Brixton Academy, London, 16/10/2004
published: 12 /
At a special charity gig with Spiritualized as support, Olga Sladeckova at her third Primal Scream gig of the year suffers for her art and is bitten by a fellow member of the audience
I love Brixton Academy. It was the ever first time I saw Primal Scream there and its majestic look has not changed. Tonight the great big sign at the front of the building carries the words “PRIMAL SCREAM”. With support from Spiritualized no wonder fans are filling up the venue right from when the doors open at 8 'o' clock.
For me the experience starts down the tube. There is a chain of at least 10 people who extend right from the bottom of the tube and all the way upstairs and towards the venue who, and I quote, offer to “Sell or buy tickets for Primal Scream”. When I prompt one of them to make up his mind since the door of the venue has already opened he doesn’t look amused. (Well at least he doesn’t bite me – I will explain that later…)
When I finally get inside the sold out venue just before 10 o’clock it’s very busy. One of the reasons for that are Spiritualized who are just about to come up on the stage. The whole of downstairs presses against the stage as the band start their set. Amidst their newer songs they also treat us to their classic ‘Come Together’. The lighting perfectly matches the psychedelic music. You can just lose yourself in the sound of the music with your eyes closed.
I’ve seen Spiritualized before but, to be honest, have never been able to count all the musicians in any one of their many line-ups, let alone know which ones are new.I have to say that tonight they sound great though. Frontman Jason Pierce sits in the centre of the stage and modestly plays his guitar. The fans go crazy after every single song.
Primal Scream are due on the stage next. The front lines were busy during Spiritualized's set, but now there is no space at all. I’m being pressed against people in the front row who look a bit breathless. That’s the deal you get for getting so close. Still who cares, when the band which has just come up on the stage-guitarist Andrew Innes, Mani (former Stone Roses bassist), Kevin Shields (one-time My Bloody Valentine frontman) and Bobby Gillespie (temporary Jesus & Mary Chain drummer way back in 1985 but always Primal Scream singer)-consists of some of the best musicians in Britain ?
Their opening song is new. The fans give in into dancing right from the beginning. ‘Miss Lucifer’ is next. “Skinny girl, dressed in black, leather boots, nazi hat, tattooed pianter, vampire cape, sexy dancer, magdalene grace” storms Bobby at the crowd. I went to both the Primal Scream gigs that they did in London earlier this year. Compared to those tonight’s audience is not so aggressive, meaning I don’t get knocked down, have a water bottle over me or have a fan attempting to strangle me, which is quite a relief really. The audience is, however, full of energy.
Another popular song is ‘Burning Wheel’. You can feel yourself burning along with it. Bobby is now lost far in the music and while he sings he dances around the stage in his typical fashion. He throws his arms around and dances from one end of the stage to another. I think everyone in the auditorium must be jealous of all the space he has.
I can’t quite remember the exact time but somewhere around then I feel someone is actually biting my arm!!! Would you believe that? A girl in front of me, who I presume must be more than 2 years old – at least by her height not behaviour- bites my arm very hard. The shock throws me off for the next three songs as I wonder if I have dreamt it
I finally come awake again with ‘Swastika Eyes’. Once again it is a song full of passion but also aggression. We love that sort of stuff. Bright lights are flashing all around the venue.
It’s past 1:30 when Primal Scream finish their main set and to our dissatisfaction walk off the stage. It doesn’t take us long, though, for us invite them back with loud shouting and clapping.
The encore is opened with ‘Jail Bird’. “I’m yours, you’re mine, give me a piece of that Jail Bird pie.” Everyone sings along. Primal Scream' repertoire is huge but only one song can properly close tonight’s set. ‘Movin’ On Up’ comes on. Everyone around me looks exhausted after the one and a half hour set, but determinedly reaches down inside themeslves for their last drops of energy.
Unfortunately this is really it. As it comes up to 2 a.m. the band wave goodbye and then are gone backstage for good. Holding my bitten arm I can’t quite forget the girl. When I walk up to her after the gig she hides behind her boyfriend who without letting me explain asks: “Did she bite you?”
What would you say to him?
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