- 07 Oct 02
The best bands have a gift for making connections even when they’re tearing things apart and – on tonight’s evidence – the Primals have a desire to join things up that verges on the evangelical
It’s difficult initially to muster much in the way of enthusiasm for Primal Scream’s headline slot at Vital 02.
Evil Heat has been a hard record to love: cantankerous, hysterical and unbalanced.
Thank God, then that Primal Scream still have it in them to conjure up spells. The best bands have a gift for making connections even when they’re tearing things apart and – on tonight’s evidence – the Primals have a desire to join things up that verges on the evangelical. In their grand scheme, Memphis, Manchester, Munich and Motor City all share the same postcode.
So, there’s no sense of incongruity when Duffy starts playing whore-house piano during ‘Sick City’ (dedicated, by the way, to David Holmes on his wedding day), or when Mani and Shields rip Kowalski apart and turn it into a post punk meltdown to match PiL’s ‘Death Disco’. ‘Jailbird’ is shanghaied from its Stonesy bolt-hole and roughed-up as a Sham 69 shout-a-thon, while Bobby does a passable Mark E Smith impersonation on ‘Shoot Speed Kill Light’.
Best of all is when Primal Scream 2002 go method acting on ‘Moving On Up’. Bobby, who’s prowled consumptively around all night, suddenly sheds ten long years and, haloed by strobe lights, becomes the bouncing, hand-clapping boy all our girlfriends fell in love with.
There are arms in the air, Mani shouts about George Best and peace on Earth, Kevin Shields straightens up. It doesn’t happen often these days, but Primal Scream still have the power to go nuclear.