If man is 5 and the Devil is 6, what's the review mark?

Following a wind-swept but fun support from Teenage Fanclub and an
indifferent performance from Idlewild, The Pixies rounded off their Carling
Weekend shows by playing Meadowbank Stadium in Edinburgh.

Never ones for lengthy on-stage banter, the band launched straight into
'Bone Machine' and the sound quality was initially far superior to that of the support acts. The stage and venue was probably not as grand as the Pixies have come accustomed to of late but the start of the show was warmly received and
hopes were high for a rousing set.

Sadly the early rush was not continued and before long the night was
starting to lose its edge. Whilst it is admirable that the Pixies are playing
such a varied setlist from show to show, it is possible that this prevents a
proper flow to the gig and the night never got settled into any sort of rhythm. Every so often, a crowd favourite would occur which would spark the evening but mainly it was a reserved showing from band and audience.

Ironically given the sedate nostalgia show so far, an even older song
finally brought the band to life. A cover of Neil Young's rarely heard and
undervalued 'Winterlong', featured some passionate vocal performances and for
the first time Joey Santiago let rip on lead guitar. Perhaps the idea of
playing a song that they wanted to hear, as opposed to a song they felt
compelled to play, inspired the band to extend themselves.

This apart, the ragged edges were beginning to show with Frank Black's vocals becoming more hit and miss as the evening continued. With the wind becoming stronger and the rain starting to fall, the conditions were not aiding the sound of the set.

The few mistakes here and there were the biggest clue to the live performance
element, as the band appeared to be going through the motions. Whether this
was any more than the crowd was looking for is perhaps a key factor. The big point of the evening was to relive old times and old songs and the majority of the crowd went away happy after getting the chance to jump and shout to 'Debaser','Monkeys Gone To Heaven' and 'Here Comes Your Man.'

It's not to say the show was bad but it paled into comparison with the
previous year's T in The Park performance. Perhaps the band were spent after their Carling shows but they never got into full speed. That said, Joey Santiago's guitar workout was the master class in control and feedback it always is and any gig that ends with 'Gigantic' is always going to send a sizeable portion crowd home happy.

After waiting so long for the Pixies reunion tour and after the joyous Scottish visit last year, no one would fault the band for an off night but there may be less of a demand to see them if they roll into town in the following year.