Archive for the ‘Smashing Pumpkins’ Category



I came to the Pumpkins late.

I first heard them in the back of a car in the summer of ’93. Four of us from university were doing a road-trip thing in the US.

We’d bought the car in Philadelphia and in the end it took to us to LA.

It was the summer of Two Princes. It was the summer of No Rain.

It was the summer I saw the Grateful Dead at Shoreline Amphitheatre.

One of my friends had Siamese Dream on tape.

We played it repeatedly on the drive up through Washington State to Vancouver while he and I sat under a duvet giggling on the back seat.

We’d taken our remaining acid before crossing the border.

Then my flatmate in ’99-2000 was quite obsessive about Melon Collie.

And we both loved Ava Adore, and even tried to pretend that Machina was a great record.

When this show was announced it looked like it would be the final UK gig that the band would play before breaking up. They’d already lost D’Arcy on bass.

We were psyched. There was drama around the whole thing.

On the day, the music papers reported that Billy was going to pull the gig after basically losing his voice in Manchester the night before.

As it was, they played the show.

I remember (and I’ll swear that this is true) sitting in our raked, theatre balcony seats listening to the PA play ALL of (Music From) The Elder by Kiss before the band came on.

I remember thinking that Melissa on bass was amazing.

I can’t remember if this was before or after I’d seen her with Hole, but I had a thing for Melissa.

I remember a cover of David Essex’s Rock On.

I remember Billy’s vocals being occasionally painful.

I remember a proper, amazing, heavy, thrilling, exciting rock and roll show.

High: Tonight Tonight.

This was around the time that I had “Crucify the insincere” inserted into my corporate email signature. I loved that song.

Drinking: Beforehand – but during the show we didn’t want to leave our seats.

Thinking: I am so, so pleased to be seeing this band right here right now.

Setlist on

The whole show on Yes – Billy was clearly having a problem with his voice…