The Breeders – review

Glasgow ABC

A statement confirming Kim Deal had ended her 25-year involvement with Pixies was released last week. Among devoted fans, there was a lot of ­hand-wringing and rending of ­long-sleeved Doolittle T-shirts. For Deal herself, currently on the road to ­promote a deluxe 20th anniversary ­reissue of Last Splash, the breakthrough second album by her own band, the Breeders, it seems less of a big deal.

If Pixies were fearsome but fraught, the 2013-edition Breeders have a ­different byword: fun. At one point during this boisterous gig, Kim's twin sister, Kelley, puts gaffer tape over her mouth for no reason other than it seems to amuse her. The belated return of the personnel who recorded Last Splash – including ­bassist Josephine Wiggs and drummer Jim ­Macpherson – appears to have been genuinely ­rejuvenating rather than merely ­contractual.

Wiggs's big moment comes just three minutes in, when, after the ­distorted "awooga" soundcheck intro to ­Cannonball, she fluidly restates one of the most iconic and exposed basslines of the 90s. It sets a toweringly high bar for the rest of the gig, but the ­remaining half an hour or so of Last Splash sounds terrific, a gonzo ­admixture of breathy vocals (mostly Kim) and ­irregular bombardments of bracing guitar scree (mostly Kelley). There are also ­memorable instances of Waikiki sway, courteous country and, on the keening Divine Hammer, moshable melody.

The extended encore is a chance for fans to kneel before Pod, the Breeders' debut album and a record that Kurt Cobain adored. After the ­pummelling hard rock of Hellbound, Wiggs is ­cajoled by the Deal sisters into ­providing the ­uninflected first-person narration for Metal Man, which sounds bigger and more brutal than it does on record. "I think it's going really great, right?" says Kim before a second ­encore. On this form, it's impossible to disagree.

• What have you been to see lately? Tell us about it on Twitter using #GdnGig


Graeme Virtue

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

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

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

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

Article image
'It used to be about music. Now, without the drink, it's good to go back to that'

Revered by Nirvana, Blur and Radiohead, Kim and Kelley Deal of 90s indie sensations the Breeders are rock survivors, says Jude Rogers

Jude Rogers

02, May, 2009 @11:01 PM

Article image
Kim Deal: 'Misogyny is the backbone of the music industry'
The Breeders’ singer and guitarist talks rehab, Pixies and caring for her mother with Alzheimer’s

Barbara Ellen

03, Mar, 2018 @6:00 PM

Article image
Pixies reunite to headline 2009 Isle of Wight festival
Frontman Black Francis said the band would only re-form if they were working on fresh material, so a reunion could mean a new album – or just a fat cheque

Sean Michaels

16, Mar, 2009 @11:03 AM

Article image
Lost worlds of sex and magic: Vaughan Oliver's album sleeves for 4AD
By collapsing history in on itself, designer Vaughan Oliver – who has died aged 62 – created complex images that heightened music by Pixies, Cocteau Twins and more

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

30, Dec, 2019 @12:56 PM

The Breeders, Koko, London

Koko, London

Betty Clarke

22, Apr, 2008 @11:10 PM

Article image
CD: The Breeders, Mountain Battles


Dorian Lynskey

03, Apr, 2008 @11:17 PM