Review Scene: Primal Scream – The Forum, 18th February 2018.

Some rock gods succumb to the ravages of time and indulgence, some lose their relevance, and others, like the inimitable Glaswegian Bobby Gillespie, retain their youthful demeanour and the indescribable quality that sees punters follow his every command.

Click for the full gallery by Mary Boukouvalas

At a little after 10pm,  Primal Scream take to the stage. Ever the rock star, frontman Gillespie is resplendent in a cherry-red flared suit, and white floral shirt, flanked by guitarist Andrew Innes and bassist Simone Butler joined by Martin Duffy on keys and Darrin Mooney on drums. The band kick off their set with low key 13th Floor Elevators cover “Slip Inside this House” powering through their set, the audience enjoying the minimalist psychedelic backdrop. “Exterminator” incites all manner of dancing in the crowd and from this moment on, Primal Scream find their mojo and captivate the throng.

Gillespie is on fire as he shakes maracas in one hand and works the crowd, lithe arms rousing the punters to sing along and get into the vibe. Drawing from a solid back catalogue spanning more than 30 years, Primal Scream have more than a few hits up their sleeve. Innes punctuates “Tripping on Your Love” with wah-wah effects, “Higher than the Sun”  and “Swastika Eye” sees the crowd primed for more hit songs.

Nineties dance anthem “Loaded” is the show stopper you expect and incites more sing alongs, dancing and frivolity. “We’re just warming up” exclaims Gillespie at the songs conclusion. In thick Scottish drawl he mumbles further “Jet lagged, no drugs.” Gillespie is a man of few words, but  more than makes up for lack of between song banter with his messiah-like ability to fire up the crowd. An impassioned rendition of “Country Girl” gives way to glam rock inspired party song “Rocks” and Gillespie makes sure every single audience member is clapping their hands above their head.

Click for the full gallery by Mary Boukouvalas

“I’ve got a question for you. Do you want us to play a slow song and two fast ones or just two fast ones?” asks Gillespie as Primal Scream return on stage for the encore. The former wins and slower number “I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have” makes way for highlights “Come Together ” and the finale to end all finales “Moving on Up” with a mass sing along reverberating to the Roman Statues and back… “My light shines on ….My light shines on….. My light shines on.”

In a solid, two hour set replete with crowd sing alongs and dancing, Primal Scream showed us that they are as relevant now as they were in their heyday. The hits shine on.


About Anna-Maria Megalogenis 166 Articles
Anna-Maria has been writing for Street Press in Melbourne and Sydney for over 20 years. She is passionate about food, music and the arts, is an avid reader and used to hand write reviews for Beat Magazine at the Great Britain Hotel, where a patron once suggested she was ripping off articles in Rolling Stone magazine.

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