Big Frank returns

Well where do you start with The Pixies? One of the seminal bands of the 90's they racked up classic after classic and tonight they play a set just littered with greatest hits. They do however, start quite slowly and I hear some of the crowd wondering what all the fuss is about as they start with a slow version of 'Wave of Mutilation', followed by the rather mellow 'Where is My Mind?' and 'Here Comes Your Man'. Any doubters though must surely have had their fears allayed by a fantastic version of 'Holiday Song' though, louder, more intense and just as good as you remember it being!

Kim looks a bit spaced out during the early songs, a smile on her face as she stares out hauntingly into the crowd. Despite the absence of hair on Joey, the rest of the band look pretty much the same as they always did. The Pixies have never been the most exciting band visually but when the material is this strong it really doesn't matter. Considering their heritage, it is a surprise though that there isn't that big a crowd and that the reaction further back is not as ecstatic as it is nearer the front.

A bit like Iron Maiden the night before, you find yourself trying to anticipate what song they will play next and to be fair they don't leave much out. All the favourites are on display from 'Bone Machine' to 'Caribou', 'Monkey Gone To Heaven' to the awesome 'Debaser'. As the set progresses they really seem to be enjoying themselves, laughing and joking in relaxed fashion. After 'Caribou' they finish but don't actually leave the stage before an encore that although totally botched proves to be the highlight! After one verse of 'Gigantic' the drums fail to come in at the appointed place and it all falls apart, they spend the next few minutes analysing the mistake and working out how to get back into it, we might as well be watching a rehearsal! It's all done with good humour though and the crowd laugh along with the band before they eventually sort themselves out and pull off a stunning version.

It remains to be seen what the new material will hold but it seems like they've recaptured their enthusiasm for it and put their differences behind them and that can only bode well for the future.