serious

OK. Now I believe it.

Right. Those Pesky Piskies were fantastic last night. Let's get that out of the way right now. I think my scepticism was justified in the light of reunions generally, but has now been firmly answered.

See also Fiona's review here.

Oddly, there seemed to be some sort of "easy-to-meet-people" field in the Academy last night. I got there with Fiona, and before we left the lobby she went to buy a couple of wet things, during which Laurelei arrived with her friend Lisa (?). While people were busy saying how astonishing that was given how difficult it always is to find people inside, Christa and Russ turned up. No sign of Nils, though.

There had been speculation, of course, about who was opening for them. The night before I believe it was Delays (I think I saw them supporting Clearlake last year, and if so then they were pretty good), and the rumour was that the support act was going to be British Sea Power, but actually it turned out to be Pixies' drummer's solo project.

Yes, folks, it was a magic show. Well, a series of quirky scientific demonstrations, in fact, including a larger version of one of those annoying aircannon (made out of a kickdrum, naturally, and capable of blowing a six-inch smokering over fifty feet), the inevitable electroluminescent pickled-gherkin, and various pieces of fun and games with high-frequency currents and a very powerful magnet (justified with reference to an alleged meteorite). I may never be able to look at Mr Lovering the same way again.

And when the main event arrived, it rocked a morbidly obese one. They really didn't mess about, jumping straight into the hits and staying there until the end. It was nearly all from Doolittle or earlier, and even the ones from later albums included things like U-Mass, which were written early on. We got (but not in this order) Caribou, Vamos (particularly silly guitar break - Joe left it in a stand centre-stage feeding back, and went over to kick his effects pedals on and off. After a bit, he solicited applause for the guitar rather than for himself), Isla De Encanta, Ed Is Dead, Nimrod's Son, Levitate Me, Bone Machine, Something Against You, Broken Face, Gigantic, Where is my Mind, Cactus, Debaser, I Bleed, Tame, Wave of Mutilation (twice - UK surf version as the second song, and the album version as an encore), Here Comes Your Man, Monkey Gone To Heaven, Mr. Grieves, Crackity Jones, La La Love You, No. 13 Baby, Hey, Gouge Away, Into the White (at which point Fiona bounced off the ceiling - her favorite, absolute dead last in the set and straight after Cactus, which she'd been waiting for all evening), Velouria and Is She Weird. 29 songs, by my reckoning, in an hour and a half, with some (but only a little) chat in between.

They were completely on top of the material, so I can easily believe that they've been playing together again for a year or two. They seemed fully rehearsed, relaxed, and enjoying themselves. Apart from having added a little weight and (in three cases) having a little less hair, it all seemed like they'd never left. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that they were slightly better last night than when I saw them in '89 just after Doolittle came out. I got a bit of a turn when someone went past in front of us who looked very like a friend who'd been at that concert and could conceivably have last night . . . but unless she's found an antiaging ray I don't think it could actually have been.

No sign of Planet of Sound, or of my favourite, Break My Body. Or of River Euphrates, which is also a notable omission. Damn good set, though. Damn good set. Not easy to describe, however, as mostly there wasn't anything flashy going on. They just stood there or stepped to and from the microphones, hammered skins, pressed pedals, and kicked up one fuck of a racket. The phrase "four very ordinary-looking people making an extraordinary noise" was used in the Gouge documentary, and it applies. Perfectly.

Anyway, it ended and we left. And bumped into Christa and Russ on the way out, closely followed by Laurelei and Lisa, and then somebody else Fiona knows (Goodness - Mercy Alex apparently. Don't think I've met him before, and in fact I still haven't, really. Heather, too. I remember that Fiona had mentioned seeing a Heather and wondering when she'd seen a Heather. Ho hum). No sign of Nils, though.

Also, before I forget, thanks to redcountess for pointing out http://www.thebrainstrust.co.uk/article.79.3106.html, which is well sarcastic. Should be reprinted on the front page of every tabloid, every day for a week. or maybe a month.
  • Current Mood: Insufferable
  • Current Music: Pixies - Is she weird?
They're rumoured to be supporting the Chilis when they play Hyde park, I can only hope :)
They are in Dublin, but I'm not sure about Britain. Good luck. On last night's form, the more people get to see them the better.
I think I beat you to that one - just. Only because I read your review, though.

Cheers.
Oh, and the two people I bumped into the way out were Heather and Alex, who I didn't realise you hadn't met or I'd have introduced you to each other.
I was there, too :) I did see Nils, but he didn't see me (actually, I'm not sure he'd know who I was.)

it rocked a morbidly obese one

Spot on :)
On the way to the station (and then again on the train) we bumped into a woman who looked intensely familiar. I can't place her, though. I'm trying to work out where I know her from - and therefore who she is - but I can't. It's really annoying and embarrassing. She definitely recognised me, too, because she looked pleased and said hello.

Bugger! Somebody shoot me now.
Heh. I had a similar thing at last B-Movie - someone came up and said "Karen! I haven't seen you in ages!" and looked really pleased to see me. It took til the end of the night for me to figure out that it was a friend of Thrusting Tim's who I knew from parties etc in Cambridge.
She didn't have pink hair and a le Tigre t-shirt on, did she ? I saw someone of that description who looked terribly familiar, but I couldn't place her.
Right. Well, obviously you just haven't been properly introduced. Nils this is Liz, and Liz this is Nils.

I rather wish I'd joined in the scrabble for tickets now. Oh well, can't be helped.
A double CD of the concert is $25. A set of all four Brixton concerts is $90. That's only £48 at the moment. Tempting.