Who can believe that the night before last New Zealanders were actually given the opportunity to jump around to “Vindictive” being played live by the actual Slits?
That song was pretty much played on a loop for 2 weeks when I first bought the Slits: Peel Sessions. I love it so much! And live, it was just ridiculous.
It’s funny cos a lot of times during moments like that (the Breeders playing “Canonball”, Le Tigre playing “Decepticon”, Sleater Kinney playing “Dig Me Out” etc), I’ve actually been too overwhelmed to purely enjoy the moment, like, I just can’t fully be there because I’m too busy trying to BE THERE and comprehend the moment (does anyone else do this, or am I the only freak?). But when the Slits played “Vindictive” it was just so much fun and I remember it perfectly.
I was totally impressed by the band, I kind of had no real expectations, and thought it could go either way (though after reading reviews of their US live shows by actual fans and their musical peers on the Typical Girls list, I thought it was more likely to be good). But the fact that they were so down to earth, not trying to be anything but what they were (which was awesome), just meant that the show could be enjoyed, no holds barred.
One of the best things about the Slits, I think, is that they’re not just an old band doing some lame reunion tour. The Slits are a continuing band (if that makes sense), who have changed their sound and shape throughout their nearly 30 year history. So their show wasn’t about nostalgia, and yet luckily (for us NZers) they were still keen to do their old songs with enthusiasm, as most of us either weren’t born when Cut came out, or weren’t in London in ’79! It was kind of like we were seeing a rare piece of history and at the same time a totally exciting band of today.
Their mix of songs was great, I think they played “Newtown”, “FM” “Shoplifting” (twice) & “Typical Girls” from Cut, and the other songs I recognised were “Man Next Door” & “Vindictive/Let’s Do the Split”. They did “Medusa” from Return of the Giant Slits (I don’t know that album, but they had a competition to see who could name the song, and that’s how I know what is was) and also “Hated By Many, Loved By a Few”, which apparently is a new song that hasn’t been released. The only song they did from the new EP was “Kill them with Love”. I was a little sad that they didn’t do “Number One Enemy” because that is my current favourite, but they pretty much satisfied with their set list otherwise.
I thought Ari-Up’s banter with the crowd was cool too, the little “how well do you know the Slits” quizzes were a good way to include the audience and “make a show” (re: Ian MacKaye’s mantra during the Evens’ show). The crowd was keen, which completely added to the all round good vibes of course. Everyone uproariously got into singing along to “Shoplifting”. The tall boys in front made way for shorter girls to get in, and pretty much it seemed like everyone had a fun time, and felt very lucky to be there! The mohawked girl in the front got to say what I think everyone was thinking – just thank you to the Slits for coming, fucking awesome. Fucking legendary.