Took a dip into nostalgia on Wednesday evening at the Roundhouse (or more likely other peoples nostalgia) with the Breeders. I have all four previous albums collected over time and when they have hit the bargain bin on occasions and have liked all of them for their eclecticism. I hadn’t been to see them back in the day so less of an emotional attachment and the songs didn’t epitomise any particular time in my life etc.
Kim Deal is regarded by many as one of the great-unsung heroes of her musical generation. The Breeders side project, allowing her to find an artistic outlet from the Pixies, has been influential in shaping many bands that followed. Also I understand viewed universally as a nice person.
But the new album, of which they played 8 tracks at the show, didn’t feel to me to be offering much new. The set list shows a focus on the new album “All nerve “and “The Last Splash” with a smattering of the remaining albums.
- Set List:
- New Year
- Wait in the Car
- All Nerve
- No Aloha
- Divine Hammer
- Howl at the Summit
- Drivin’ on 9 (Ed’s Redeeming Qualitiescover)
- Walking With a Killer
- Fortunately Gone
- Off You
- I Just Wanna Get Along
- Happiness Is a Warm Gun (The Beatlescover)
- Skinhead #2
- Gigantic (Pixiescover)
- Do You Love Me Now?
- Nervous Mary
In terms of the live performance it didn’t really have much energy. Now this is partly I think because many of the songs are gentler with a few rockier numbers interspersed but I also think the venue, maybe due to its volume, tends to take the rough edges off performances .I have seen over a number of years. In short it’s all a bit to civilised for my current tasted. They also exude a very laid back vibe.
The audience was also a bit civilised, many of whom clearly held Kim and band in reverential awe with a hint of national treasure thrown in. Through out the first half of the set there were plenty of calls of “We love you Kim”.
So after 45 minutes I had to leave, as I just wasn’t feeling it. They had played a number of new songs in that first half but there wasn’t really much energy, a good bit of meandering chat in between songs and a bit of delay in starting songs. That might be appealing and cute for the faithful but I just wanted them to get on with it.
So in this review I feel I’ve really turned into Victor Meldrew but my conclusion would really be that the live show is not really their forte at this point. Maybe the adage “Never meet your heroes “ has some resonance here .A great back catalogue, which I do listen to occasionally (and this outing has not diminished that aspect for me) but possibly run out of puff.
The support were Pip Blom, who have been adopted by Radio 6 music, particularly Marc Riley. They came on early and unlike the Breeders the set built to a crescendo with the energy building to the last song. Pip is a 20 year old with a popular music heritage as apparently both parents are in the business. Lots of female led bands around at the moment so competition is tough. She does write fairly mature songs I would say ,being a bit ageist , but is there anything special here? Time will tell on how this develops.