems like an age, we get Un Chien Andalou, slicing up eyeballs and making us wince.

They play the 4 b sides in relative darkness, and then they sound the first chords of Debaser, the stage lights illuminate the band, the crowd goes wild, and the screen behind them springs into life. There’s a different film for each song. Durng ‘Here Comes Your Man’, each of the band is shown miming to the song and pulling faces. It’s a knowing retread of the original video. Some of the videos are sinister. The Bunuel film gets another look in. By the time we get to ‘Gouge Away’, we’re presented with footage of the band, effortlessly fading from Frank to Kim to Joe to David.

It’s really impressive, and, as they’re goofing around, it reminds me that for all their influence and legacy, the Pixies were always a pretty funny band. At the end of the show, the band are soaking up the applause, bowing in front of a huge screen showing them bowing, and doing rudimentary Mexican Waves.

Can they just keep cranking out these tours? Well, I’d go to the Surfer Rosa show, and the Bossanova show. Yes, I’d even go to the Trompe Le Monde show. And after that – surely Vegas beckons. They’ve finally realised they’re in the entertainment industry, and they’re putting on a show.

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