Turns out the Pixies still have some life left in them, after all.
Word began trickling out today that the slumbering band — which reunited to ecstatic reviews in 2004, and kept playing sporadic gigs into 2007 — is gearing up to play a smattering of European dates this summer.
So far, only the band’s appearance at the UK’s Isle of Wight Festival on June 14 is confirmed. NME reports that the festival will be Black Francis and Co.’s only UK festival slot of the year.
Billboard, citing unnamed sources, reports the Pixies will play “a series of European concert dates” this summer, but that “no North American gigs are planned.”
At the Isle of Wight fest, the college-rock legends will share the bill with Neil Young — an inspired pairing, considering the Pixies have recorded covers of Young’s “Winterlong” and “I’ve Been Waiting for You.”
“It was hard to think of someone capable of complementing the musical talent of Neil Young,” festival promoter John Giddings told NME. “But once I had the idea, it was blindly obvious and it will surely be a legendary day on the Isle of Wight.”
One question surely to be raised once again as the Pixies return to the concert stage: Will the famously volatile band finally record another album?
Frank Black told Billboard in 2006 that he’d written new songs for a potential Pixies record, and had tried unsuccessfully to convince bassist Kim Deal to participate.
“I tried to find my Pixies muse and write a so-called Pixies number,” he told Billboard. “But they just weren’t any good. They sounded a little contrived or something. That’s the problem with trying to repeat something you did a long time ago; if you go, ‘OK, I’m gonna try to recreate something, tap into some mood I used years ago,’ even if it’s the same songwriter, it’s kind of fakey.”
In 2007, Deal offered her own thoughts in an interview with Pitchfork: “I think (a new Pixies album) is something to bring up whenever (Frank Black) needs press. That’s the only time I hear about it. I have no idea, dude.”
According to Billboard, further details about the band’s summer European dates will be announced shortly.