Pixies wow at V Festival Australia

Rock legends become new event's first-ever headliners

Pixies headlined the inaugural V Festival Australia today (March 31), with the first leg of the four-day event taking place in Sydney.

Around 35,000 fans watched artists including Jarvis Cocker, Beck, The Rapture, Gnarls Barkley, Pet Shop Boys, Groove Armada, New Young Pony Club and Soulwax offshoot Nite Versions at Centennial Park near the centre of the city.

Both Pixies and New York Dolls – who are also on the bill – are on their first Australian tours and played warm-up shows in Sydney and Melbourne to a rapturous welcome during the week.

Pixies fan James, 28, travelled three hours from Canberra and then lined up for nine hours to see them play.

“They’re such a seminal act – they inspired so much fantastic music in the 90s and were really undiscovered in their time, especially in Australia,” he told NME.COM. “So for them to finally come out here and tour for the first time – I’m not going to miss the opportunity to see that!”

New Young Pony Club were one of the first international bands to play during the afternoon, with frontwoman Tahita Bulmer telling the crowd it was the “sweatiest” show she’d played “in years” before launching into new single and Albert Einstein homage ‘The Bomb’.

Reformed rockers New York Dolls delivered the first of several covers from bands during the festival, with guitarist Sylvain Sylvain saying; “A lot of people say they were influenced by the Dolls, but the band that we were influenced by was… Janis Joplin!” before covering her track ‘Take Another Little Piece Of My Heart’. The band also dedicated their high-speed take on Bo Diddley‘s ‘Pills’ to infamous ex-Dolls member Johnny Thunders and “all the members of New York Dolls who are no longer with us”.

Gnarls Barkley covered Queen‘s ‘We Are The Champions’ decked out in tennis gear, while Beck gave a nod to Pixies‘Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)’.

Headliners Pixies played a 24-song set, including hits ‘Here Comes Your Man’, ‘Debaser’ and ‘Gigantic’. The band – who reformed in 2004 after an 11-year absence – were light on stage banter, with bassist Kim Deal merely allowing a big grin with the words; “Thanks for having us down to play!”.

Pixies‘ setlist ran:

‘In Heaven’/’Wave Of Mutilation (UK Surf)’

‘Bone Machine’

‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’

‘U-Mass’

‘Head On’

‘Caribou’

‘Subbacultcha’

‘No. 13 Baby’

‘Tame’

‘Hey’

‘The Holiday Song’

‘Here Comes Your Man’

‘Wave Of Mutilation’

‘Planet Of Sound’

‘Debaser’

‘Crackity Jones’

‘Something Against You’

‘Isla De Encanta’

‘Nimrod’s Son’

‘Vamos’

‘Where Is My Mind’

‘La La Love You’

‘Gigantic’

V Festival Australia continues on the Gold Coast tomorrow (April 1).