We’re digging into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you a perfect clip of why the Pixies remain to this day one of the most underrated bands of the alternative rock scene of the early nineties.
Their typical “loud-quiet” shifts would see the band influence countless other artists including Nirvana, Radiohead, the Smashing Pumpkins and Weezer and mark the Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago and David Lovering out as some of America’s finer songwriters. One track in particular set alight the college rock radio circuit when it was released in 1989, the brilliant ‘Here Comes Your Man’.
The stand out single from the band’s record Doolittle saw the Pixies given some large airplay among indie radio stations and seemingly announced the group’s arrival into the mainstream. But, in reality, it was a song from the band’s past, a track Black Francis had written as part of their first demo. It wasn’t until the band’s third album that they would finally take it into the studio, Francis recalls, “People have been telling us to record it ever since so we finally did.”
It was a landmark moment for the band but it still couldn’t save them from a decade-long hiatus in 1993 after tensions grew too fraught to bear and record sales of their album Trompe le Monde faltered. It was this album that the group were touring when they arrived at London’s famous Brixton Academy in 1991.
The Pixies came to the UK with a reputation for being incredible songsmiths and alternative rock’s new heroes and they surely delivered a set that proved everyone who bought a ticket on that premise right. One song that could’ve easily not featured in the set was arguably their biggest number, “The poppiest song on Doolittle, which we couldn’t even play live if we tried, is ‘Here Comes Your Man,'” he told The Catalogue in 1989. “We would never play that song live; we’re too far removed from it. It’s too wimpy-poppy.”
Things had changed by 1991 and the song, which according to Francis was written about hobos travelling through California but being killed by an earthquake, was nor firmly on their setlist. “It’s about winos and hobos traveling on the trains, who die in the California Earthquake. Before earthquakes, everything gets very calm — animals stop talking and birds stop chirping and there’s no wind. It’s very ominous.”
Below you can see the Pixies in full flow, before they disbanded and regrouped, while they were criminally underappreciated, and still at the top of their game, as they perform ‘Here Comes Your Man’ live at Brixton in 1991.