Primal Scream shines at sold-out Screamadelica show
Glasgow rock band primal cry closed Manchester’s Sounds of the City 2022, as they marked the 30th anniversary of their seminal Screamadelica album.
The psych-rock band was preceded by a stellar billing of emerging talent, including fellow Scots waltz disco whose neo-goth glam-rock tunes filled Castlefield Bowl to begin with. Dressed in a flamboyant dress in purple taffeta, the main singer James Potter worked the crowd, performing songs from their critically acclaimed debut album earlier this year. Their Bowie-vocals sounding like new wave inspired beats combined to create floor fillers that would warm up the audience on that sunny afternoon.
They were followed by Mancunian natives LoneLadywhose funk meets post-punk tracks have met with approval from the likes of Brian Eno and New order. As a solo project, LoneLady was of course accompanied by a live band for her set. His recent record old things drew on her experiences growing up in North Manchester. The album’s lead single “There Is No Logic” was an instant crowd pleaser, inviting audiences to dance to its irresistible groove.
Merseyside’s finest music export since The Beatles, Mysteries play right before Primal Scream and do a great job of livening up the crowd. front woman Lia Metcalfe”s powerful vocals over thundering guitars on tracks like ‘Life is a B*tch (But I Like It So Much)’, the bluesy ‘Old Friends / Die Hard’, and the grunge-soaked outfit ‘In My Head ‘ the attention of the public, and even inspire the strange singing of the fans at the barrier.
When Primal Scream finally arrives on stage, Bobby Gillespie is dressed in his bright red suit, adorned with the Screamadelica album cover and an equally excellent pair of red suede boots. Lithe and lean, he prowls around the stage, still sporting his signature long black hair. “Are you ready to be redeemed? he exclaims, as if he were our preacher, and we his congregation, before bursting into ‘Movin’ On Up’. Accompanied by a quintet of gospel singers who add a layer of soul to every track, and under the golden sunset, it truly feels like a religious experience.
It’s not the kind of concert where you expect mosh pits, but rather a more relaxed atmosphere: people basking in the sun, dodging and nodding in time to the music, smoking a joint or sipping a cider, and overall they are having fun and enjoying the live music in front of them.
Because this is an anniversary tour, Primal Scream predictably plays their Screamadelica album in its entirety, but with a few tweaks to its timeline, choosing to end with perhaps their most recognizable hit, “Loaded” within eight minutes of its glory. Gillespie makes great use of the whole stage, strutting across it and leaning to either side of the audience, so everyone can see him.
The third title “Don’t Fight It, Feel It” is dedicated to Dennis Johnson, who originally provided powerful vocals on the 1992 album, but tragically passed away during the pandemic. Meanwhile, “Slip Inside This House” cascades through the bowl, its baggy-inspired beat instantly putting those seated in the back pews on their feet.
“Come Together” offers Gillespie the opportunity to express his support for the LGBTQ+ community, and to clearly show his solidarity with Ukraine, his contempt for conservatives and his unwavering anti-racist position. It’s a simple but effective endless chorus loop, as the crowd of 8,000 sings it to Gillespie & co., hugging friends and family, drinks held aloft and smiles on their faces. at sunset
The setlist is not exhaustive because many ScreamadelicaThe songs are long spiraling soundscapes. Despite this, the band managed to play until 10:50 p.m., breaking Castlefield Bowl’s 10:30 p.m. curfew, much to the delight of the audience.
In a greatest hits encore, Primal Scream plays “Swastika Eyes” and “Jailbird,” two rockier tracks that get the crowd moving. But Gillespie has one more trick up his sleeve, as he introduces a very special guest: stone roses‘ Mani a.k.a Gary Montfieldwho joins him for not one but two titles: ‘Country Girl’ and ‘Rocks’.
As the sun sets and the multi-hued stage lights go out, a genuine sense of joy permeates Castlefield Bowl. Accustomed to working a Mancunian crowd, before leaving the stage, Gillespie told the fans: “Be Nordic, be proud”.