Billy Corgan IS Smashing Pumpkins.
Not in a he-is-the-most important-person-in-the band-kinda way (although he kinda was) but in a he IS the only remaining figure from the alt-rockers heyday back in the 90s. But time waits for no one, not least those in the rock ‘n’ roll world, and Billy is soldiering on regardless. The best thing about his predilections for being so obstinate is that in the last few years he has made some of the best music he has under the Pumpkins banner.
True, for many, Pumpkins will be Cherub Rock, Butterfly with Butterfly Wings etc etc. Yawn yawn. These still are great tunes, but the band has a back catalogue that too many skip over. Adore saw them tip their toes into new waters – and if it had succeeded they would have looked like geniuses, as Corgan remarked at the time. It didn’t and it limed out a lame follow up – in some people’s eyes – to Mellon Collie. But since then they have switched band members, toyed with their sound, and emerged as one of the hardest rocking bands out there. Which is not to say that they still can’t throw the odd curveball to those expecting a rehash of their path. This is clearly not on the cards for Mr Corgan, who is intent on forging ahead into new, more ambitious, more thunderous, more intimate, more wonderful realms of guitar rock with seemingly each subsequent release.
Machina/ The Machines of God, released all the way back in 2000 now, was full of roaring guitars but none as much as those found on 20012’s Oceania. With a new album out at the start of December, and a follow up due next year – Monuments to an Elegy and Day For Night, both second and third parts of Corgan’s Teargarden by Kaleidyscope trilogy – there is little sign that his fearsome force is diminishing.
Enjoy one of contemporary rock’s greats in a tiny little London venue. Then tell all your mates how you were there and they missed out.
When: Dec 5 / 7pm
Where: Koko, NW1 7JE
Tube: Mornington Crescent