Friday, 25 March 2011

Primal Scream present Screamadelica @ Leicester O2 Academy 24.03.2011

I would have been 4 when Screamadelica was originally released and even if there was a chance I could have been aware of the music, my dad only first heard of Primal Scream a few years ago so it would not have been playing in the house. Like most music fans in the UK I am now aware and have been for years of the legendary status of Screamadelica and the influence it has had on music since it was released. So even though the tickets were quite pricey for an academy gig it I was just a show that I thought I would kick myself for missing it if I didn't go. Justification for the price came a few days later when the band were announced as the Friday headliners for the Other Stage at this year's Glastonbury. As well as being confirmed for Glastonbury they have been confirmed for Oxegen, T in the Park, Benicassim, Bestival and V Festival.

I did not try to make it to the gig in time for the support act as they were only listed as DJs on the Academy's website. The audience for the show was pretty much wha I expected it would be with me being one of the youngest there at 23. With a majority of the crowd being made up of people would have been teenagers when the album came out first time round 20 years ago. I was very impressed with the venue as well. I have only been to the Birmingham Academy since the chain was taken over by O2 and the venues given a make over. The Leicester one is a lot smaller, probably a third of the size, but it is just as much of a modern venue. So it may double up as a club for some nights in the week, but it does not feel like some dirty student club.

When the band came on stage Bobby Gillispe announced before any music started "we're gonna blow your fucking minds". The band then started the gig with album opener, "Movin' On Up". I had expected the to play the album in it's entirety track for track and for the first three songs of the night that looked exactly like what they were going to do. For the fourth song of the night, they broke from the track listing of the album and played one of last few tracks on the album, "Damaged". I am not as familiar with this track and assumed on the night that it was b-side from one a band's singles of that period before later finding out I was wrong.

As they had now broken from the album track listing for the rest of night they just played tracks from all over the album. For the track "Higher Than the Sun" they played a very extended instrumental at the end of the track. So much so that it was closer to the "Dub Symphony in Two Parts" that is featured on the re-issue that I own rather than the original. To close the set they played the last two remaining tracks on the album, "Loaded" and "Come Together". The first of which is my favourite on the album so I particularly enjoyed it, even if the live version didn't have all of the intro that the recorded one does. Then there was nothing left to play on the album so I hadn't thought they would come on for an encore, unless they played some of tracks that were on the Dixie Narco EP included with the 20th Anniversary re-issue.

The lights did not come back on so they were obviously coming back for an encore. Rather than playing Screamadelica era songs they played some of their most popular tracks they have released since then ("Country Girl", "Jailbird" and "Rocks"). That then closed the night with a bang even getting some members of what had been a chilled out crowd so far, pumped enough to do a bit of crowd surfing.

I think part of what made he show so spacial was lost on me because I did not grow up listening to the album. That being said I thoroughly enjoyed the show and have now gained a whole new appreciation for the album. I was right to spend the money on the expensive tickets, I would have missed them at Glastonbury this year as there is no way I'm missing U2 and as I found out sat night this was not a show to be missed.

Primal Scream Setlist O2 Academy Leicester, Leicester, England 2011, Screamadelica Live Tour

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