Electric Ballroom – 18th October
Camden is sent right back to the forefront of early-‘90s grunge-infused, slacker-rock as The Breeders take to the stage with their most famous, and arguably best, Last Splash line-up. Last Splash, the band’s second and seminal record – erratic and awkward, less pop then debut Pod – was met with lukewarm reception upon its release and considered a flop. It was only the years after, however, that it had been hailed as an iconic work of art that honed the very best of Kim Deal’s songwriting talent that Pixies frontman Black Francis so dismissed.
Whereas The Breeders was formed by Deal and twin sister Kelley as a “f*** you, I’ll show you what I got” to Pixies, Kim ultimately got the last laugh as Last Splash went on to outsell Black Francis’s solo record as well as all the Pixies albums. Tonight, the Breeders – both Deal sisters, bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim MacPherson – to the stage after a four-year absence from London in a nostalgic set that recalls one of the greatest eras of American indie rock.
The Breeders apologise for their four-year absence with a massive 25-song setlist that incorporates the best of Breeders past, present and future. Opening with Last Splash highlight ‘No Aloha’, the set spans far and wide into covers – ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’ by the Beatles and The Amps’ ‘Tipp City’ – while Pod favourite ‘Glorious’ is sung back to the band word for word. Signature song ‘Cannonball’ is no doubt the track that satiates the crowd the most. Poker-faced Wiggs thumbs out the iconic bassline alongside the epochal guitar riffs by the Deal sisters.
“If we get this right, your pupils will dilate,” Kim says as she introduces the band’s cover of ‘Archangels Thunderbird’ by Amon Dull. One of the night’s most memorable moments is when Kim picks up the bass for a cover of the Pixies’ ‘Gigantic’. The night isn’t perfect, not totally polished, but that’s just the nature and mantra of The Breeders.