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The Breeders

The Breeders perform at the Astor Theatre, Mount Lawley on Oct 31, 2013.Astor Theatre

Thursday, October 31, 2013

While The Breeders were originally formed by Kim Deal and Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses fame, this tour featured the classic Last Splash era line-up, including Kim’s identical twin Kelley and the brilliant Josephine Wiggs on bass.

It was mostly an older crowd re-living their ‘90s glory days, but a solid, younger contingent was testament to the enduring popularity of The Breeders. After Perth power-pop kings Emperors rocked the early crowd, people slowly gathered to the front and an air of anticipation swept across the room as it past 9pm. Without much fanfare, the lights dropped and cheers went up. With original members Jim MacPherson on drums and Carrie Bradley on keys and violin, the band were packing a complete sound.

‘We’re gonna start with a cover’, Kim announced and The Breeders launched into Guided By Voices’ Shocker In Gloomtown, an old B-side, as somewhat of a soundcheck. Then it was into Last Splash with the explosive intro of New Year. The fuzzed out ‘Ahooh’ and classic bassline proclaimed Cannonball, their biggest hit. No Aloha was a crowd favourite. Kim’s unique, husky voice was in great form, and the room exploded as the drums kicked in.

The shoegazey sounds of Roi saw MacPherson and Wiggs swap places, and the dual vocals from the coolest sisters in rock were in full effect as they harmonised, ‘Raw, where the, shot leaves me gagging for the arrow’.

Deal’s between song banter was amusing, making jokes as she flashed her infectious smile, confessing they nearly didn’t make the show as they were ‘almost eaten by a 12 foot tiger shark!’ A perfect intro as Kelley stepped up to the mic for the short, sharp belter I Just Wanna Get Along. 

Divine Hammer still sounds as sweet and catchy a pop song about heroin as you’ll ever hear, and SOS featured the incredible drumming of MacPherson, whose beat, along with the screechy guitar was famously sampled by The Prodigy on Firestarter. Live it is evident what an important part of the band Wiggs is, the Brit positioned centre stage, holding it all together with her solid basslines.

The country tinged Drivin’ On 9 was always a great outro, before the brief reprise of Roi, and the band left stage to huge applause. After a short break they returned, Kim announcing ‘We’re gonna play some Pod songs’, as the band then proceeded to play the entire Donelly-era album in two more sections! Hellbound and Fortunately Gone sounded great, as well as their famous cover of Happiness Is A Warm Gun.

The female-fronted outfit are still such a tight band, and this was a superbly faithful rendition of a classic album of the era, with a surprise treat for the aficionados. Whether it’s their last splash is yet to be seen.


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