Live Review: Pearl Jam, Brixton Academy, 14th July, 1993

"Lookee here!" Eddie dangles a tampon before his Jim Morrisonian leer. "It's the personal gifts that mean the most, man," he cackles.

One song in and the stage is already littered with the debris of feminine appreciation. Two songs in and it's time to take a couple of steps back so the idiots at the front can breathe again.

Rock hysteria ripples through the steaming, tightly-packed, check-shirted flesh. This is one of the cool bands you're supposed to freak out to. I think I'll give that a miss and listen to the music instead.

Even Flow is staggering and, of course, there's that stuka dive-bomber of a voice roaring out of the sky. But it's not too long before PJ realise they've got an uncritical audience, and the grungey guitars and launchpad song structures start bleeding into one big musical hairball of yowls and fuzz. Alive is set up on the altar inscribed "Here's one ya all know," but sounds the way burning sugar smells.

Later on the dive bomber drops a few new songs, which sound good on the way down, but don't quite explode, except for Indifference, a comparative whisper of a song that transmits itself almost telepathically across the hushed auditorium - a ghost at this feast of over-cooked rock n' howl...

Colin Liddell
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