Uncut’s 50 Best Gigs – Extra!

Exclusive to Uncut.co.uk - more gigs - Today: Pixies and Throwing Muses

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In this month’s [b]UNCUT[/b], our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisce about their favourite gigs.

The October issue, onsale now, features our best 50 – including [b]Jimi[/b], [b]U2[/b], [b]The Band[/b] and [b]Oasis[/b] – with rare photos from the shows too.

Now here’s some more – we’ll publish one everyday this month – including online exclusives on gigs by [b]The Stone Roses[/b], [b]Pixies[/b] and the [b]Beach Boys[/b], and [b]Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones[/b] and [b]Babyshambles’ Adam Ficek[/b]’s favourite live memories too.

December 6, 1986


So just two journalists fly to Boston with [b]4AD[/b] head Ivo Watts-Russell, who is signing this strange heavy metal band because his girlfriend likes them. Honestly, compared to the more typical 4AD fare of the classic era – lovely, floaty, ethereal stuff made by men in black and skinny women in long white frocks – [b]Pixies[/b]’ early tapes (that’s cassettes) sounded very heavy. The signing seemed incongruous. Really, I’m going to see [b]Throwing Muses[/b], who they’ll be supporting, because they’ve been our press darlings that year, their extraordinary debut a turbo-charged [b]Horses[/b] with a dash of Plath. But we’ll do our duty and humour Ivo by checking out the warm-up act. Thus making us the first hacks in the world to see them.

Boston is a lovely city but the Rat Club (actually the Rathskeller Club, a fact which rock mythology has long since erased) is a toilet. Pixies come on. They are: [b]Charles Thompson[/b] (soon Black Francis), an Iggy fan who’s spent months broke in Puerto Rico studying Spanish and writing vivid lyrics; [b]Joey Santiago[/b], his room-mate, who’s rifled through the dictionary and plumped for “pixies” because it says “mischievous little elves”, and Mrs. John Murphy (soon [b]Kim Deal[/b]), who’s answered an ad, bringing her drummer friend [b]David Lovering[/b]. They’re not heavy metal. They play brilliantly structured, dynamic songs about religion, sex, incest and outer space. They roar.

This is where I claim kudos for “discovering” them, right? Truth is I thought they were really strong, and wrote so, but maintained that the Muses were the more interesting, literate band. The fuse was lit, though; an avalanche ensued. Pixies were such great company (“What are you doing next, Kim?” “First I’m going to piss like a racehorse, then I’m going to dance like a black woman”) that I worried my verbiage was over-generous. I thought they were the second best band on a quality night, I didn’t realise they were going to alter the pulse and shape of rock music forever.

plus [b]WERE YOU THERE?[/b]

Not even [b]UNCUT[/b]s war-weary gig-hounds have been to every great show in history – but you lot probably have.

Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com, or [b]share your memories[/b] in the comments box below, of the ones we might have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!


Latest Issue

Peter Gabriel, Michael Stipe, The Flaming Lips, Tim Buckley, David Bowie, Archie Shepp, Jonathan Richman, Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Rolling Stones