Together as one
14 March 2011
Scarily, this year is the 20th Anniversary of Primal Scream’s seminal album, Screamadelica. If my taxi driver is to be believed, Primal Scream are in a bit of bother with the tax man – hence this big tour of the UK. I don’t really care, I just got to go to one of the best gigs I’ve been to!
Part of me felt that it was hardly any time at all since the album came out. It was pleasing that the O2 looks almost identical to the old Town and Country Club that I went to when I was a student. The band came on, everyone looked pretty much like they always did – with the very notable exception of Mani (ex-Stone Roses and now playing bass for Primal Scream) who looked utterly knackered when they first came on. He was wearing a very ill advised stripey black and red roll neck and as he played I kept worrying that he might pass out. However, there was a lot of affection for the guy, at one part in the gig, the crowd started shouting ‘Mani, Mani, Mani!’ Did I imagine the hint of desperation in our voices, willing him to keep going?!
Still, the bass line was what it was all about last night. The bass was so heavy that I tried to record a couple of songs on my iphone using audioboo. Thinking it had worked, I tried to listen to them this morning but they didn’t work, it’s just a lot of fuzz!
The band burst on with Movin’ on up – a fast and messy version. They then played a selection of tracks from Screamadelica. Don’t Fight it, Feel it was a highlight with the crowd shouting ‘gonna get high till the day I die’. The more chill out ‘morning after’ tracks gave us a lazer show whilst Gillespie and some of the others disappeared – probably for a fag or something stronger. I expected my favourite song Loaded to be the highlight of the night. Although it was good, the climax of the Screamadelica part of the evening was in Come Together. This went on for about 15 minutes, the crowd going wild, people around me hugging strangers and jumping up and down. I haven’t moshed like that in years and it was a great feeling. It’s testament to the good atmosphere there that although I was stone cold sober (having given up alcohol for Lent) it was still euphoric. The final ‘ahhhhhh, together as one’, rang around the auditorium for a good few minutes.
This put the full stop on the Screamadelica set. The crowd was worked up and shouted and stomped for more. After a good wait – enough to have us all braying – Bobbie Gillespie ran back on stage and said ‘are you ready for some rock and roll?’ Crashing into Country Girl – the switch from 90s dance to rock and roll was amazing, the crowd again surging and jumping up and down, this time gleefully pushing into each other and stomping. This then segued into Jailbird with a grand finale of Rocks.
This all served to highlight the versatility of this band and just how dance music and rock music can come together in the perfect alchemical mix.
The 20th anniversary of Screamadelica deserves to be celebrated. If you get a chance to celebrate with the band, see if you can join the tour, and sing along: ‘ahhhh, together as one’!