PRIMAL SCREAM – Live – Albert Hall, Manchester Review

  • Bo Ningen - Live Albert Hall, Manchester 2ndApril2016 Photo By Andy Von Pip
  • Bo Ningen - Live Albert Hall, Manchester 2ndApril2016 Photo By Andy Von Pip

After thirty odd years in the game, we can happily report that Primal Scream still have that incendiary rock and roll fire burning in their guts. Their recent mind-blowing gig at  Manchester’s Albert Hall was a perfect example of why Bobby Gillespie and his cohorts have remained at the top of their game for so long.  Seriously, (and without getting into a class war debate here Smile ) f*ck the joyless cynics and middle-class critics tapping away on their crumb encrusted keyboards who seem to relish the chance to give working class bands a kicking for not knowing their place because Primal Scream are a simply magnificent live proposition. We appreciate music is subjective, but one does wonder if people who write about music, actually, y’know –  even listen to or like music ? There are some who see Primal Scream as nothing more than musical magpies, constantly attempting to latch on to the zeitgeist.  But a show like this merely exposes the sheer wrong-headedness of such a dismissive closed-minded perspective.  Gillespie has always been an avid consumer of music, a restless spirit never content to limit himself to one style or genre, or simply reheat and rehash a winning formula,  a fact which has consistently made Primal Scream such a fascinating and occasionally infuriating proposition.

Not that any of this matters to the congregation tonight who have gathered in converted Wesleyan chapel to pay homage to their heroes. This was a partisan crowd, one who you might reasonably expect to start burning copies of the ‘Evening Standard’ in protest after their woefully inept and wide of the mark “review” of ‘Chasosmosis.’ It’s also a crowd who know their musical onions and who were generous in their appreciation of support act Bo Ningen‘s intense, theatrical psychedelic wall of sound .

The deafening applause that greeted Bobby Gillespie as he bounded on to stage before the band launched into the euphoric gospel soul classic ‘Movin’ On Up’  gave you the sense that this had the hallmarks of becoming a classic gig. What followed was a perfectly judged mixture of the Primal’s back catalogue and new material, surprisingly featuring just five tracks from their excellent recent ‘Chasosmosis’ album. It combined their many incarnations featuring their stomping stadia straddling rock n roll, socio-political techno-punk  right through to their more recent soaring electronic synth- pop.

Recent single ‘ Where the Light Gets In’ saw Bobby joined on stage by Hannah Marsden of The Snides, who took over the Sky Ferreira vocal with some style and proved Primal Scream can write intelligent commercial pop.  ‘Kill All Hippies’ was majestic and sprawling, driven by Simone Marie Butler‘s throbbing bass funk.  ‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’ was twisting and relentless as was Andrew Innes mind-bending guitar work whilst the paranoid, monolithic dystopian metal-disco stomp of ‘Swastika Eyes’ was just fucking glorious.

Bobby Gillespie - Primal Scream By Andy Von Pip

Having caught Primal Scream on a number of occasions over the years, this has to be one of the greatest gigs we’ve attended in living memory (alongside The Mary Chain’s recent shows) . A genuinely life-affirming experience, full of passion and vigour whilst filling you with the sort of post-gig euphoria that betters any chemically induced high! It also featured Bobby Gillespie sporting a grin to rival the Cheshire cats and putting paid to the tiresome ‘dour scot’ stereotype employed by lazy Sassenach hacks   Smile  – live music really doesn’t get any better than this. It would seem churlish to suggest how this show could have been improved upon, although we would have loved to have heard the beautiful, evocative ‘Autumn In Paradise’ live… then again, perhaps it’s for the best, nobody really wants to see a grown man weep in public Smile .  If you fancy being lifted higher than the sun, then you really do need to catch Primal Scream live, there are few bands that can live with them when they are on this sort of blistering form.

More photos HERE


Set List

Movin’ On Up

Where The Light Gets In

It’s Alright, It’s OK



When The Blackout Meets the Fallout

Kill All Hippies

Shoot Speed/Kill Light

(I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind

Golden Rope

Trippin’ On Your Love

Swastika Eyes

Country Girl



100% or Nothing


Come Together

Andy Von Pip

ANDY VON PIP - Founder, editor, writer, reviewer, photographer and all-round good guy at the House photographer for The Academy Music Group, Zuma Press, Event Magazine and Rex Features worldwide. You can check out his photography at Andy Von Pip Photography Has been new music tipster on BBC6 Music, Amazing Radio, and DJ on Strangeways Radio (USA.) Can currently be heard on IWFM Radio. His radio work has been described as sounding like Ian McCulloch on ketamine fused with Ringo Starr. New music tipster on Amazing Radio, moderator for BBC 6 Music DJ Tom Robinson's Fresh on the Net, former member of "BBC's Sound Of" panel. Written and photographic work has appeared in The Quietus, Music Week, Record Of The Day, The Guardian, GIITV, The Sabotage Times, Bido Lito, The Skinny, Louder Than War. Media partner and curator for Liverpool Sound City.

Discussion4 Comments

  1. Just wondering what gave you the inspiration to critically demolish the middle class? a PS fan.

    • Andy Von Pip

      Probably The Guardian comments section. Although in all honestly it was probably more a disenchantment with the sniffy privileged London-centric journalists rather than the middle-class per se.

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