photo by Mark Sharpley
photo by Mark Sharpley

Bobby Gillespie has been in this business a long time. And Primal Scream are the fine wine of music, getting better with age. At the O2 Brixton Academy the Scream Team showed no signs of slowing down.

They kicked off the proceedings with “2013”, from this years album More Light, with Gillespie prowling the stage looking good in a sharp black suit and shirt. “Alright London, here we go!” is the shout as “Hit Void” is the next song to get the crowd going. If that was a warm up for the audience, then “Jailbird” raised the temperature right up in the classic Scream groove. “Shoot Speed/Kill Light” follows a “come on Brixton, lets see ya!” command from Gillespie. Everybody duly obliges. “Accelerator”, from the XTRMNTR album, quickly follows before two songs from the More Light album come in the shape of “Culturecide” and “Tenement Kid.”

“Having a good time??? We have a mixed selection tonight.” proclaims Gillespie. And he isn’t wrong with “Turn Each Other Inside Out”, “Goodbye Johnny” and “Walking With The Beast” being the rabbits out of the Primal Scream bag. “Autobahn 66” gets an airing with Gillespie likening it to how “Chuck Berry would have sounded if he was born in Germany.” One of the stand out tracks of the gig comes in the form of “It’s Alright, It’s OK” with veteran Scream Team members Andrew Innes and Martin Duffy in fine form on one side of the stage, drummer Darrin Mooney working hard in the middle and bassist Simone Butler and guitarist Barrie Cadogan doing business on the other side.

“Come on London, lets go…” is the cry as “Swastika Eyes” booms through the Brixton Academy. It has the audience at full throttle, dancewise. “Country Girl”, from the Riot City Blues album, keeps the momentum going with Gillespie neither giving out or giving up (fans will know what I am on about). Then the Scream frontman, ahem, politely asks, “Are you motherf*****s ready to get your rocks off????” before “Rocks” rocks Brixton and rocks it loudly.

After a short break, they return for the encore beginning with “I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have” with the audience adding a few “Sympathy For The Devil” style whoo whoo’s in for good measure, but it’s after that number that three of British indie music’s biggest anthems get played. First up is one of THE biggest in “Loaded”, complete with Andrew Weatherall on the decks as he was all those years ago on the Screamadelica album and it still sounds as good today as it did over 20 years ago. And it doesn’t stop there with the Screamadelica classics as second one of the trio is “Come Together” and everybody does just that by singing and dancing together as one. The curtain comes down with “Movin’ On Up” with crowd still singing as they leave the building. Its hard to believe that one third of this band is over the age of 50 but if this is how they bang out the hits, then long live Primal Scream.

— Mark Sharpley | @MarkSharpley1

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