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Live In Brixton (8 CD Boxset)


Artist: Pixies
Label: Edsel
Release Date: 25 February 2021

The Pixies – the grand dames of indie noise – did a Jimi Hendrix. Despite their obvious quality, both US acts had to come to the UK to kick-start their careers. It’s therefore little wonder that when the Pixies reformed in 2004, after an 11-year hiatus, they started off proceedings at London’s Brixton Academy with a four-night residency.

These shows were the stuff of legend – sharp, energetic, driving and every bit as good as the band had been before they fell apart under a welter of bickering and ‘personal issues’. So it’s great news that these four gigs are finally getting an official release… but does even the most ardent Pixies fan really need all four shows in full?

The answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’…

The ‘yes’ argument is based on the sheer volume of quality material the band had amassed – there’s not a duff track to be found – and although some songs were repeated across the shows, the four sets massively varied in content while maintaining a high standard throughout. Each gig is unique and therefore each gig is worth having.

The ‘no’ argument is based on listener fatigue. Will anyone listen to all four shows in full or will they look at the price and think “That’s expensive… I’ll pass”? After all, there are repeats of some songs, including ‘Bone Machine’ and ‘Monkey Gone to Heaven’, and the differences between performances are minimal.

Yes, the eight coloured vinyl albums and eight-CD sets are beautifully packaged and the sound quality is crisp and clear… and there’s a poster and a booklet… and the slip case features silver foil detailing… but it’s around £135 for the vinyl collection and £70-odd for the CD box. That’s a tidy sum of money whichever path your choose.

Would a ‘best of’ collection from the shows sufficed? Well, that depends on if you’re in the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ camp. In the end, you pays your money and takes your choice. The collector in me wants the full set – the pragmatist remains unconvinced. But as an ardent Pixies fan from the go-get there’s no choice… it’s a big thumbs up from me. I want this release a lot!

This listener’s gone to Pixies heaven…


Anthony Clark

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