FRANK BLACK (aka BLACK FRANCIS), formerly the driving force behind the PIXIES, delighted fans with a rare solo show last night (November 15) in LONDON’s CAMDEN UNDERWORLD – during which he looked back to the seminal band’s glory days, playing a host of their standards.
However, the much anticipated onstage collaboration between Black (real name Charles Thompson) and former Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago failed to happen, with Black declaring from the stage:
“Sorry if some of you may have read on the Internet that Santiago was going to show up tonight. He was in London last week to promote a film, but he’s gone now. I’m sure we will get together some time soon – maybe next time round.”
In an open-necked blue work shirt and sporting closely cropped hair, Black looked exactly as he did at the Pixies’ zenith a decade ago. And although he worked through some of his solo material, including a rousing version of ‘Headache’, he thrilled the packed Underworld (many more fans were locked outside, unable to get any tickets) with tracks plucked from the Pixies’ rich back-catalogue. As well as ‘Nimrod’s Son’, ‘Mr Grieves’ and ‘Monkey Gone To Heaven’, he closed with a rousing romp through ‘Where Is My Mind?’ – with the entire audience, which included UK comedy maverick Chris Morris, Polly Harvey and former My Bloody Valentine mainmanKevin Shields, joining him to sing faithfully along.
Black also paid a debt to one of his favourite bands, the SST West Coast post-punkers Angst, playing a new track of the same name set to feature as a B-side on the future single, ‘Robert Onion’, released on January 8.
Frank Black plays a show at the London Monarch tonight (November 16), which will be recorded for X-posure Live on radio station XFM.