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Ah, the joys of buying tickets online. Last Friday at 9am, tickets for Flaming Lips and more importantly, The Pixies Playing Doolittle went on sale, as well as a bunch of other bands. Why do promoters decide to all release tickets at the same time, so you end up spending half an hour a sweaty, nervous wreck trying to get tickets to see two of the most exciting, thrilling, revolutionary and downright fantastic bands of the last few decades? One put on a live show filled with the spectacle of the lead singer in a huge inflatable rubber ball, fireworks, people dressed as animals, all sorts of stuff; and the other are a spectacle just because they are there.
For seeing The Pixies live is still a huge event. They turned up in the late ’80’s, blew us away, then self-immolated amongst rancour and confusion. I only saw them live for a few songs back in 1990 at the Reading Festival, before the girl I was seeing at the time had to be rushed back to London as she’d eaten some dodgy food earlier in the day. “I’ll take you to see them next time they tour” she said. They never came back. *sniff* Thanks Charlotte.
So seeing them, live at the Brixton Academy on their first reunion tour was as close to a religious experience as I’ll probably ever get. And I’d reckon that most of the 30- to 40- something crowd would agree. There was a five or six song section where they went through their Spanish numbers, and it was furious and frenetic and damned angry, and probably the best live experience I’ve ever had.
Going back to the Brixton Academy to see them play one of the best albums ever is just the bestest thing ever, if you ask me. Which you haven’t, but as you’re here reading this, I guess you’ve got some interest in them too. Am I right, or what?
And then it’s The Flaming Lips. Another fantastic band, if not quite as influential. But also capable of being utterly transcendent live. I’ve seen them before too, and having had the pleasure of meeting the band (in Dallas airport of all places), I can happily say that they are gentlemen of the highest order, and Wayne Coyne is like the best mad uncle you never had.
There are all sorts of YouTube videos of them doing their stuff live, so it’s hard to pick just one. Here’s a good one from the crowd that shows a little of what they are like:
Please, please go and watch loads more, and if you haven’t seen them live, do. And if you have, go and see them again. Oh here’s another one.
So here’s two songs. First off is Mr Grieves, because it’s just so representative of what The Pixies do best. About four styles of song, hugely ominous lyrics “You can cry, you can mope/But can you swing from a good rope?”, and the fact it’s sheer brilliance. And not bloody Monkey goes to Bloody Heaven.
And secondly, Flaming Lips’s “Do You Realize???” really shouldn’t need any introduction. We played it at our wedding, you know. Wonderful song, wonderful band.