Hammersmith Apollo and Brixton Academy, London, 24/11//2006...2/
published: 22 /
After going to three of their shows in the space of just over a week in London, Olga Sladeckova realises that for her there can never be enough Primal Scream
Fri 24th November
It’s coming up to 9pm. My friends and Iare just passing through the wide doors of the London venue, the Hammersmith Apollo. Tonight, the venue has been taken over by Primal Scream and their very faithful fans who sold out the venue weeks ago.
Primal Scream are due on the stage at 9:15 so, after we stock ourselves up with drinks, we walk through another door to the main hall. The large stage is in front of us. Everything seems already set up so I let my friends babysit my handbag and coat and head down the front lines.
The band walk on the stage just as the clock strikes 9:15. I must admit I am quite impressed with their accuracy. They open their three gigs London venture with ‘Accelerator’. (Primal Scream are due to play two more gigs the following week but more about that later…) ‘Accelerator’ is a song from their ‘Exterminator’ album which is very aggressive. The crowd appreciate the barrage of wild, fiery sounds being catapulted from the stage. Most of the fans down the front give in to “dancing”, or the “jumping and pushing”, to be more accurate, right away.
The songs that seem to awake the most excitement in the auditorium are from Primal Scream's last album ‘Riot City Blues’. ‘Doll’ is one of those songs. The lyrics tells a story of a couple that have broken up but still seem to have a crush on each other. The tune is simple just as the chorus is easy to remember:
‘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!’
‘Bomb Drops’, ‘Suicide Sally’ and ‘Country Girl’ are also from the last album and cause a riot in the front line. I look back at one point at the fans on the balcony above. They are squeezed tightly to its very tip and waving their hands. I expect any one of them to land on our heads at any time soon.
Primal Scream bring something of a different flavour to proceedings with older songs such as ‘Medication’, ‘Jailbird’ and ‘Burning Wheel’.
These gigs are never boring. Halfway through the gig I notice the sleeves on my shirt are torn. When I then focus my eyes properly on the stage I notice a bra lying in front of the stage monitors. Never boring indeed…
It’s about 10:30 when Primal Scream decide to end their main set. They, however, don’t take much persuasion from the fans to return to their instruments.
The encore opens with ‘Damaged’. It is a bit of a surprise since the song, which appeared on the 'Screamadelica' album from 1991, is now 15 years old The song has a very calm tune. Even the fans down the front just move in a very slow motion. I give into the tune myself at the end of which one of the fans standing next to me announces that I elbowed him 3 times while dancing. Like I said before, a lot of strange things happen at Primal Scream gigs.
So, what would you expect to come up next? Of course, it’s ‘Loaded’. Singer Bobby reinforces some psychedelia as he drifts around the stages with shakers in his hands. The crowd follow the tune by joining in with his dancing.
Finally, the band close their set with a cover of Mc5's ‘Kick out the Jams’.
Fri 1st December
This time I am out on my own – I was not able to find anyone to go to Primal Scream more than once or willing to pay out another £ 30 for a ticket.
Tonight Primal Scream are residing in Brixton Academy. Brixton is my favorite venue. In spite of the ever "suspicious" body search I can’t wait to get through. Since I’m on my own tonight I didn’t bother to turn up until the band are due on the stage which is 11 p.m. My blood is already enriched from a bottle of wine so I just shoot straight towards the stage.
Tonight’s set is very similar to the one last week on the 24th November. The venue is not sold out which I do think reflects amongst the audience who are surprisingly gentle and mellow.
Everything seems to go according to plan tonight which is not quite right but maybe three gigs in nine days is a bit too many. Or maybe not?
Sat 2nd December
This time, again, I am out on my own – I was not able to find anyone to go to Primal Scream more than twice or willing to pay out over £ 90 for three tickets.
I am actually running late which is fully my fault. As much as I love Primal Scream more then any other band it just doesn’t seem as special tonight anymore. It’s a bit like pouring a good wine into a bucket and drinking it with five straws.
The band must have already got through at least three songs but I still manage to fight my way through to the front. The 4,500 capacity Brixton Academy is sold out tonight and it is definitely showing on the crowded auditorium.
Ashamed of my delay I join the flaming crowd in dancing just as the next song ‘Kill All Hippies’ starts. I must say that compared to the Apollo gig, the lights are much better in Brixton. Not sure if that is down to the venue or the band’s lights person but it’s great to get lost in them. They flash and shoot across the fans. As they flash you can see Bobby’s figure on the stage dancing. It’s a real experience.
Once again, ‘Country Girl’ brings the fans up to boiling point. Once again the memorable and seductive chorus is sung by the whole venue:
Take my hand
Lead me thru this diseased land
I have I have I have (no idea)
I have stole
I have sinned
Oh my soul
Gotta keep on keeping on”
The encore, for the last time this year, begins with ‘Damaged’. This is NOT a sarcastic comment. I am honestly sorry this is the last time we will see Primal Scream live but the excessive number of times I have seen them in such a short time is making this venture less special.
When the band finish their set and say good-bye for the last time I wonder how long it will take till we see them again. I hope not long.
Fri 8th December (1:55am)
Just got home from a pub. No Primal Scream gig tonight. I did have a great evening but something is missing. Maybe, after all, there can never be enough Primal Scream. Not for me anyway.