Saturday 23 September 2017

Review: Primal Scream at The Big Top, Limerick

Review: Primal Scream at The Big Top, Limerick

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream
Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

What do Madonna, the Edge and Primal Scream singer Bobby Gillespie have in common? They’ve all suffered very embarrassing tumbles while performing onstage.

This wasn’t a particularly funny joke in Gillespie’s case, as when he fell off a speaker stack in Switzerland during the summer, all of Primal Scream's shows, including a headlining appearance at the Sea Sessions festivals in Donegal, were cancelled as the Scottish singer nursed a severe back injury.

You can’t keep a good band down and Gillespie and company are back on the road to belatedly promote the release of their eleventh album Chaosmosis with their first ever visit to Limerick. Considering we’ve had the messy divorce of Brexit and the remarkable rise Trump since its release, Chaosmosis is the most prescient Primal Scream album in quite some time.

They channel these political frustrations, but also revisit the pop gospel optimism of 1991 on the euphoric curtain opener Movin’ On Up. Jailbird, (I’m Gonna) Cry Myself Blind and Rocks are blue chip crowd pleasers forever indebted to the Rolling Stones, yet there is also room for the psychedelic Joy Division meets the Velvet Underground intensity of Shoot Speed/Kill Light and Kill All Hippies.

This year’s single Where the Light Gets In sorely misses the presence of American singer and actress Sky Ferreira duetting with Gillespie, who must be the only 54-year old in rock who can get away with wearing a pink dinner jacket. Primal Scream’s music has aged equally as well, as Gillespie's charges successfully warm up a freezing night in Limerick’s milk market. Fortunately for him, Bobby also manages to stay on his feet.

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