You got to keep on keeping on.
With the focus returning back to the classic rock roots and away from the recent forays into dance and electronica, all eyes were on Primal Scream to see if the latest transformation from rock chameleons would stand up to their previous highs.
With current single 'Country Girl' snaking its way around the venue at a ludicrously early time in the evening; a sizeable crowd still queuing to enter the hall, time was not for wasting or standing back. By now, the nation will have delivered it's own verdict upon the merits of 'Country Girl' and for all that it is a familiar hybrid of The Stones and Led Zeppelin, the track is immensely likeable and kicked off proceedings grandly.
With 'Jailbird' following in quick succession, the initial thought was that the set was going to rely on the rock standards that may have taken the Scream team to a mainstream audience but failed to match their dance peaks. Thankfully, the inclusion of 'Shoot Speed Kill Light' and it's Peter Hook style pulverising bassline proved that the band still knew how to get a crowd moving in a positive manner. It'd been a long time since this writer had found himself pogoing along in the first rows of a gig but the bellowing of those four seemingly unconnected words was all that was required.
By now, it was starting to dawn on people that the sound quality wasn't going to improve much. There was a lack of clarity in the vocals (the closeness of the venue also highlighted a lack of clarity in Bobby Gillespies eyes) and a general fuzz hung over the music that, on any other night, may have threatened to derail the entire show. Thankfully, the energy and spirit of both band and crowd conspired to create a bigger buzz and as the set wore on, it was obvious that something special was occurring.
And unlike some days in his previous band, no sound problems were going to stop Mani from smiling and enjoying himself as he propelled the band on with thunderous bass line after another. There are some people who will still convince themselves that The Stone Roses were the greatest band of our generation but the truth is more that Ian Browns solo work and Mani's recent output vastly outshines the Mancunian baggy gods. The Stone Roses do piss over anything that John Squire has produced since though.
Often overlooked album 'Vanishing Point' was given the opportunity to be re-evaluated with 'Burning Wheel' and 'Kowalski' containing enough energy and anger to dispel any fears of a mid-set malaise. Although overshadowed by 'XTRMNTR', 'Vanishing Point' was a crucial record by Primal Scream, regaining many fans and lots of credibility after the bewildering 'Give Out But Don't Give Up' release.
On that note, 'Rocks' was almost spat out and its venom stands in contrast to the public perception of the track. It would be unlikely that Rod Stewart would have chosen to cover the song if this version was the basis for the track. It may feature more dumb rock 'n' roll shenanigans and its appeal may have hindered more than helped the band but it's still hard to dislike such a joyous and simple blast of clap-along rock.
With 'Screamadelica' seemingly sidelined with 'Movin' On Up' representing the early 90s masterpiece, it was left to 'Swastika Eyes' to steal the highlight of the set and prove that a rock band can merge political edginess with gay disco and still come across as the coolest gang in town. Sounding as ferocious and hard-hitting as ever, the lack of programming and sequencers could not derail the song from its accepted glory.
With an encore featuring some no-nonsense Iggy-esque blasts in 'Medication' and covers of 'Slip Inside This House' (performed more as a straight cover of the 13th Floor Elevators classic, as opposed to the 'Screamadelica' classic) and John Lennons 'Gimme Some Truth', if there was ever any doubt that Primal Scream remain a potent and important current band, they were blown away by a high energy blast of rock n roll.