Gig Review: Primal Scream at Limelight (24/11/13)

BY CHARLES COOK

Primal Scream front man Bobby Gillespie appears high. Not slightly high, or high on life, but really, actually high. He’s so baked that he neglects to speak to the audience until five songs into the set, at which point he mumbles, “me and my… Andy, on the road… song!” while his glazed eyes explore the edges of their sockets and roam beyond his control.

If they were playing well, that would be forgiven. If they were playing well, it might even be endearing, but they’re not. Things have been strained right from the off, the band coming out of the gate with lesser known songs ‘2013’ and ‘Hit Void’ from their new album More light. Their overblown rock and roll image is also laughable: most of the group are either sporting an ill-advised flat-cap or a pair of indecently tight leather trousers. As lead guitarist Andrew Innes bends over to tend to his amp I avert my gaze to avoid serious mental scarring.

The gig is sold out, but down the front it’s curiously empty. First big single “Country Girl” is a long time coming, but is well received and punters surge forward. The band follow up its gratuitous reception immediately with anthem “Rocks”, before leaving the stage to deserved applause for the first time in the evening.

All good will is lost however, as we wait and wait for the encore. I look at my watch at the twenty minute mark and wonder if I should leave, while the rest of the crowd grow increasingly rowdy. But it’s not

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their attitude that’s the problem tonight, it’s Primal Scream’s. They strut back on stage after an incredibly obnoxious 25-minute break to play tediously extended versions of “Loaded” and “Movin’ On Up.”

As they depart for the final time they leave a sour taste in the mouth, not to mention a smoking hole the size of thirty pounds in everyone’s pockets. I just hope it’s better for the second show tomorrow, because with tickets that pricy comes the responsibility to deliver an excellent performance, and that’s not what they gave tonight. Must try harder.

 

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