Gig review: Primal Scream, Selina’s Coogee Bay Hotel, 29/1/11

Screamadelica being performed in full is many a Primal Scream fans dream. It had the potential to be a hackneyed affair, but the luck lies in the uplifting 1991 album, still a completely unique record brimming with good vibes. From the soaring opener of Movin’ On Up to the devastatingly heartbreaking Damaged, every aspect of the show lived up to and exceeded expectations.

Bobby Gillespie is an absolute rock and roll dandy. Impeccably dressed in his suit with red shirt, his hair swinging back and forth before the heat saw it matted to his face, long limbs heading in every direction, he was vibrantly electric. When not singing with joyous gusto, mic lead looped into his hand, he shook maracas and called upon the audience to shout louder.

When the magic words escaped his mouth – ‘You guys wanna get loaded?’, the crowd exploded into a teaming mass of sweaty limbs and legs. Mani’s bass was frighteningly loud, sending vibrations from toes to heart, visually assisted with sporadic strobe lights and lasers. And when that quaking guitar riff came in, you best believe we paid attention. Add the hallucinogenic visuals being projected behind the band and it felt like we’d been transported right back to the original days of Screamadelica.

The songs were played out of order but the setlist still felt natural and well paced, with the best being saved for last. The first organ strains of Come Together caused an upheaval of shouts and bodies, and once the all important refrain kicked in there was no stopping the worshipping crowd as their voices overpowered Gillespie and back up singer.

It was the perfect show as was, but the icing on the cake came with the encore, prefaced by Gillespie shouting ‘We don’t have any more from Screamadelica, but who wants some rock n roll?’ What ensued was a welcome nightcap commencing with Country Girl sending the audience skyward jumping and jiving to the catchy chorus, ending with the irrepressibly ballsy Rocks leaving us sweating and gasping for more, proving why the Scream continue to outshine many of their nineties contemporaries.

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