Gig review: Pixies at the Glasgow Barrowlands


‘Wave of Mutilation’ isn’t just the opening number of Pixies’ gargantuan Barrowlands set - it’s pretty much a statement of intent.

What follows is a breathtaking 34-song gallop around the history of the band who all but single-handedly invented grunge in the 1990s.

Of course, everybody at the gig is well aware that this isn’t the classic Pixies line-up - with charismatic singer and bassist Kim Deal no longer a part of the band.

She’s ably replaced by Kim Shattick from punk band The Muffs and, while Deal’s vocals are missed at points, a carefully chosen setlist minimises the disruption.

It’s testament to the band’s incredible output that they can miss out two of their greatest hits, ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’ and ‘Here Comes Your Man’, without anybody feeling short changed.

There’s still room for an embarrassment of riches, with welcoming howls greeting all the classics - ‘Caribou’, ‘Debaser’, ‘Planet of Sound’, ‘Where is my Mind?’, ‘Bone Machine’ and ‘Nimrod’s Son’ all whirl by in a blur of feedback and yelps courtesy of singer Frank Black.

Black himself remains one of the great enigmatic frontmen, saying not a single world to the adoring sea of faces confronting him.

His only concession to audience interaction comes close to the end when he waves at the crowd, a rare broad grin breaking out on his face when the greeting is returned en masse.

A serious contender for the gig of the year.