Done it! Seen The Breeders live! You’ve no idea how long I’ve waited for that. But anyway, ’tis done and it was so very good that I’m not sure even italics do the job. So good! Nah, you know, this isn’t going to be solved by typefaces.
Damn, it’s a long way to Blackheath. I mean, we’re not talking the Peak District here, but in London terms it might as well be on Mars. But if they were playing a couple of special gigs on Mars I might make the effort, so there you go. I think there’s probably an equation somewhere which goes on about how difficult getting to a gig is being related to how awesome it actually in in the end. I mean, if that’s the case then the support band did some good work to making the wait even more unendurable. Imagine, if you will, a guitar solo lasting five minutes. Now imagine a bass solo lasting that long. And a drum solo. With two drummers. Now DOUBLE THE LENGTH OF TIME AND PLAY THEM ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Congratulations, you’ve imagined one song by the support band. And they were on for forty five fucking minutes! My head was beginning to complain about my impacted ears digging in to it by the time they were done.
…..short wait while roadies test a billion types of guitar……
Then they were there! Lookit! It was, like, The Breeders! Kim and Kelley and some other people that I don’t know the names of right there! We were promised the classic Last Splash lineup, but Jim was apparently busy with something – luckily the drummer that was there (who may or may not have been Jose Medeles) was really great so no complaints. Distinct lack of Josephine Wiggs for the first few songs, but when a band comes on and plays No Aloha followed by Little Fury who gives a fuck who’s playing as long as Kim Deal is singing? But then, somewhat unexpectedly, the bassist dropped back and in came a very fucked-off Josephine Wiggs. Maybe she’d been caught in traffic, or something. Her mood did not improve for the entire gig despite the onstage levity enjoyed by everyone else. Oh, well, no helping some people.
One person who was definitely enjoying herself was Kelley, who was all smiles and chatter. Her moment of confusion before launching into I Just Wanna Get Along was endearing beyond belief, especially when Kim became very supportive and stroked her arm until she got better – at which point Kelley suddenly realised what was being asked of her and exclaimed “Oh, that one! That one’s easy!” And she made it seem so.
A relatively sedate crowd – hey, we’re all too old for a proper mosh pit – came alive at points in the show (the aforementioned I Just Wanna Get Along and Little Fury, Divine Hammer, Son of Three, Huffer (complete with “Daaa da da da dada etc” crowd singalong) and, of course, the mighty Cannonball to name a few), bouncing as merrily as our aged knees would allow. But, you know, we weren’t so much there for the dancing as the listening. We were a respectful crowd – except for the slightly overfamiliar heckling. Apparently a lot of people love Kim.
A few guest musicians breezed in and out. Josephine Wiggs didn’t stay for every song – just as well, ’cause she was harshing everyone’s buzz – Carrie Bradley was the anti-Wiggs, so cheery and smiley for her violin parts. A chap who I have ascertained may have been Michael Allen came on and groaned through Oh!, which was entertainingly novel. Sod his real name, henceforth he is “The Groaner”. All in all there was a sense of a band having a good time and playing some old favourites (quite a few Pod tracks and I think Amps stuff, too) with the original musicians. Which isn’t to say that it was, you know, like you’ve gone to see the Stones churning out the classics by rote. A lot of crowd-pleasers, but enough leftfield stuff that you felt it was worth being there rather than just putting the albums on REALLY LOUD at home.
Well, only another 10 years before my next gig, then…