Primal Scream @ Birmingham Academy – 4th December 2008


Although the posters billed this as the NME’s ‘Rock n Roll Riot Tour’ it felt more like an attempt to wrap up a standard Primal Scream tour in some extra promotional packaging. Until I saw the relatively sparse crowd I wouldn’t have thought this would be necessary – I certainly didn’t expect to be able to walk straight down to the front of the stage when the band came on.

The atmosphere at the Academy was slightly aggressive too, with alcohol-addled groups roaming about the venue. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for a Primal Scream gig, mind – if you’re averse to a little confrontation then they’re not the band for you.


Bobby Gillespie was in gregarious mood, though. Thanking the crowd effusively at the end of the set and, up until that moment, throwing shapes and generally putting his whole self into the performance. The band flitted between their various incarnations all night, swapping between pummeling electro and straight-up Stones stomps.


One of the latter provoked an early storm in the front rows – ‘Jailbird’ causing a few hips to be swung. ‘Swastika Eyes’ hit the spot too, but elsewhere a few tracks fell short of the standard and deadened the excitement.

A crowd-pleasing double-hit of ‘Movin’ On Up’ and ‘Rocks’ ensured the crowd would be baying for an encore when they left the stage. The band duly returned and delivered ‘Uptown’ and ‘Necro Hex Blues’. ‘Country Girl’ then got the dancing feet moving before we were left with a version of ‘Accelerator’ that picked up intensity until the band left the stage, leaving us battered with noise, feedback, strobes and lasers.


Kill All Hippies
Can’t Go Back
Miss Lucifer
Suicide Sally & Johnny Guitar
Beautiful Future
Beautiful Summer
Deep Hit of Morning Sun
Suicide Bomb
Shoot Speed/Kill Light
Swastika Eyes
Movin On Up
Necro Hex Blues
Country Girl

Review – Chris Unitt
Photos – Ian Dunn

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