Thursday, November 23, 2006

Primal Scream, The View @ Rock City, Nottingham

Primal Scream are now relative OAP’s in the rock world - it's a full 19 years since they released their debut album and even at this age it says much of their stature and fanbase that they not only sell out a venue Rock City’s size but with ease too. Ironically they haven’t chosen a friend from years ago to come along for the support slot but instead a band who feel like they’ve barely been here 19 minutes; The View. So a mixture of young and old, legends and young upstarts is on offer for the fans tonight.

The young Scotsmen emerge tentatively, before this gig they’ve supported Babyshambles at the 500 capacity Rescue Rooms and played a sweaty 200 show at the Social. Now a whole new Nottingham crowd awaits, one which is four times as big as their Babyshambles support slot and one which is of an age where they may not have even heard of these youngsters, potentially Rock City represents a lion’s pit. Their nervous looks are reflected in a shaky beginning but as they begin to feel comfortable they get better. ‘Wasted Little DJ’s’ sets them on the right path and acts as further proof that The View are as close as anyone has got to the Libertines since their untimely demise. They remain relatively silent in between tracks and focus on airing material from their upcoming album ‘Hats off to the Buskers’. ‘Superstar Tradesman’ has at least some feet tapping and a few singing along and, while they play well, it is a display which will mean more to them than the crowd it seems.

Primal Scream swagger onstage with confidence, safe in the knowledge they can control the crowd with ease. They naturally look a little older and Mani looks a touch more intoxicated than usual but they have enough energy to fill the venue. They dispense with fancy backdrops and stage set ups, probably well aware that their fans want them as little as they do, and focus on the music. Bobby Gillespie is an intriguing frontman, thankfully not one who suffers from verbal diarrhoea, but he stands self-assuredly moving his head and his feet to the music without ever really looking bothered about where he is. He could be mistaken for being an over-confident fool but this is just the way Gillespie does things and the crowd love it. The early to mid stages of the set are filled with newer material which pleases some but leaves that inevitable question “When will they play the classics?” Just when the set seems to be drifting off they move into the sleazy ‘Swastika Eyes’ and look a band revived. This starts a cataclysmic sequence of hits moving into ‘Country Girl’ and then the classic ‘Rocks’ even before the encore. The latter of the trio sees the backing vocalists take centre stage to add a gospel feel to a downright rock n roll track. By this stage the venue is literally heaving and the encore further fires them up. They decide to close to 1991 classic ‘Movin’ On Up’ with more help from the backing vocalists and, with Mani looking like he’s about to implode, they exit the stage having conquered Rock City yet again.

by Chris Reynolds, GigWise 23/11/2006


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