Hyde Park, London, 2/7/2006
published: 22 /
...while Olga Sladeckova narrowly avoids dehydration during a vibrant set from support act Primal Scream
It’s about 5 o’clock and my friends and I are walking through a desert dried Hyde Park in London. There are kids running around, people sunbathing and I even spot a young couple squeezing against each other with no realization or appreciation of the public surrounding them.
We are heading for the Hyde Park all day gig. The Who are headlining and Primal Scream are on just before them.
A few minutes later we start hearing music coming from somewhere far in front of us. There are more people following the sound. It reminds me a bit of a scene from a zombie film as we are all, blinded by the hot sun, being lead by the music coming from the concert site. Another 5 minutes and we can see the whole concert site. It’s surrounded by fences and some sort of a dodgy theme park carousel sticking up at least 50 feet in the air if not more. As we get closer the carousel starts spinning and you just hope the people attending the ride have strong stomachs.
Finally we arrive at the ticket check. Our bags get checked and we are in! The site is almost identical to any of the other summer festivals with all kinds of weird stalls selling even weirder stuff such as tight leather clothes, cut up water melon and disposable cameras that you always buy but know they will never work.
First of all we head for the bar tent but I get stopped by an enthusiastic couple asking for a favour. They are standing right next to the crazy carousel. They are willing to dance for me if I contribute towards the ride. I agree and they start to make some wild moves and jumps. I’ve never seen the Indian dance 'Please Rain' or a drunken fairy dancing at half moon but I truly believe the two mixed together was what I was getting. I end the couple’s effort with 1 pound and 53 pence and continue in search for the bar.
When we stock up on drinks we head for the pyramid tent where Primal Scream are headlining at 7.
The tent is relatively empty when we arrive so we can sit down on the grass and enjoy some of our over priced wine. The whole place starts filling up fast just before 7 so I decide to head for the front lines. I manage to squeeze myself into a spot less then 12 feet away from the stage.
At last, Primal Scream come on the stage accompanied by massive applause and loud screaming from the fans. They don’t waste a minute and open their set with ‘Movin’ On Up’. The tent is now overflowing with people. No can escape the band’s infectious energy.
The next song, ‘Dolls’, is from Primal Scream latest album ‘Riot City Blues’. The song has quite a laid back tune and chorus you can’t help but follow:
“Don’t want your diamonds, don’t want your gold,
I want your love, I want your soul,
Come on babe, let’s have a good time!”
By this stage it is boiling hot in the crowd. It’s probably the sweatiest gig I’ve even been to but I decide not to question where all that “water” wetting my clothes came from…
Half way through the gig we get treated to some older songs such as ‘Jailbird’ or the ever great ‘Burning Wheel’. The intro to ‘Burning Wheel’ is slow but sensational. The tune is seductive and Primal Scream know it as they give into their own music. Front man Bobby Gillespie spins around the stage throwing his arms around and swinging from one side of the stage to another. While we, fans, have only very limited space in the crowd everyone still manages to pull off some sort of dance moves.
‘Bomb Drops’ is another new song. The whole song has a dark shade thrown all over it. It sounds as if the music was coming from the darkest underground but still manages to make you feel a part of it. The fans jump up and down but exhaustion is begging to settle in.
Recent single ‘Country Girl’ has been played an excessive number of times, at least on UK radio and TV. As for myself, I really like the song but there is nothing like hearing it live when surrounded by what I believe is over 4000 people singing the lyrics word by word. Bobby gives it all as he provokes the fans to even more mad jumping. I’m struggling to catch my breath but can’t resist his invitation.
It’s coming up 8 o’clock and the gig is almost over. Primal Scream decide to close their set with ‘Rocks’. Everyone seems to know the lyrics. We all almost swim in sweat now but it doesn’t seem to matter. At least not yet. There goes the encore:
“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
Get'em off downtown”
I can’t say I’m happy when the Primal Scream finish their set but another 10 minutes of this and half of the fans would die of dehydration and the other half would be squashed to a quarter of their size.
The next band on are the Who on the main stage but I believe you can read about that one elsewhere.
The photographs that accompany this article originally appeared on www.efestivals.co.uk
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