Anton Newcombe, the brains behind the Brian Jonestown Massacre, must really love the Princess Pavilion because this is the third time the band have played here.

They first played the Falmouth venue in 2016 then again in 2019, when they played a cracking gig, and now they are back again in 2023 for a sold out show at the start of their UK tour.

For those not familiar with The Brian Jonestown Massacre they are a cult band with a huge following who “really mean it maa-aan!”.

They first came to prominence, along with The Dandy Warhols, in 2004 in the classic music documentary Dig!

The film about how art and commerce collide showed Anton sabotaging his chance for massive success by destroying his own showcase in front of top music execs (You can watch the whole documentary on Youtube, it’s hilarious).

Falmouth Packet: Brian Jonestown Massacre on stage at the Princess Pavilion.Brian Jonestown Massacre on stage at the Princess Pavilion. (Image: Brian Robinson Photography)

And Anton, now based in Berlin, has been ploughing that self-same furrow ever since with an ever changing band of musicians, apart from band mascot Joel the tambourine player providing “vibes”.

Falmouth Packet:

The tour is promoting the new, and 20th album, which isn’t even out yet so some of the songs were pretty new to me, but if you like BJM you pretty much know what you are going to get.

Starting off with #1 Lucky Kitty from the last album Fire Doesn't Grow On Trees, a new addition here is a lectern with a folder that seems to contain all the new songs.

Anton will go to the lectern study the sheet music then start the song with the rest of the band then joining in, so perhaps even he’s not that familiar with the new songs yet!

Falmouth Packet: Guitars took centre stageGuitars took centre stage (Image: Brian Robinson Photography)

The performance is rich in psychedelia with the songs literally able to transport you somewhere else. If you close your eyes and just listen, the dense swirling repetitive chords transform into different patterns within the music.

The one exception to the rule is where they all break out the acoustic guitars displaying the more Americana side of the BJM sound.


Falmouth Packet: BJM in full flowBJM in full flow (Image: Brian Robinson Photography)

But it is the classics that people are waiting for and, as the first chords of Anenome break out, the place erupts and a proper mosh pit forms with bodies flailing around, not for the faint hearted.

This is followed by another classic Servo and the place is going crazy by now.

The gig ends with newish song Abandon Ship which has all the hallmarks of being another BJM classic with now six guitarists on stage, including the two guitar techs getting their moment in the spotlight for the final freak-out.

Falmouth Packet: BJM play to their audienceBJM play to their audience (Image: Brian Robinson Photography)

The song has been known to last up to 20 minutes during the previous gigs on the European tour but tonight that is not to be, as at exactly the 11pm curfew, the house lights go up and stage lights go off creating a reversal of what had been earlier with the band looking out from the dark onto a lit up audience before they file off stage.

Afterwards we talk to Anton outside the tour bus. He is chatty and funny explaining the concept of the cover of the new album on vinyl which you can colour in yourself.

As one punter says to him afterwards, “That was a proper good old fashioned gig” “ I only do good old fashioned gigs,” he replies.

Set list:

#1 Lucky Kitty – Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

The Real – Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Fudge – Single

Do Rainbows Have Ends? - The Future is your past

Wait A Minute (2.30 To Be Exact) - Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Pish – Pish

Your Mind Is My Café – The Future is your past

Don't Let Me Get in Your Way – Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

You Think I'm Joking? – Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

Forgotten Graves - Forgotten Graves single

The Mother of All F***ers – The Future is your past




Abandon Ship - single