Primal Scream – Olympia, Dublin – Gig Review – 30-11-16 by Killian Laher
When Primal Scream first appeared in the back end of the eighties, they seemed like they would be a transient phenomenon, that they would burn brightly and briefly and then disappear. Not so, as it turned out, as they are very much a ‘thing’ of the nineties. And with nineties nostalgia in full swing they’re still filling medium sized venues like the Olympia.
Poor logistics meant we missed the support act. The main act appeared on stage, punctually at 9pm, opening with a rocked out version of Movin’ On Up. At times (Rocks, Country Girl) the red-suited Bobby Gillespie resembled a dodgy karaoke act, playing fast and loose with the melody. Would love to know how it sounded in his head. However the band were, largely, on song, guitarist Andrew Innes rocking hard on Accelerator and newer tracks like (Feeling Like A) Demon Again. Primal Scream’s brand of music is a broad church, encompassing rock, dance, through countrified soul to electro and in concert this can feel almost schizophrenic as Shoot Speed/Kill Light, an early highlight, was followed by the broken-hearted comedown of (I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind.
The less straightforward material worked really well such as Higher Than The Sun, Kill All Hippies and a thrilling version of Swastika Eyes. Newer songs had half the room dancing and the rest chatting sulky. A fine version of probably their most well-know song Loaded united the room, with the audience chanting the wordless refrain long after the song had finished. On the other hand, a version of Come Together which had the 7″ version tagged on to the Screamadelica version felt dated and overlong.
Undeniably a bunch of chancers. The ultimate hit and miss band, they are a little ridiculous but they seem very aware of this and they certainly know how to appear “loaded and have a good time”. As did the audience.