It’s the final night of the Live at the Marquee festival in Cork city and it’s been an amazing couple of weeks. Some of the biggest Irish and International acts have played in sunshine and in rain under the lights of the marquee.
Pixies return after two years as part of their 2016 world tour and this time, they’ve been asked to close it out. Supported by Bleeding Heart Pigeons, the lads from Limerick do well with their own twist of synth infused pop and sonorous vocals.However, the attention is clearly focused on the arrival of Pixies and without so much as a look to the crowd, they walk towards their instruments and begin a raging performance of the instrumental B-Side, ‘Velvety’`before playing tracks from Surfer Rosa and Bossanova like ‘Something Against You’, ‘Rock Music’ and the iconic ‘Hey’ from Doolittle.
There’s very little interaction from Pixies when they play and I can’t say in the handful of times I’ve seen them, they have ever spoken many words. However, when you get over 30 songs jammed into a 90 minute set, I’d say all is forgiven. Throughout most of the night, we get to hear almost all of Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa with the only big exclusion being ‘Gigantic’. It may be the loss of founding member Kim Deal which inspires this omission but it has to be said that replacement and current bassist Paz is ever present on stage to support Black Francis and deliver the hefty bass hooks.
Only a couple of tracks from Indie Cindy make it into the set, along with a couple of classics from Trompe le Monde. Of course the giant tracks of the night for the fair weather fans are ‘Here Comes Your Man’ and ‘Where Is My Mind?’ but what many of the more intrigued Pixies fans are waiting for is the new material. Their upcoming release has been announced as a departure from what Pixies wanted to achieve with Indie Cindy or the three separate EP’s they released in recent times. Tonight they give us a decent teaser with ‘Um Chagga Lagga’, ‘Classic Masher’ and title track, ‘Head Carrier’. There’s going to be a track dedicated to the aforementioned Ms. Deal written by Black Francis, ‘a thank-you note’ according to interviews spurred on by Paz’ insistence to sing alongside Francis on the new record.
When I spoke to Joey Santiago two years ago, he had nothing but enthusiasm, full of vigour to write the next chapter of Pixies’ story. “We are committed to the long haul,” he said. All going well, the next release will be something to lay alongside the Pixies of old. There’s no reason why it can’t be; all three founding members look fantastic and Lovering (drums) more than any of the rest seems to have found his ‘happy place’, so to speak.
Although the sound at times within the marquee gets a little hazy, the overall experience couldn’t be affected by it; Pixies are raw talent and they are untouchable when they play together. There are no fuck ups, this band are playing tight and seem to be very close once again. An encore of ‘La La Love You’ from Lovering finishes Live at the Marquee for 2016. Until next year!
Pixies photographed by Miki Barlock