Mani might be back with the Roses but in Debbie Googe (previously of My Bloody Valentine fame) they have a more than able replacement to keep the good times going.
Despite only being their second UK performance of the year, this sold out show sees the band play like an act half their age with twice as much to prove. The audience spends the majority of it inhabiting Bobby Gillespie’s palm as hits are dished out with machine gun rapidity.
The show kicks off with the shoegazing ecstasy of ‘2012’ before tension and adrenalin are ratcheted up with ‘Swastika Eyes’. It may be over a decade old now but the song is still one of the fiercest things you’ll hear this side of Judgement Day.
‘Movin’ On Up’ and ‘Slip Inside This House’ hark back to the last year’s epic Screamadelica tour which reaffirmed their position as one of the UK’s finest acts and delivers a prime slice of rave pie. ‘Accelerator’ then blows any feelings of nostalgia out of the water with guitars so loud they could shoot hydrogen bombs out of the sky.
‘Higher Than The Sun’ turns things from supercharged to surreal with it’s mesmeric and intoxicating rumblings introducing another dimension to the evening. Bobby’s proclamation of “I believe you get what you give” and looped chorus sit perfectly with some solid beats, allowing the audience a brief peak into the heart of Psychedelica.
‘Loaded’ continues this leftfield feeling, with the first sounds of those iconic trumpets causing a very beautiful kind of hysteria in the crowd coupled with manic dancing throughout the venue. An extended version of ‘Come Together’ proves the only song with the sonic calibre to continue this elation. Gillespie is again the puppetmaster as the people of Aberdeen throw off their shackles like it’s 1991 with the chorus been hummed long after the band have departed for their obligatory encore.
When they return to the stage it’s guitars to the fore. ‘Country Girl’ kicks of this rock atmosphere, with the slow-burning dirty-stomper well worth it’s place amidst the band’s classics. Innes’ and Cadogan’s guitars again provide the foundations for ‘Jailbird’ as the song continues the upward trajectory of euphoria.
And there’s only one way they can end it. ‘Rocks’ still sounds as debauched as the day it slithered it’s way into the world. And has there ever been a catchier intro to a song than “Dealers keep a-dealing/Thieves keep a-thieving/Whores a-keep a-whoring/Junkies keep scoring” ? This is unadulterated sexy rock ‘n’ roll at it‘s best.
The Stone Roses might have the headlines just now but Primal Scream are as equally important and relevant today. In Bobby Gillespie they have a singer still at the top of his game, a man who weathered everything the 1990s could throw at him and who few fellow frontmen can even get close to touching. They have redefined music once and they’re not resting on their laurels. With a host of shows and festival appearances in the coming months, quite a few more people will come to realise this.