Has it really been 20 years since Screamadelica was released? Well, no actually. Primal Scream‘s meisterwork first saw the light of day at the end of September 1991, but we’ll not split hairs over a few short months. Bobby Gillespie certainly isn’t – the album has just been reissued in all sorts of sexy and expensive packaging and the Scream Team juggernaut is currently zig-zagging its way across the country to any number of unfeasibly impersonal auditoriums near you as I type. It was in Glasgow the other night, in the luscious surroundings of the big red shed inside the SECC.
I didnae go. I prefer to remember the heady days of Screamadelica first-time around, crammed into the Barrowlands, Kriss Needs on the pre-gig decks mixing Prince into the Stones into Bo Diddley into Sly Stone and into my narrow-minded musical mind. Everything, from the warm-up DJ to the visuals to the energy of the band on-stage was truly spectacular and I doubt that anything like that could be created on this current tour, where a gang of outrageously pretentious musical outlaws has been replaced by a gang of outrageously pretentious musical outlaws with big bank balances and designer suits. And there’s the difference. Also, Denise Johnson isn’t doing the backing vocals and as anyone with half a brain knows, she was clearly the secret ingredient in the original make-up of the band. My pal Wullie was so taken by Denise he sent her a letter proclaiming his love for her and she actually wrote back with a letter scented in her perfume. In this day and age of 24hr accessibility to your favourite stars via Facebook, Twitter and whatever, that’s something that’ll unlilkely happen again.
However, the main reason I didn’t go is this – I’ve heard some of the recent concerts. The playing’s fine, great actually, but the singing! Man, the singing! Bobby was never a singer, but he was always true to his Glasgow roots. These days, he sounds far more Miami Florida than Mount Florida. It’s embarrassing and it’s laughable. Listen below to the intro before Slip Inside This House from London at the end of last year…
“C’mon, lets have uh pahrty! What the fuckhr ya heer fuhr? C’mon!” OMFG, as you youngsters might say. I know what you’re here for though….
- Moving On Up as done by Edwin Starr. Good God! Taken from a lo-fi source, sadly.
- Moving On Up (live in London 26.11.10)
- Slip Inside This House (live in London 26.11.10)
- Come Together (live in London. 26.11.10. The full 14 minute Elvis-in-Memphis Suspicious Minds guitar version that morphs into the Weatherall groove ‘n gospel choir. C’est magnifique.
- Screamadelica (the track of the same name that didn’t make the album. One of the first things I blogged. It’s essential, so it is. But you knew that already)
- Can – You Doo Right (it’s 20 minutes long…..(yawn)…..but listen to the words. Then go and listen again to Moving On Up. Oh! Was it an influence on Bobby, or was he just under the influence when he nicked it?)
You can see a documentary about the making of Screamadelica here. Amongst other things you’ll find out it was Robert Young and not Bobby that sang almost all of the vocal on Slip Inside This House. Who knew, eh? Worth half an hour of your time any day of the week.
HELP! Does anyone have a copy of Don’t Fight It, Feel It from a Select magazine tape from around 1992? It was taken from a Japanese concert I think and the band played Hey Bulldog half-way through the track. It was quite fantastic if I remember and I’d love a copy of it again.