In this month’s UNCUT, our writers, friends and favourite musicians reminisce about their favourite gigs.
The October issue, onsale now, features our best 50 – including Jimi, U2, The Band and Oasis – 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 The Stone Roses, Pixies and the Beach Boys, and Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones and Babyshambles’ Adam Ficek‘s favourite live memories too.
THROWING MUSES & PIXIES
RAT CLUB, BOSTON
December 6, 1986
So just two journalists fly to Boston with 4AD 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 – Pixies’ early tapes (that’s cassettes) sounded very heavy. The signing seemed incongruous. Really, I’m going to see Throwing Muses, who they’ll be supporting, because they’ve been our press darlings that year, their extraordinary debut a turbo-charged Horses 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: Charles Thompson (soon Black Francis), an Iggy fan who’s spent months broke in Puerto Rico studying Spanish and writing vivid lyrics; Joey Santiago, his room-mate, who’s rifled through the dictionary and plumped for “pixies” because it says “mischievous little elves”, and Mrs. John Murphy (soon Kim Deal), who’s answered an ad, bringing her drummer friend David Lovering. 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 WERE YOU THERE?
Not even UNCUTs war-weary gig-hounds have been to every great show in history – but you lot probably have.
Email Allan_Jones@ipcmedia.com, or share your memories in the comments box below, of the ones we might have missed, and we’ll publish the best in a future issue!