Live Review: Pixies / Slow Readers Club – The Roundhouse, London 20.03.2023

Michael Hudertmark

To mark the 35th Anniversary of the ‘Surfer Rosa album’ the most influential American rock band are performing an electrifying show at the Roundhouse and this is their first of two major UK shows at the Roundhouse since they did a five night stint back in 2018. It was not surprising to see people already queuing outside way before the opening of the doors. The Pixies themselves were credited back in the 1980’s by David Bowie and inspired none other than Nirvana. David Bowie was a huge fan from the very beginning and went on to cover tonight’s opening song ‘Cactus’ on his 2002 album Heathen

The Pixies themselves formed in Boston Massachusetts and until 2013 consisted of band members Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering. The Pixies are associated with the 1990s alternative rock boom and draw on elements of punk rock and surf rock and their music is known for its dynamic “loud-quite-loud” shifts in tone and song structure!

Tonight’s support slot stem from Manchester’s very own ‘Slow Readers Club’. They have succeeded in turning heads and inspiring fans nationwide and Pixie’s very own Black Francis. This is also evident in the commonplace ‘Reader’s’ chant coming from tonight’s audience when the four band members stride onto the stage with each one dressed in their clad trade back black. The band have recently released an album called ‘Knowledge Freedom Power’ and have just concluded a major headline tour, selling out venues across the country.  A staple single ‘Lunatic’ concludes tonight’s short but sweet set, with a darker melodic tone reminiscent of some early ‘Editors’ material and the band were keen to showcase their new material at tonight’s uplifting show with Lead singers Aron Sharkie’s voice being ultimately expressive. You can hear that their songs are written with larger venues in mind!

The Pixies come on stage with a momentous, ever evolving 37 song back to back set, showcasing nearly everything the band have written in the past in the first of the two sold out Roundhouse shows. The Pixies have continued to create new albums with the latest offering being last year’s ‘Doggerel’.

Tonight was defined by the newer material but had the old staples that fans erupted in song too “here comes Your Man”, “Monkey has gone to Heaven^ and “Mr Grieves” The Fans only started to be more attentive and energetic when Francis swaps to his electric guitar.

There are the bizarre lyrics of ‘Bone Machine’ and Santiago’s retro sounding guitar solos that make up the night of memorable rock anthems. Black Frances shades never come off and the band barely say a word, but they would not need to as the band’s songs speak for themselves.

Pixies Set List, Roundhouse, London:


The Holiday Song

All the Saints

Death Horizon


Here Comes Your Man

Motorway to Roswell

Get Simulated

Who’s More Sorry Now’?

There is a Moon on

Haunted House

The Lord Has Come Back Today

Gouge Away




Brick Is Red

Wave of Mutation

Monkey Has Gone To Heaven

Human Crime

Something against You.

Isla De Encanta

Head On (Jesus and Mary Chain cover)

Planet of Sound

Vault of Heaven

Thunder and Lightning

Pagan Man

Dress of the Wine

Nimrod’s Son (with Jazz intro)

Mr. Grieves



Bone Machine

Wave of Mutation

Blown Away

Where is my Mind

Winterlong (Neil Young cover)

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