For the first time ever, Brix Smith headlined her own UK solo show to promote the forthcoming release of her debut studio album, ‘Valley Of The Dolls’, due for release early next year. She played alongside her all-female supergroup made up of duo Deux Ferieuses (also on support) and members of My Bloody Valentine and the Thurston Moore Group, including bass player Debbie Googe.
The show followed her support sets for Killing Joke and PiL earlier this year, and saw her perform for the first time the entire new album, including its two singles. The album was co-written and produced by Grammy award winning producer and musician Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, whom she worked with during lockdown.
Brix started her set on the forthcoming release with the second album single, ‘Aphrodite’, and the crashing drums and hum of ‘Black Rainbow Sky’. She then played two tracks from her 2022 album ‘Lost Angeles’, co-written with Marty Wilson-Piper (The Church), one of which was opening track ‘Backwards’ – a grungey guitar song about the time she fell backwards and cracked the back of her skull.
The band also performed the new album single, ‘California Smile’, which Brix explained was one of many songs that represented her fascination with the region’s dystopian culture and the seedy underbelly of the Californian valley, including the porn industry and “doll” culture, which echoes the ‘60s film that gives name to the release. The single contrasted light, sunshiney guitar with building noise and deafening drums, then transforming into a plateau of deranged joker masquerade. The following song was stark, hardcore punk track, ‘Valley Girl’.
Brix then played one of the last tracks on the new album, ‘All My Luv’, with its choking AC/DC guitar riffs and mellow chorus line. As well as her new album, she also played some material from her time in The Fall, including ‘Cruiser’s Creek’ (of which she wrote the riff) and did two encores of further material with ‘Mr Pharmacist’ and ‘Totally Wired’ to end the show.
28/09/22: Brix Smith @ The Lexington, London.
Photos © Ayisha Khan.
© Ayisha Khan.