Primal Scream at the Forum
Entering the Forum for Primal Scream’s gig was like stepping into a 90s rave; as they played the chirpy whistles of Don’t Fight It, Feel It, it was impossible not to feel it. Frontman Bobby Gillespie, in a day-glo fuchsia suit, strutted in front of a sheet with “maximum rock and roll” scrawled on it.
Primal Scream had 30 years of hits to play, from the pure love of debut Screamadelica up to the more indie sound of Riot City Blues and so on. The catchy hit Country Girl was given an extended performance. It reached number five, their highest chart position so far, in 2006. It cemented its status by lodging in the fans’ heads for the rest of the evening. The Prodigy-esque Swastika Eyes was an equally arresting hit, accompanied by images of riots and police on the screen behind the band.
The band was very slick and professional, a well-oiled machine designed to give their fans a great show, which they did. The audience was mostly a particular brand of middle-class middle-aged man, though there were a few young people too. This presented something of a problem, as a lot of their fans had an entitled attitude which took some of the joy out of watching live music. It felt less experimental and artistic than many gigs – this was music for erstwhile lads, now granddads, who want every note to be the same as back in the day.
1992’s Screamadelica is a seminal rave record, completely capturing the zeitgeist of the time, and its hits Loaded and Come Together were done justice here. Since then, however, the band’s output has become less innovative and distinctive, occupying a middle-of-the-road space similar to that of Manic Street Preachers, albeit with a cooler frontman with a better voice. It was consummate, but not dangerous or exciting.
Photos: Mark Wilko
For further information and future events visit Primal Scream’s website here
Watch the video for Loaded here: