Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Primal Scream at Irving Plaza

Bobby Gillespie
Vocalist Robert "Bobby" Gillespie and guitarist Andrew Innes started playing music in 1978 in a punk band called the Drains in Glasgow, Scotland; Innes was 15 years old at the time. The band split in short time and Gillespie stayed in Glasgow while Innes relocated to London, England. Gillespie went on to form Primal Scream in 1982, but then in 1984 also joined Jesus and Mary Chain as drummer, juggling the two bands as scheduling permitted. Upon leaving Jesus and Mary Chain in 1986, Primal Scream started gaining an increasing audience until the band broke into the mainstream in 1991. Primal Scream's current lineup consists of Gillespie, Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (keyboards), Simone Butler (bass) and Darrin Mooney (drums). Primal Scream's 11th studio album, Chaosmosis, was released on March 18, 2016.

Over the decades, Primal Scream has experimented with many sounds, from jangly indie pop to psychedelic garage to dance, blues, funk and shoegaze. At Irving Plaza tonight, the band performed especially well when it focused on what it played best, which was simple, uncluttered rock and roll. The finer moments were when Primal Scream displayed a knack for Keith Richards-style guitar rock, a flair for barroom boogie and a bluesy vocal panache. Perhaps due to injuries suffered in a stage fall this summer, Gillespie's stage moves were moderate but keenly centered on the music rather than showmanship. Nevertheless, he commanded attention throughout the set, even as the musicians surrounding him furnished him with everything he needed to make the songs come alive. Primal Scream's performance was more relaxed than on previous tours, but perhaps this is maturity at play.

Visit Primal Scream at www.primalscream.net.