THE Pixies reunion has now lasted longer than their initial influential flush as a band in the late 80s and early 90s, but only this year have they released any new music, and that noteworthy development has since been overshadowed by news of the departure of their bassist-vocalist Kim Deal.
Kim Shattuck is the woman with the thankless task of filling the charismatic Deal’s shoes, preserving to some degree her otherworldly backing vocals which are such a feature of Pixies’ idiosyncratic sound and charged with kicking off this set with the satisfying fuzz bassline of Wave Of Mutilation.
Such is the strength of their catalogue that an eccentric favourite was rarely more than one song away, although they took their time revving up to the nosebleed punk pace at which they operate most ruthlessly, appealing along the way with the stealthier likes of Caribou.
New song Bagboy slotted neatly into their extensive, dynamic but seamless set, while their cover of The Fall’s New Big Prinz could easily have been one of their own angular, barked compositions. Their own demented rockabilly groove, Nimrod’s Son, was taken at steamroller pace before a no-nonsense closing salvo aimed squarely at the moshpit, including indie disco classic Debaser, a pacier reprise of Wave Of Mutilation and a molten Planet Of Sound.
At a time when it certainly feels like formula dictates the mainstream, this show was an invigorating reminder that a bunch of weirdos can still win over the masses.