Billy Corgan's band 'Mark 4', attack London with 3 hours of hits
The Smashing Pumpkins performed their first UK show in seven years last night, June 19, at London’s (intimate by usual Pumpkins’ standards), Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Billy Corgan and Jimmy Chamberlain are reunited, with new touring members of the band which Corgan says is the Smashing Pumpkins Mark 4 – bassist Ginger Reyes (The Halo Friendlies), guitarist Jeff Schroeder (The Lassie Foundation), and keyboardist Lisa Harriton.
All dressed clinically in white, the band played several new tracks from their forthcoming new studio album ‘Zeitgeist’ – including new single ‘Tarantula’ as well as swathes of career spanning tracks such as ‘Winterlong.’
Opening with new track ‘United States,’ Corgan set the tone of the night, with a guitar homage to Hendrix’s ‘Star Spangled Banner’ – as a Smashing Pumpkins, black, version of the flag unfolded behind them on the stage.
They chucked in a bizarre version of The Doors’ ‘The End’ too which took us a while to work out, and then Corgan introduced themselves to the enthralled crowd “We’re The Smashing Pumpkins 2007. Mark Four, we’d like to play you some new songs.”
The tracks played from ‘Zeitgeist’ are very anti-war, anti-Bush; ‘Bleeding The Orchid,’ ‘Doomsday Clock,’ and ‘God And Country,’ but the aggressive urgent tone was counterbalanced with the devotion and adoration from the crowd.
Around half way through the mammoth set, Smashing Pumpkins became more like the Billy Corgan show, with a set of acoustic numbers, before the blazing neon strip lighting behind them burst back with Chamberlain’s mighty drumming for the end of ‘That’s The Way (My Love Is).’
However tracks like ‘Silver Fuck’ and ‘1979’ were magnificent slices of Pumpkins rock, it’s been a long time since we’ve heard them played so intensely.
Ending after two encores with ‘Cherub Rock’ and ‘Muzzle’ – Corgan made jokes that he bets we’re upset that David Beckham is going to play for the “best league in the world, and anyway when was the last time [we] won the World Cup?” He also declared that the Pumpkins “are going back to America tomorrow” and they’re “gonna hit ’em hard, and hit ’em strong” – continuing the anti-war effort.
The next UK shows are Glasgow on August 22 and the Carling Weekend, Leeds and Reading on August 24 and 26.
The set was:
Bleeding The Orchid
Stand Inside Your Love
Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Glass And The Ghost Children
For God And Country
That’s The Way (My Love Is)
Pic credits: Angela Lubrano/ Livepix