Thursday, 11 December 2008

Primal Scream @ Sheffield Carling Academy. December 1st 2008

Chloe West

une 2005. Primal Scream take to the stage as Glastonbury’s Sunday night penultimate headliners. To be brief, the band have clearly had a bit of a session, and before being forced off stage, frontman Bobby Gillespie appears to make Nazi salutes, manages to throw a tantrum and several mic stands, and offend Kylie Minogue. So, with this my first exposure to the Scream’s live performance, tonight’s gig at the Academy had a lot to live up to. Would it be necessary to avoid flying equipment or had Gillespie and co tamed over the subsequent years?

Bursting straight into ‘Kill All Hippies’, the track proves why XTRMNTR was such a highly acclaimed album. Gillespie whines over chaotic synth and heavy beats, which along with ‘Swastika Eyes and ‘Miss Lucifer’ form the most frenzied elements of the set; simply dirty electronic mayhem. These compliment the spacey ‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’ and a dreamy ‘Deep Hit Of Morning Sun’, at which point purple strobes cascade across the venue, mirroring the song’s lyrics. Visually, the Scream experience is overwhelming, the crowd constantly indulged in flickering graphics across the backdrop.

The band also showcase some new material, taken from latest album Beautiful Future. Both its title track and latest release ‘Uptown’ appear to reveal a poppy, lighter direction; another makeover for the genre defying group. Yet despite reinvention being their supposed forte, unfortunately this time it fails to reach previous dizzy heights. ‘Beautiful Future’ sounds more like a charity Christmas single rather than, as previously described by Gillespie, ‘high energy rock and roll’. In spite of this ‘Cant Go Back’ saves the new collection from drowning in its own sickliness, with rowdy guitar enhanced by classic bass from Mani, screeching keyboard and few controversial lines; its all we need to see.

Other highlights of the set include Screamadelica’s gospelesque ‘Movin’ On Up’ along with ‘Jailbird’ and ‘Rocks’, both of which draw heavily on the bands Stones influence. All three show yet another sound Primal Scream have dabbled in over the years, and the set generally moves seamlessly across the boundaries of musical definition. After the final encore, the night draws to a close on the colossal ‘Accelerator’ which seems to produce enough noise as the rest of the songs collectively, as though shaking the Academy to its very foundations. Despite this tour being daubed the ‘NME Rock And Roll Riot Tour’, there is no show of any earlier mentioned antics. Instead the Scream are professional to the end, delivering tunes spanning the last two decades but still sounding fresh as ever. Mic hurling or not, Primal Scream are rock and roll in their own right.


Primal Scream

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