The Breeders, Koko, London

Koko, London

When the Dandy Warhols sang "I'd rather be cool than be loved", in Cool As Kim Deal, they ignored the fact that their subject has always had it both ways. While playing bass in the Pixies gave her kudos, it was Deal's side-project, the Breeders, that won her fans and has, for the past 20 years, proved a constant sanctuary for both her and identical twin sister, Kelley.

Both have been in rehab - Kelley for heroin addiction in 1994, Kim for alcohol abuse in 2002 - and toyed with other bands, but it's to the delicate yet steely sound of the Breeders they return. They've been working on their gorgeous new album, Mountain Battles, since the release of Title TK six years ago and Kim couldn't look happier to be back.

Standing next to her sister, she smiles broadly, throwing her head back and guffawing while Kelley giggles. The two chat, share private jokes and tease one another, while bassist Mando Lopez and drummer Jose Medeles, almost disappearing into the wings of the stage, watch with practised patience.

But when they focus, the Breeders are a beguiling force. New songs are seamlessly layered with old favourites, the quicksand rhythm of Overglazed nestling next to the fireworks of No Aloha and of Divine Hammer. The sisters' vocals bounce and swim around one another like sulky schoolgirls on the Beatles' Happiness Is a Warm Gun, and are wise and warm as matriarchs on the acoustic Here No More. Naturally, it's Kim's distorted yelping on indie anthem Cannonball that sends the moshpit mad, and as her gaze flashes from the crowd to her sister, she's left in no doubt that she is still both cool and loved.

Contributor

Betty Clarke

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
CD: The Breeders, Mountain Battles

(4AD)

Dorian Lynskey

03, Apr, 2008 @11:17 PM

The Breeders – review

Sisters Kim and Kelley Deal are on boisterous form as they mark 20 years of Last Splash, writes Graeme Virtue

Graeme Virtue

18, Jun, 2013 @5:24 PM

Bestival review: The Breeders

You really can't go wrong with the Breeders. And with a set featuring lots of impressive material from their recent album Mountain Battles, it looks like they are back for good

Daniel Martin

08, Sep, 2008 @11:36 AM

Article image
The Breeders: All Nerve review – reunited rockers get dark and deep | Alexis Petridis' album of the week
Kim Deal’s cult band – having returned to the lineup of their classic Last Splash – deliver an album that blends ancient monuments and crushed beetles into a spectral brew

Alexis Petridis

01, Mar, 2018 @12:00 PM

Article image
The Breeders on kicking drugs, Kurt Cobain and life after Pixies
The beloved Last Splash lineup are back with their first new album in decades. Here, they reflect on the 90s alt-rock scene and the cocktail of drugs, disappointments and bust-ups that saw them break up

Rebecca Nicholson

07, Oct, 2017 @6:00 AM

The Breeders get knitting (is there something they're not telling us?)

Kelley Deal's knitwear book promises to be a real rock'n'roll affair - but how do you "remix" a knitted purse?

Sean Michaels

12, Mar, 2008 @12:18 PM

Article image
Kim and Kelley Deal on becoming the platinum-selling Breeders

As girls growing up in Ohio, Kim and Kelley Deal weren't expected to do anything more musical than shake a tambourine. The duo tell Stevie Chick how they escaped all that to become the platinum-selling Breeders

Stevie Chick

14, Mar, 2008 @1:06 PM

Rock preview: April 12-18

The Camden Crawl, London | Ether Festival/Harmonia, London | We Are Scientists, on tour | The Breeders, on tour

John Robinson

11, Apr, 2008 @11:21 PM

Review: The Breeders' Mountain Battles

CD of the week: The Breeders' Mountain Battles

Kitty Empire

05, Apr, 2008 @11:04 PM

Pixies won't be the same without Kim Deal

Jon Dennis: Kim Deal has left the Pixies after 25 years. The band will struggle without her breathy vocals, snaking basslines and winning grin

Jon Dennis

14, Jun, 2013 @3:14 PM