On Tuesday, Primal Scream launched their ninth album Beautiful Future with a sweaty bash at Diesel's showspace in King's Cross. The crowd's artfully cool reserve was maintained until approximately halfway through the third song, when carefully maintained fringes wilted in the sticky heat and it became apparent that Bobby Gillespie and co. were getting stuck into a take-no-prisoners 15-song set that included hardy perennials "Accelerator", "Movin' on Up", "Rocks" and "Shoot Speed Kill Light", as well as tears-in-your-beer classic "Losing More Than I'll Ever Have".
The new material ushers in a welcome return to form after last year's opinion-splitting Riot City Blues, and they showcased Paul-Epworth produced lead single "Can't Go Back", title track "Beautiful Future", as well as "Suicide Bomb", "Beautiful Summer", "Uptown" and "Love To Be Hurt", which featured recent Dazed cover star CSS' Lovefoxxx doubling up on her DJing/sparkly-thing-wearing duties and clambering on stage for a sweat-drenched vocal duet with Bobby.
Later, a beautifully preserved Pam Hogg and dashingly dapper Andrew Weatherall played a 50s rockabilly set to a crowd that included Natalie Press, Alison Kills, Gary Numan (looking completely normal, and therefore weirder than ever), Patrick Wolf, and half of Primrose Hill.
bumped into our friends from The Vinyl Factory, who told us about a
rather tasty, limited-edition boxset they're making, which we thought
you should know about – it contains two heavyeight 12" LPs, an
exclusive Weatherall mix of groovy disco number Uptown, a 12-page
illustrated booklet, exclusive roll-out poster, expensive-looking
foil-blocking on red mirrored paper, and a few of Bobby's nail
clippings wrapped in the hand-flayed skin of a snow leopard (not
really). It will probably cost you about £600 and is available from here.
I've also done an interview with Bobby in this month's issue of Dazed & Confused, which hits newsagents TODAY, in which he rails against pretty much everything except the pop genius of ABBA, despite the chat taking place over coffee at 10am on a Monday morning. Here's a few extra bits about playing live, making myths and not writing books.
Dazed Digital: Do you still enjoy touring?
Bobby Gillespie: I love it. One of the reasons this album came out so quickly was that we had such a great time touring the last one. We didn't want to take three or four years out.
DD: There have been a few infamous Scream tours in the past. Have you ever considered sitting down and writing a book?
DD: Why not? Look how well the Motley Crue book did.
BG: Well, they had a lot more sex! With us, it was a lot of drugs. I think the Crue got it right! I haven't read that book but I've heard of it.
DD: It's amazing.
BG: I think what you want is the myth and the mystery, and I love it when you only know little bits about bands. I don't know how Bowie made Low, and The Idiot for Iggy. There's hardly any stories around those albums, but you know something weird? It makes the albums stronger.
DD: Is there not enough mystery in modern life for you?
BG: I think too much in modern times, everyone wants everything explained. And people will tell you what they've had for breakfast, or what they were reading when they had a shit, or what sexual position is their favourite… there's just no mystery. People have no shame and no class, ultimately. I don't really go in for this confession culture. I think it's good to have distance and mystique.
DD: How do you create that mystique?
BG: My attitude to the whole thing is that it's all in the music. I do like all the crazy stories about people as well, but not too much. You know, I've read lots of books of bands that I like and I sometimes think, "I don't want to know". He wrote that song because he fucking punched his girlfriend in face in the morning and she fucking attacked him with an axe or something. Too much information is bad – it leaves nothing to your imagination.
DD: So how important is the role of mythology to you, ultimately?
BG: Somebody – I forget who – somebody once said, it's all just… Beautiful Lies. In other words, the myth is always better than the reality… I'll go with that. People ask us about it all the time, and I just say, "It's ALL true!"
The September issue of Dazed & Confused, featuring Mat Collishaw, Zooey Deschanel, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danjahandz, Ladyhawke, a bumper Italo Disco renaissance special, and a bunch of girls who dress like their favourite comic-book heroes is out TODAY. Primal Scream will most likely be touring the UK this September or October, after a few festival dates here and there.