Primal Scream at Alexandra Palace Park
Slime-green paint splashes slither down an animated screen, setting the stage as members of Primal Scream, dressed in white, sing their soft, psychedelic, dance-rock. “We want to get loaded! We want to have a good time!” the band exclaims as the crowd cheers. The music may not resonate with a younger crowd unfamiliar with the material, but this al fresco performance delights longstanding fans.
Alexandra Palace provides the perfect backdrop for the experience, with the whole of London’s skyline and assorted trees surrounding the plush marquee. Primal Scream, the Scottish rock band formed in 1982, have been releasing music for over 40 years with a dedicated fan base who want to shake off the responsibilities of life for one night, to indulge, enjoy and relive.
The show is visually compelling: at one point, an eye surrounded by multicoloured circles zooms in, the iris turning into kaleidoscopic spheres as the sequence repeats over and over. Psychedelic videography and well-timed lighting brings a mesmerising element to the performance that is great to watch.
Primal Scream know their audience and effectively engage – at one point asking people to raise their hands if they’ve taken psychedelics or ecstasy – and they frequently succeed at getting them to sing along. There is a touching tribute to late band member Denise Johnson in the lullaby-esque Shine Like Stars. Country Girl and Rocks are fun, foot-moving numbers that are easy to get into.
There is a nostalgic, friendly festival vibe as the crowd shake off their responsibilities for a few hours to bounce around. The music isn’t necessarily what one thinks of, hearing the word “rock” (it feels more like pleasant background tunes than beats to pour the heart into), but the point of this show isn’t to be groundbreaking – it’s a celebration of the good times, a chance to relive another age.
Photos: Mike Garnell
For further information and future events visit Primal Scream’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Country Girl here: