Pixies triumphant return to Glasgow

Pixies Live in Glasgow

Its Monday, what is the best remedy for a weekend dominated by back to school shopping and reading about how great Rebellion Festival was by all and sundry on Facebook? (Note to self: get to Rebellion soon…..). Well, for this Monday it was going to see Pixies as part of Magner’s Summer Nights at Kelvingrove Bandstand.

I’d been looking forward to seeing them for ages, especially after missing out in December when they played Barrowland. It would be the first time I’d seen them since Paz Lenchantin joined the band following Kim Deal’s departure. I was slightly worried about what songs which heavily featured Kim would be like, but was looking forward to the gig immensely.

Fortunately, the rain from earlier in the day had gone off and as I arrived at Kelvingrove, the sun was splitting the sky. That was a good omen. The next good omen was the pre-gig playlist. As I arrived at the venue, the first track I heard was the “Colourbox Official World Cup Theme”. This is a favourite of mine from years ago. It took me back to indie discos from the 80s/90s. The tunes continued to come in the same vein – Bunnymen, R.E.M., Sugar, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth.

pixies live memories

This also led to a bit of reminiscing about Pixies gigs gone by – remembering highlights like the gig in Barrowland when the lights came up and exit music started signalling the end of the gig. Many people had started to leave, only for the band to return and launch into a blistering version of “Wave of Mutilation”.

It also raised some not so great memories – Pixies last tour before they split (first time round) at the SECC. That gig had a great support line up, including Cud and Teenage Fanclub. All had been great, Pixies hit the stage, then 3 songs in, the stage collapsed and ended the gig. It wasn’t rescheduled as they split after the tour.

However, one of my fellow gig-goers reminded me that on their first SECC gig after reforming, they returned for second encore. They announced it was for all the oldies/mums and dads at the back who had been at the previous fated SECC gig and proceeded to play a set of songs intended for that gig.


Back to tonight’s gig and first up was Fews, who were a new one on me. I wasn’t expecting much when I saw the man-bun on one of the guitarists, and the lead singer strapped on his guitar like Nick Heyward.

I was pleasantly surprised though and quite enjoyed their set. Nothing ground breaking. Shades of Ride at some points and bass lines that made me think of The Cure/Joy Division (don’t get excited it was only for a second).

There were a couple of good tracks.  The band did put everything into their performance. (Evidenced by the state of the singers shirt after their short set.) They received a mixed reception from the people around me who were perhaps impatient for Pixies?


As per the great organisation I’ve come to expect the events at the Bandstand, Pixies took to the stage at almost dead on 9pm. They launched into “Gouge Away”, followed in quick succession by “Wave of Mutilation”, their well-received cover of East Kilbride’s favourite sons, Jesus and Mary Chain’s “Head On”, “Rock Music” and “Isla De Encanta”.

That was the tone set for the rest of the gig, tune after tune with no irritating gaps or inane between song banter. Just start tune, play tune, finish tune, and launch into next tune.

The 30 song career spanning set was full of crowd pleasers drawn from across their whole back catalogue. While they played for a solid 90 minutes finishing at 10.30 due to curfews, they could have played for another 90 minutes with some of the tracks they didn’t manage to fit in. Tame (which one punter shouted for in Black Francis style on several occasions!), Gigantic, Debaser, I Bleed and the like. That isn’t a criticism as the set was fantastic and newer songs sat perfectly beside older classics from Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa & Doolittle.

Every track was well received by the partisan crowd with especially loud cheers reserved for the likes of “Monkey Gone to Heaven”.

The lighting was impressive throughout the gig too, with vivid red lights for “the devil is 6” lines in “Monkey”. Nimrod’s Son was another that was particularly well received with thousands singing/shouting the infamous lines – “you are the son of a mother****er” and “you are the son of incestuous union”!

Everyone in the band got their moment and chance to shine, drummer David Lovering taking vocal duties on the Doolittle track “La La Love You”. Joey Santiago taking the applause and shredding his guitar and playing it with his cap during “Vamos”.

Of course Black Francis shone all the way through, swapping to acoustic guitar for the last section of the the set. This didn’t mean any less intensity (with Joey still on lead), but when he launched into “All the Saints” from Head Carrier, the sun had gone down, the full moon was glowing through the trees behind the stage, and the surrounding trees were lit up different colours, which gave quite a poignant atmosphere for the lyrics of the song.

This was followed up with another crowd pleaser, “Here Comes Your Man” before the aforementioned “La La Love You”. Then the closing trio of “Nimrod’s Son”, the classic “Where is My Mind?” and “Vamos”.


The band took their bows, and the applause of the appreciative punters before the dry ice started pumping from the stage and they launched into their final song for the night “Into the White”. Any doubts I had that Paz would be able to cut it dissipated as she took on Kim’s role like a boss which contributed to a storming set closer.

Not a bad way to start the week. As I walked away from the gig with a huge smile on my face, I felt a pang of jealousy for anyone that was going to the second sold out show on Tuesday.

Set List
  1. Gouge Away
  2. Wave of Mutilation
  3. Head On
  4. Rock Music
  5. Isla De Encanta
  6. U-Mass
  7. Caribou
  8. Tenement Song
  9. Cactus
  10. Magdalena
  11. No. 13 Baby
  12. All I Think About Now
  13. Classic Masher
  14. Monkey Gone to Heaven
  15. Um Chagga Lagga
  16. I’ve Been Tired
  17. Bel Esprit
  18. Bone Machine
  19. Subbacultcha
  20. Hey
  21. Mr Grieves
  22. Dead
  23. Ana
  24. All the Saints
  25. Here Comes Your Man
  26. La La Love You
  27. Nimrod’s Son
  28. Where is My Mind?
  29. Vamos
  30. Into the White (Encore)

Open in Spotify

Gigs in Glasgow next week anyone?

Not in any way an exhaustive gig list for Glasgow for next week, merely a list of highlights for me! (Even if I can’t get to them all)

Monday (& Tuesday) sees the return of Pixies to Glasgow, I missed the last Glasgow gig due to selling out quickly and the secondary ticket market – enough said for the moment – but looking forward to seeing them on Monday in the open air at Kelvingrove (amongst the many other great names playing over the course of 2 weeks). Hope the rain stays off!

Next weekend (as with virtually every weekend in Glasgow!) there are some great new and legendary gigs:


Friday 11th at the Old Hairdressers its Dead Hope supported by Curdle (Trippy riot pop). “Dead Hope are a three piece post punk band from Glasgow. They don’t do many gigs but they have an album coming out. It’s very good so they’re playing here to share it!” Please see sidebar for a brilliant Dead Hope song (Truth Be Told)



STOP PRESS: Dead Hope will have copies of their debut album for sale at the gig. Expect a review here sometime soon…





Saturday 12th – 2 legendary bands are playing in Glasgow! – Ex-Cathedra play one of their final EVER gigs in King Tut’s and Hugh Reed plays in McChuils for a rare (these days) Glasgow appearance – you choose which one to go to!

Sunday 13th – Another seminal band and arch-miserablists- Arab Strap follow in Pixies footsteps and play Kelvingrove Bandstand.