June 28th 2013
A day before their Glastonbury appearance, Gillespie and co taught Coventry how to get their Rocks off. Louder Than War’s Harley Cassidy was there to witness it.
Cutting the usual slender, toothpick figure as he walks onto stage, Bobby Gillespie is greeted by rapturous applause. Five years off the alcohol and drugs has done wonders for Bobby’s demeanour; he’s less stand-offish and more reserved and welcoming although his face bears the lines of age and world weariness. He’s wearing a loose-fitting red shirt and those trademark lank locks with a smile that cuts through the Kasbah. Promise and anticipation is already held high for tonight’s spectacle.
Opening rather inaptly with Vanishing Point’s ‘Out Of The Void’, the band clearly weren’t looking to set a hefty tone to begin with, instead escalating and building their set up to a joyous, rapturous peak which embodies the music they make, especially the tracks that occupy Screamadelica. 2013 received a warm reception proving that Primal Scream still have a helluva lot to give regardless of Mani off doing his thing with The Roses. Featuring the best sax usage of 2013 (geddit) so far, the first single off the bands 10th studio album placed them in a stronger foothold than the somewhat dejected opener.
Ploughing through most of More Light, aside from a few singular tracks off Vanishing Point and XTRMNTR, tonight’s gig is definitely one for the fans. Although the Primals are keen to push their new back catalogue in fan’s faces it seems that even the most ardent of fans were thirsty for the classics. Even Bobby could tell that the crowd weren’t reacting as spectacularly as he hoped despite the whoops and “WE LOVE YOU BOBBY”’s that pierced the coterie. This all changed when Primal Scream launched into a certain number that features one of the most epic choruses of 2006 and asks the rhetorical “What can a poor boy do?” The crowd reactor scale went from a sceptical six to a superbly strong 8 in a matter of seconds. So, where do you go from here?
Whilst Country Girl brought the house down the song that followed it, Rocks, set the roof off. A mass of bodies forming into one faction, shaking everything to the dirtiest, grooviest riff of the night immediately zipped the mouth of any naysayer who ever doubted whether the band “still had it”. As they left stage right after the biggest dance along the Kasbah may ever have seen audience members weren’t fazed. Surely something this good wasn’t going to end so soon?
Sure enough, back for encore no.1 Primal Scream decided that it was professedly right for them to make their second debut live performance of the night with another new track: Walking With The Beast. It’s apparent that the band are more than comfortable with the settings they’re in and it’s interesting that they decided this was the gig to debut songs never before performed live as opposed to their support slot for The Stone Roses at Glasgow Green or of course Glastonbury.
After a mass love fest to Loaded and the whole ten minute beauty that is Come Together which left one thousand people singing “OHHHH OH, TOGETHER AS ONE” in unison, acapella, right back to a grinning Gillespie, you’d think the night would end there. Oh no, taking to the stage for an exhilarating second encore, the four piece broke into a song that could be statistically proven that no one can ever feel sad listening to: Movin’ On Up. The cacophonic vocals, the soaring riffs, the gospel choir… what a song to end a truly momentous night on where not one person left feeling dissatisfied or heavy hearted. Age may have taken its toll on Bobby physically but who cares when the music will always be so good?