Black Francis performs marathon set at Club NME LA

Pixies legend gets packed house moshing

Black Francis performed a marathon set of his recent solo material for a sold-out crowd at Club NME Los Angeles with Fred Perry Subculture last night (August 20).

The Pixies frontman, backed by a drummer and bassist, tore through his latest full-length album ‘Bluefinger’ in its entiretly, as well as the bulk of his recent EP ‘Svn Fngrs’ for the adoring Spaceland audience.

“Don’t clap yet, it’s premature,” he quipped when the crowd erupted as he took the stage. There was a bit of a snafu when Francis stopped in the middle of his second song, ‘Threshold Apprehension’. “My bad,” he apologised. “I had a white-wine spritzer before the show and I’m a little discombobulated.”


The band quickly recovered and proceeded to play several songs inspired by the life and works of Dutch musician and artist Herman Brood, including a cover of his song ‘You Can’t Break A Heart And Have It’.

“It’s all about Herman,” said a sweat-soaked Francis, before adding, “Sorry we’re only playing new obscure songs you’re unfamiliar with.” This didn’t stop the crowd from dancing and moshing throughout the night.

Francis also played a cover of Gary Green‘s ‘Burnt Out Rock And Roll’, but no Pixies tunes despite several cries from the audience to play material by his former band. This didn’t faze Francis, who seemed philosophical about his affiliation with one of indie rock’s greatest bands when talking to NME.COM after his set.

“In a sense you kinda milk it,” Francis said. “(The Pixies) gave me financial freedom so it’s all good. It’s a win-win. It’s my calling card. It’s nice to have a calling card because I know a lot of people who may be good but don’t have one. It gets me invited to parties I wouldn’t be invited to otherwise.”

As for the gig, Francis said, “We were off of our game just slightly, maybe, but it was enjoyable. This was sort of a warm-up gig for Del Mar to get our juices flowing. I used to come here to Spaceland when I lived in LA, so it’s nice to finally play here.”

Francis is set to perform in Del Mar, California tomorrow night (August 22) before embarking on a tour of Australia later this month.


–By our Los Angeles staff.

Find out more about NME.