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The Pixies blew my mind

LONDON, 1991. The second week of June. In true British fashion the skies are overcast, with a damp smear of rain in the air. It’s cold enough to need a jacket. I’m spending the day with two friends from school (1). We have tickets to the coveted Pixies concert at Crystal Palace Bowl (2), an all-day extravaganza featuring five bands, and climaxing with Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago and David Lovering. To our teenage minds they assume the proportions of gods. The Bowl isn’t easy to reach via public transport, but after an hour spent navigating the capital’s railways (3) we finally arrive at Crystal Palace station. The venue is only a short walk away. As we walk we hear the bands warming up. We know every band on the bill, from start to glorious finish: The Boo Radleys (4), Milltown Brothers, Cud, Ride, and—of course—the Pixies. I’ve only just turned sixteen, so I’m too young to drink at the bars we pass. In my bag is a secret stash of whisky miniatures (5).

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