Live Reports

PIXIES, live at L’Olympia Paris

A year on from their two night sellout at the Olympia last year, the Pixies return for another series of gigs here in Paris, this time performing three nights at the same venue.

Openers The Pale White from Newcastle in England walked on stage to cheers many due to the fact that the singer, Adam Hope was pointing out that he was wearing a Pixies shirt for the evening, a good tactic to get everyone’s attention at least! It was clear at several points during their set that wearing their t-shirt not only signified that they were fans of the headliners, but that they were also a huge influence on their music (just like many before them.) To their credit they did exactly what they would probably have hoped for, having by the end of their set the majority of the crowd cheering like crazy for them. Bassist Tom Booth filled the stage left solidly, and special mention has to be given to drummer Jack Hope, and absolute fireball of energy from beginning to end. We’ll keep a look out for these guys in the future.

At 9pm promptly the Pixies themselves walked on stage and opened with Cecilia Ann, the instrumental surf rock opener of 1990 album Bossanova – for anyone who wasn’t already in the know this particular tour was dedicated to playing both the Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde albums back-to-back in their entirely, which when you include the five encores we received tonight made for a full two-hour set of thirty-four songs. The crowd were getting their money’s worth, even though you could sense at times that there was a portion of the crowd who were there to hear something more career-spanning and weren’t completely connected to some of the deeper album tracks.

But still, this is the Pixies and we’re here to watch legends at work, which is exactly what we got. Black Francis, Joey Santiago and David Lovering crank out the songs without fuss, song after song without excessive fanfare, just solid work. Joined now by bassist Emma Richardson, the sound was perfect, the performances – almost – flawless.

Five encores on this second of three nights in Paris, the show ending with Caribou – the classics obviously on rotation for this end of show slot, we could list a dozen songs we wished we would have heard here, but again, this was a two hour show, and you’ll hear no complaints from us!

words and photos : Brian Downie