Guided By Voices’ ‘classic line-up’ bring Matador 21 birthday gigs to a close

Bob Pollard's crew round off indie label's Las Vegas party

Matador‘s 21st birthday celebrations came to a close last night (October 3) with a set from the reunited Guided By Voices.

The Dayton, Ohio five-piece, led by singer Robert Pollard, reformed their 1993-1996 line-up, widely regarded by fans as the band’s best, for their label’s birthday.

Their 90-minute set included ‘Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory’, ‘Gold Star For Robot Boy’, ‘I Am A Scientist’ and ‘Don’t Stop Now’.

The group, like every other band of the weekend – which saw headline sets from Belle And Sebastian and Pavement – paid tribute to Matador, explaining how the band had once left the indie label.

“We thought we were hot shit, and thought we needed someone to push our shit better, but we soon went crawling back,” he told the crowd.

Pollard revived the spirit of the band’s mid-’90s shows with his energetic high kicks, Roger Daltrey-esque mic swirls and solid onstage drinking, which could explain the dietary advice he was dishing out during the gig.

“I read you don’t need eight cups of water anymore, you can get your liquid in Muller Lights or whatever, and coffee is now good for you. Up to 16 cups a day! Next thing they’ll be saying crack is good for you,” he joked. “It isn’t, it rots your teeth to shit, but other than that it’s not too bad!”

The band returned to the stage for two encores, the second of which included ‘Quality Of Armor’, the first song Pollard said he had ever written, and ‘Some Drilling Implied’.

The final day of the three-day festival also featured The New Pornographers, Shearwater and Yo La Tengo.

Guided By Voices played:

‘A Salty Salute’
‘Shocker In Gloomtown’
‘Tractor Rape Chain’
‘Pimple Zoo’
‘Closer You Are’
‘Buzzards And Dreadful Crows’
‘My Valuable Hunting Knife’
‘Cutout Witch’
‘Hot Freaks’
‘Drinker’s Peace’
‘A Good Flying Bird’
‘Motor Away’
‘Striped White Jets’
‘Matter Eater Lad’
‘Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory’
‘Gold Star For Robot Boy’
’14 Cheerleader Coldfront’
‘My Impression Now’
‘I Am A Scientist’
‘Echoes Myron’
‘Game Of Pricks’
‘Exit Flagger’
‘Unleashed! The Large Hearted Boy’
‘Johnny Appleseed’
‘Smothered In Hugs’
‘Don’t Stop Now’
‘Quality Of Armor’
‘Some Drilling Implied’

Meanwhile, the label are celebrating their anniversary by putting out a six-CD box-set featuring releases from across their history.