Primals swing but fail to connect.
The second night of the Connect Festival was a bit of a strange evening and for the headliners Primal Scream, it was certainly an eventful one. The weather had contrived to create an atmosphere of dull and dark skies where the dampness in the air was met with the dampness in the ground, and no matter the amount of alcohol drank during the day or the relatively feel-good element of the festival, it was going to be a struggle for any band to turn the evening into a classic.
When barely two songs into the set, bassist Mani was compelled to come to the front of the stage and invite anyone who was throwing stuff on stage to come up personally, you just knew that things weren't going to go as smoothly as hoped. There were no takers for the Mancunians "kind" offer but it did seem odd why you would bother to watch a band and cause trouble for them (or yourself) at a festival. There were still plenty of other acts or past-times that could kill some time for any Scream devotee so who knows why they hung around if the gig wasn't to their liking.
The miserable weather had certainly dampened the atmosphere and the mix of the Primals back catalogue actually stilted their set as opposed to strengthening the night. Just when a head of electro steam was being built up, the entertainment would switch to a few rock'n'roll numbers. On the one hand, if you didn't like a particular element of the Scream Teams arsenal it meant you were only a few tracks away from a change but it did lead to a very stop-start evening.
Another thing the band has to be wary of is the amount of rock'n'roll posturing they slip into during every song. Even the Rolling Stones look like a pastiche of themselves these days and it is a fate that could also be awaiting the Scream. Some may say that the band have always relied on cliché but there has always been an element of excitement to the band as well.
With new material hoped for next year, the 'Riot City Blues' album wasn't overly represented but 'Country Girl' and 'Dolls' were pleasing, even with Bobby Gillespie's expletive ridden introduction of the bands highest charting single. 'Screamadelica' wasn't massively featured until the encore but from the crowds reaction, it remains the majorities favourite Primals LP. Over a decade and a half on it remains a landmark record in UK music history and as long as the punters will joyfully sing "my love shines on" in a dark, muddy field in September then it's always going to be around.
Through no real fault of their own, too many external issues conspired against Primal Scream meaning this gig was never going to be hailed as a classic, but there's no indication of Primal Scream easing up just yet.