After the Primal Scream show, I'm queuing up to get my coat back when I see a young man wearing my woolly hat. I'm a little bit surprised because just moments ago I'd thrown at the band and had watched it land at Bobby Gillespie's feet.
You see, when I've had a few drinks and I'm confronted with my musical heroes I have an unfortunate tendency to throw my headwear at them. I once lost a really cool John Deere truckers cap when it glanced off Bernard Butler's guitar and landed in the security area. Also when I was on holiday in Memphis I may
When I've had a few drinks and I'm confronted with my musical heroes I have an unfortunate tendency to throw my headwear at them.have thrown my flat cap at an elderly blind blues singer/harmonica player.
Basically, this is a roundabout way of me saying that Primal Scream were good, really f*cking good.
Before the show even started I was already in a tremendously good mood. Pre-gig I'd swung by the Twa Tams for a quick pint and a young guy with a great voice and a guitar was singing one of my favourite songs, 'Thirteen' by Big Star. It's a moderately obscure song and hearing it played so gracefully put a massive smile on my face.
As snake-hipped rock god Bobby Gillespie, resplendent in a pink fitted suit, and Primal Scream take the stage that good feeling begins to increase exponentially. The chirrupy sample that forms the basis of 'Screamadelica's' 'Don't Fight It, Feel It' is instantly recognised by the sold-out audience, who before long are dancing along to the crunchy drum loops and rolling bass.
Next up is the confrontational 'Swastika Eyes' from my favourite Primal Scream album, 'Xterminator'. It's a brutal slice of rock n' roll that finds Bobby in great voice and the band on scintillating form, particular Simone Butler on bass.
You really couldn't fault the setlist with all era's of the Primals career equally well represented. I find myself really digging tracks from 'Riot City Blues' and 'Vanishing Point' despite not being that into the albums when they came out.
'Doll's (Sweet Rock n' Roll)' in particular is a bit of a revelation, finding both guitarist Andrew Innes and Bobby Gillespie in full-on New York Doll's mode.
'Kill All The Hippies', with a vocal melody that for some reason has always reminded me of Curtis Mayfield, is the epitome of cool. If I was ever to drive around town with my window wound down and the stereo playing obnoxiously loud this is definitely what I'd be playing. Of course, I would never do that.
Of course, it's when they break out the material from 'Screamadelica' that the Concert Hall really begins to erupt. The hypnotic, percussion-heavy, Sympathy for the Devilish intro to 'Loaded' illicit's cries of 'woo woo', 'Bobby, Bobby, Bobby Gillespie', and even, rather crassly, 'here we, here we, here we f*cking go'. Gillespie stands with open arms soaking it all in, like a sunbather catching some rays.
'Loaded' gives way to the soulful, slinky 'Movin' On Up', with the 1500 strong audience taking the place of the gospel choir. Looking around I try to think if I've seen a Perth audience this into a gig. The folk in my hometown can be frustratingly reserved so it's really touching to see everyone giving themselves over to the music. People on the balconies are out of their seats and dancing, A band have never sounded more like Exile on Main Street era Rolling Stones ... not even The Rolling Stones. and everyone's singing along and punching the air in time to the music.
I'm here with my friend Paul and we are having such a good time that we decide to get right down the front for the encore. Bobby preaches love, unity and socialism during 'Come Together' before the band launch into Jailbird from 'Give Out But Don't Give Up'. Anyone that's listened to this album will know that a band have never sounded more like 'Exile On Main Street' era Rolling Stones, not even the actual Rolling Stones.
We start pogo-ing and singing along as 'Jailbird' gives way to 'Rocks Off'. As an interesting aside, Paul and I used to have a school friend who thought that 'Rocks Off' was actually called 'Rock-salt', and as Bobby sings the chorus it does kind of sound like he's singing, "get yer rock salt, get yer rock salt baby'. The shows nearly over and still not thrown my hat yet. During the guitar solo, I spy my chance, there is a clear line of sight between myself and the stage and I expertly frisbee my beanie between Bobby and the guitarist.
Show over the band begin to leave the stage. I desperately start a chant of 'wan mair tune' and it's taken up by a small pocket of the crowd. The band don't play a second encore but as Bobby leaves the stage he looks at us with a smile of devilish amusement and that's almost as good.
Perth Festival of the Arts has joined forces with its 2020 artists to create a 10-day online celebration to ‘celebrate the arts together'.
May 21st Thursday 2020
Dougie Maclean's new Perthshire festival this summer: Cardney Concerts.
March 18th Wednesday 2020
Party at The Park, the South Inch, 27th and 28th June, will feature fantastic live performances from The Charlatans and many more!
March 12th Thursday 2020