Primal Scream

The Riot City Blues Tour

Celebrating twenty-two years of ramshackle brilliance comes this, the first live Primal Scream DVD.

In sixteen years of personal experience of the Scream live you become aware of them either being jaw-shatteringly thrilling (Glastonbury 2003) or frustratingly inconsistent. Oddly it is the latter chosen for this document of the tour for their last album, ‘Riot City Blues’.

It’s a shame as they are undoubtedly the most inventive and important UK band since The Smiths and in Bobby Gillespie they have this country’s finest frontman since John Lydon.

However on this showing, neither can be proven and they don’t get going until half way in. Tellingly and in no way coincidental is the fact that the first half is made up of the Scream at their most derivative. Instead of being genetically engineered sonic violence, they sound tired and self-indulgent.

It’s not all bad as they dust down the ‘Screamadelica’ classic ‘Damaged’. Even better is the double shot of indignant rock in the shape of ‘Rise’ and a storming rendition of the last great track of the last decade, ‘Swastika Eyes’. Both will have you gurning on the end of your seat whilst ‘Burning Wheel’ and a surprisingly spiky retread of ‘Medication’ seep druggy vibes from the screen.

Filling in for the AWOL Robert (Throb) Young is Little Barrie’s Barrie Cadogan who does an adequate job. Without Throb they no longer look like a gang, however the interplay between Cadogan, guitarist Andrew Innes and bassist Mani is infectious as they play their guitars held like guns for a euphoric rendition of ‘Shoot Speed/Kill Light’ and generally look like they’re having a blast.

Making up the package is a selection of their solid, if unspectacular, videos. Primal Scream are best enjoyed live in person rendering this release far from essential. Why shell out for this when for a tenner extra you can experience it first hand?

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