Primal Scream LIVE @ Brixton Academy 11.12.13

It’s impossible to offer an impartial and honest review of Primal Scream when my love for this band is unconditional and so personal. When I saw Bobby Gillespie’s pink suit on the Pyramid Stage last June, I honestly thought I could die happily. I’ve seen the rock’n’roll Messiah, the man who still raises his middle fingers to pretty much anything around him. I watched a band performing at its peak –and new bassist Simone Butler roaring like a veteran- in what is simply the best place in the world.

Tonight Primal scream play the ‘modest’ Brixton Acadmy. How come? Twenty-two years ago they released Screamadelica, the most important sui generis album of the century and throughout their career they’ve experimented with everything possible around them, from krautrock to blues and indie. How come such a cult band manage to play only in an academy? Simply because Primal Scream are legends and legends will always be the underdogs even decades after. Opening their set with ‘2013’ and ‘Hit Void’, Primal Scream make one thing clear. This show is not for nostalgic, we all must move on. And over half of the show is reserved to their latest masterpiece ‘More Light’ whose anger and political anger resound tremendous in the dark and cold academy. Is there anything that needs to be said about Bobby? Bobby Gillespie, the man and the hero. Suitably dressed in a glittery blouse, his Screamadelic charisma and I-just-woke-up-five-minutes-ago attitude create such a massive contrast, we truly believe he’s some sort of Jesus when he starts singing ‘Happy Days’. He hasn’t lost any of his charm and cocky attitude. We’re all motherfuckers according to him, but we answer back loudly and proudly. How funny it is. In 1991 he was a junkie getting higher than the sun, tonight he supervises a crowd who hasn’t properly learnt his lesson.

‘Swastika Eyes’ and ‘Shoot Speed Kill Light’ get the rave started. Oh yes, Primal Scream do electro very well. In 2000 they released their seminal XTRMNTR which is a great excuse to do a little bit of a mad dance on a frosty Wednesday night. And predictably, the encore is all reserved for the old glories ‘Loaded’,’ Movin’ On Up’ and ‘Come Together’. The power of Screamadelica. I do believe there’s nothing more to add to the show. An extremely powerful performance, top form band still capable of kicking asses. And forgive me if I can’t find any fault, truth is Primal Scream never get it wrong. That’s a fact that even those idiots who started a fight towards the end of the gig might confirm. You don’t need much brain to enjoy such a physical and ultra sensorial experience.


Silvia Rucchin