Time to get primal
Galway Arts Festival will host the legendary Primal Scream live at the Festival Big Top this Friday night, July 24. The band will co-headline with superb Spiritualized.
Bobby Gillespie formed Primal Scream in the mid-80s while drumming for goth-tinged noise rockers the Jesus and Mary Chain. After a brief detour to punk hard rock, the group reinvented itself as a dance band in the early 90s, following through on the pop and acid house fusions of the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays. They created the ultimate indie pop and dance fusion album, Screamadelica, in 1991. The album broke down boundaries and changed the face of British pop music in the 90s, helping to make dance and techno acceptable to the rock mainstream.
Primal Scream thrive when messing with received notions of rock’n’roll classicism, from Screamadelica’s dub/house to the caustic, politically charged XTRMNTR (2000). Their latest release, ‘Beautiful Future’ (2008) brings more of that heady mix of genre crunching, taking Philly soul, dark electro, accelerated rock’n’roll riffs and pure British pop and giving it that particular Scream spin.
And there’s no sign of the Scream fading either: “Already I’m thinking about the next record,” says Gillespie. “This has freed us up to do something else. We always try and find a new way of writing, use different instruments. Write rhythmically instead of melodically, but this time we’ve written melodically, so there’s a lot of melody on the record, so that’s different right away. The last record was more rock’n’roll, more bluesy. You’ve just got to do what you feel. I don’t have any fears about what we can do next, because it’s always exciting.”
For a man who’s been making music for over quarter of a century now, it’s reassuring that Gillespie still has passion for what he does. Considering, too, that Primal Scream have made some of the most thrilling and important records of the modern era, it’s just as comforting to know that Primal Scream has plans beyond Beautiful Future.
> The Galway Arts Festival runs until July 26. For bookings, call 091 566577 or visit the festival website www.galwayartsfestival.com .
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