Gig Review: Primal Scream

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March 14 @ O2 Academy Leeds

Bobby Gillespie doesn’t look a day older than he did in 1991.

He still sports the same shoulder-length hair style he had when his band’s now iconic album, Screamadelica, was first released.

Dressed in black jacket and trousers and rockstar red shiny shirt, he’s not carrying any extra pounds.

Two decades later Bobby and his band are touring the album, starting with this 2,700 sell-out gig.

Fears that an ageing six-piece fronted by a 48-year-old may struggle to match the vigour of songs written 20 years ago are dismissed as Movin’ On Up bursts into life.

All of them seem up for the occasion – this is no greatest hits tour – but a modern re-run and at pace.

Slip Inside This House ratchets up the atmosphere as memories of the Second Summer of Love, circa 1990, begin to re-emerge from the audience’s subconscious.

House diva Mary Pearce’s mighty presence and booming vocals lend a rich depth to each song she accompanies.

The Primals messed with the album’s original running order, with a first time-live performance of Shine the Stars half way through the gig relaxing the sweaty throng.

Mani, with his customised Marshall speaker behind him, begins to grin maniacally at the crowd as Higher Than the Sun approaches.

His base playing gets as close as you can to Jah Wobble’s Dub remix masterclass.

The band, and the venue, are cooking and Loaded raises the roof.

Come Together does what it says on the tin and an encore of Country Girl, Jailbird and Get Your Rocks Off was the icing on the cake.

At one point Mani grabbed the microphone from Bobby and screamed: “not bad for old *****”. Precisely.

CHARLES HESLETT

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