At last year's V Festival, the reformed Pixies made me (and hundreds of other fans, grown men included) shed happy tears.
They are a band that has provided the soundtrack to significant parts of our lives, been cited by countless great bands as "a major influence" and the reason why some of these bands started making music in the first place. But the Pixies is also a band that I never thought I would get to see. Ever. Growing up in Singapore where the red tape (it's not so bad now but the amount of paperwork that my friends had to do to bring Fugazi in for a tiny gig in the early 90s!) and the small population (= insufficient ticket sales) just couldn't justify, in big concert organisers' books, the major set-up involved. And then they broke up! On terms so bad that no fan dared dream of a reunion. But made-up they did! And we saw them play their first ever Australian show! With hundreds of other fans, all singing themselves hoarse along to lyrics that they have heard thousands of times before and not really believing that it was all happening.
My "Pixies" at the festival this year is The Jesus and Mary Chain. Same history - a band that I've given up on seeing 'live', broke up and made up and played at V. Not tear-inducing at all but brought back fond memories of transferring their records onto tapes to listen to on my Walkman to and from school and homemade band t-shirts from lovingly-handcut stencils of their album artwork. Looking forward to watching the Reid brothers at a more intimate venue on Wednesday.
Another blast-from-the-past band that many would say is a different kettle of fish from the Pixies and The Jesus and Mary Chain but Duran Duran rocked my teenage heart as much - I have five scrapbooks of press cuttings (remember Smash Hits and Just Seventeen?) and photographs still sitting in a box somewhere at my parents'.
The boyfriend and I weren't expecting a very big turn-out for their set but we were surprised. They look like they haven't aged a day from the last time I saw them play in Singapore nearly ten years ago. Cheeky Simon Lebon could still, literally, charm the tops off the ladies!
Other acts that we wanted (and managed) to catch:
Modest Mouse: Still angsty and great!
Roisin Murphy: The "opening graphics" to her set. I like!
I was as excited to see her perform as I was to see what she would be wearing. I mean, this is the girl who wore the it-only-works-on-the-runway Victor & Rolf creation with the overhead lighting grid contraption and all on her single's cover. I was not disappointed by her effortless wardrobe changes but I was distracted by a friend we met and forgot photos.
Air: We love them but felt that their brand of music is not really suited for huge open space? Knocking ourselves now for not getting tickets to their show at the Sydney Opera House.
Cansei de Ser Sexy ("Tired of being Sexy" in Brazilian Portugese): We were pissed off as we missed quite a good chunk of their set because of a last-minute change in the schedule at their stage. I wanted more of Lovefoxxx and her pals on the happy colourful balloon-filled stage!
Queens of the Stone Age: This is as far as we got to them. Not at all bothered.
And the Smashing Pumpkins? The headlining act that everyone went to see. Bah! We were home before the end of their set.