The Breeders – Nottingham Trent University, Thursday April 10
The Breeders are not a band to be rushed. Released at the beginning of this week, Mountain Battles is only their fourth album in eighteen years. It’s a murky, low-fi, subdued affair, whose understated charm sneaks up on you from behind. Unlike 1993’s breakthrough album Last Splash, it won’t be going internationally platinum any time soon. These days, that’s hardly the point.
As on record, so they were on stage: unhurried, slightly shambling, not making a big deal out of themselves. An amiable goofiness, which masked a calm, clear sense of purpose.
Leading the band as always, but resisting the centre stage limelight, a broadly beaming Kim Deal set the mood of the whole show. “When are you going to marry me?” shouted one fan. “No warrants, a licence and a job, that’s all I ask”, she batted back, with an earthy cackle.
Her addictions long since conquered, Kim’s sister Kelley looked weather-beaten yet gamine, her singing voice as sweet as ever. Later this year, she’ll be publishing a book of knitting patterns: “Bags That Rock: Knitting on the Road”. How times change.
Trent Uni’s student union building is a sadly underused venue, whose superb acoustic played to the band’s strengths. The slower material from Mountain Battles resonated and captivated, while old favourites like Divine Hammer and the classic Cannonball retained a box-fresh sparkle.
Like Kim’s former band The Pixies, you can never quite pin down what makes The Breeders so special. You just instinctively know that they’re a class act.