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Primal Scream - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 19/8/2004

  by Olga Sladeckova

published: 15 / 8 / 2004

Primal Scream - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 19/8/2004


Few things can be depended upon, and life can be unpredictable and disappointing. One of its few certainties, however, Olga Sladeckova finds are Primal Scream, who, as always , play an impressive show, this time at the London's Shepherd Bush Empire

There are 3 rules I always follow: Never trust anyone. Never rely on anything. Never believe in anything. I know that might sound cold, but life can certainly be cold also. There are, however, a few exceptions to this. To me one of them is Primal Scream. I can always trust that they will put on a great gig. I can rely on it and believe in it. This year I even cut my holidays to make sure I didn't miss out on their latest London show It’s Thursday night, the 19th August, and I dash through the dark park of Shepherd’s Bush towards the Empire. It’s already after 9 and the band will be on very soon. When I get inside of the venue it seems the majority of their fans have already got there as the front of the auditorium is packed. Still it’s not too difficult to fight my way right to the front for the best view. The stage is already set up with 4 guitars in the front and a microphone in the centre of the stage. Primal Scream, lead by their irreplaceable singer Bobby Gillespie, come up on the stage at 9:15 . The audience is in ecstasy. The band greet us with a new as-yet-untitled song. The song is fast in rhythm and, while it’s obviously new, it does have the band’s blood in its tune. ‘Miss Lucifer’, ‘Skull X’, and ‘Detroit’, all from their latest album ‘Evil Heat’, are served up with a wicked energy, which does not let the fans puase for breath from their wild dancing and jumping around. Only when the band slow down with ‘Long Life’ do we get a bit of rest with the soothing and slightly druggy melody of its tune. That is accompanied with calm blue and green lights, which are drawn across the stage and out into the auditorium. It’s not one of Primal Scream's better known songs, but they put it into their set in a lot of their gigs. I must say it gets better with every show. And then we are back to a faster speed with the appropriately-titled ‘Accelerator’. I can feel that my clothes and hair have become completely soaked as if they have been hit by a bucket full of water. I’m indeed not the only one. The fans are thrilled when they hear the first notes of the next song, ‘Rocks’. More than decade old , it is as powerful as ever: “Get your rocks off, Get your rocks off, honey Shake it now now Get'em off downtown Get your rocks off Get you rocks off, honey Shake it now now” Kevin Shields, formerly of My Bloody Valentine, stands almost motionless on the left side of the stage, but his guitar is an essential part of the music. I can't miss out mentioning Mani, formerly of the Stone Roses, either, who obviously loves the atmosphere of the gig and , as far as his guitar allows him to, is dancing to the rhythm of the song. It’s 10:15 when I look at my watch for the first time after the band came on. The next song up is ‘Swastika Eyes’. It has an especially sharp rhythm, the devil in its soul in fact which is amplified by fiery lights which flash on to the stage and all over the venue. It’s also the first time I accept the possibility of dying of exhaustion tonight . Still I don’t think I couldn’t have chosen a better gig for that. Bobby gives into the seductive rhythm of the song and dances around the stage throwing his arms around freely. Just before 10:30 the band attempt to leave the stage. but we all know they love playing music too much to call it a night already. They are back on the stage after about 3 minutes. Bobby thanks us all for our great support ,and then we get treated to ‘Jailbird’ a song from their fourth album ‘Give Out, But Don’t Give Up’. ‘Medication’ comes next and I think we are all in need of some medication by now. ‘Movin’ On Up’ closes the band’s first encore. Everyone seems to know the lyrics. Bobby walk close to the front of the stage and holds out his microphone for people to sing the song for him. “I’m getting out of darkness. My love shines on.” I look around me and down into the back of the hall and up above on the balconies which are filled with people all cheering. It feels a little like we are all members of Primal Scream. Once again the band retreat back to the backstage but the fans’ shouts for more music is even louder this time. The musicians can’t resist the fans encouragement so we see them a few minutes later back on the stage. ‘A cover of the old MC5 song, 'Kick Out The Jams’, is the very last song of the night. That then is really it. When the song finishes the musicians say good bye and wave to us disappearing into the backstage. While life continues to be unpredictable, disappointing and unreliable Primal Scream have not disappointed me tonight once again. Maybe life is not so cold after all.

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Picture Gallery:-
Primal Scream - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 19/8/2004

Primal Scream - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 19/8/2004

Primal Scream - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 19/8/2004

Primal Scream - Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, 19/8/2004

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