It seems that just about every band that has run out of ideas and money goes rummaging back through the archives to do a live re-run of the glory years.
For Primal Scream who have been together (believe it or not) nearly 30 years, Screamadelica is a record that the band have never really escaped or been able to move on from. For fans of the seminal album, unlike the band, it’s probably a record they never want to escape from. With its uplifting themes of togetherness, love and drug-induced acid house vibes – Screamadelica was the defining record that fused rock and electronic music as one.
Nearly 20 years on since its release, in a freezing barn out in west London, Primal Scream bring the audience back to warmer climate and let us forget the cold weather for just a little while. Songs like ‘Come Together’, ‘Loaded’, ‘Moving on Up’, with their euphoric lyrics and general strong ingredient of serotonin, have a crowd of 8,000 moving like its 1991. Such is the enthusiasm of the booze flowing, and general carnival like atmosphere, at times, the gig sort of feels like a football match.
For the downbeat tunes such as, ‘Higher Than The Sun’, and ‘I’m Coming Down’, where Gillespie doesn’t know when to call it quits with the five minute repetitive vocal loops, people make for the toilet or the bar, waiting for the next big hit to cheer them up.
Despite the grandeur of the show and array of psychedelic visuals, the band show they can go back to basics on the beautiful ‘Damaged’, which Gillespie manages to deliver pitch perfect even if it does sound like a Rolling Stones cover. Some bands know their limitations, and when the audience does as well, they know what to expect. In terms of nostalgia and general feel good music, it all worked. Heading back into the cold night, 1991 seems like a distant dream.