Gig review: Primal Scream, Glasgow

Bobby Gillespie showed he was in mellow mood on his latest homecoming. Picture: Getty
Bobby Gillespie showed he was in mellow mood on his latest homecoming. Picture: Getty
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The restored Kelvingrove Bandstand has really come into its own this summer with a well-curated, well-organised and well-attended run of shows that, for the most part, have been spared the worst excesses of the Glasgow weather.

Primal Scream | Kelvingrove Bandstand, Glasgow | Rating ****

This turn by Primal Scream, homecoming heroes of a fashion – singer Bobby Gillespie and guitarist Andrew Innes both originally hail from Glasgow – was perhaps its crowning success.

“It’s pretty beautiful here,” ventured Gillespie, gazing up at the tall trees lining Kelvin Way silhouetted against a darkening slate grey sky, “Glasgow’s a beautiful place”. If you know anything of his typically brittle nature, then you’ll know he must have been in a good mood to say something like that. Having kicked his drink and drug habits in recent years, the pink blazer attired frontman cut an altogether mellower and happier figure than in the Scream’s hedonistic days of yore, even if injuries resulting from a recent stage fall at a festival in Switzerland earlier this summer meant that he had to perform perched on a high stool.

A steady, thin drizzle fell throughout the evening but the ponchos were out in force and nobody seemed to let conditions dampen their mood. Opener Movin’ On Up needed a restart after Innes amusingly forgot to put a capo on his guitar (he can only have played the song a thousand times or so) but eventually got things started on a suitably euphoric note. Where The Light Gets In and Trippin’ On Your Love, each featuring glamorous guest vocalist Hannah Marsden, made for enjoyable if perfunctory representations of the band’s latest album Chaosmosis, among a set that was heavily weighted towards the catalogue hits.

When once Primal Scream had three guitarists, including the late Robert “Throb” Young, Innes is the only one in the band’s current live line-up which also features former Felt member Martin Duffy on keys and Darrin Mooney on drums. As such Accelerator and Shoot Speed Kill Light from their most aggressive album, 2000’s XTRMNTR, lacked some of the noisy attack of old. The atomic beats of Swastika Eyes found stronger favour, as certainly did that most hands-in-the-air of songs Loaded, from 1991’s acid house classic Screamadelica, the iconic artwork of which flashed on big screens whenever it was invoked.

Big dumb rock’n’rollers Country Girl and Rocks raised a merry hell, before another Screamadelica staple Come Together drew the show to a blissed out conclusion. The audience sung its gospel-y vocal refrain back at the band long after the song had finished, to Gillespie and co’s obvious admiration.