Live Review: Primal Scream, Lime Cordiale, Sshh

19 February 2018 | 3:39 pm | Bryget Chrisfield

"'Come Together'. Now that's pure ecstasy and we wish we had some old-school eccies in our systems right now."

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Considering SSHH covered Rocks by Primal Scream when they supported Liam Gallagher at Festival Hall earlier this year, the fact that the band from London scored this support slot isn't so surprising (perhaps the inclusion of said song was actually an audition of sorts?).

Lead singer Sharna Liguz sports a leopard-skin onesie and Extra Extra is a rallying slice of aggression. The physical interplay between Ligus and Zak Starkey (who also plays drums in The Who and is Ringo Starr's son) is intoxicating, as is Starkey's bold guitar playing. Liguz holds the base of the mic stand against her groin in a phallic display. There's a real swing to the drum patterns in SSHH songs. Liguz expects a lot of audience participation at this early hour, urging everyone to move forward. She then jumps off the stage, wandering beyond the sound desk to lure people outta their booths and finally ushering about four people down to the front with her. We're not so sure about the dreadlocked roadie with penguin mask who jumps around on stage and occasionally bashes the drummer's cymbals, though. "We're all slutty penguins," Liguz announces at one point. She then has a go at someone in the front row who doesn't seem to be paying attention - pretty aggressively - and dedicates the chorus of one song ("I'm going to send you hate mail") to him. "Bitch, don't kill my vibe!" she then barks at this Primal Scream fanatic looking disinterested front and centre.

Up next is Lime Cordiale and the keys player actually looks like he's dry humping the keyboard. There's a tune that rips off a Tame Impala riff (is it a 'tribute'?) and it's all a bit much. We feel as if a layer could be stripped from their sound, which gets a bit convoluted. Long-legged dungarees with nothing underneath must be so hot right now, 'cause two members of Lime Cordiale sport these as stage attire. The band member with the moustache thanks "the boys from Sshh" before quickly adding "and girls", which is a bit of a gender-exclusive howler. Then punters dance and sing along to Temper Temper, which is a clear standout with more focused instrumental intent.

As roadies set soft drinks up for Primal Scream on various speakers (two Fantas and a Coke Zero for guitarist Andrew Innes), our excitement builds and we're pleased to note the environmentally responsible use of paper straws. The band take the stage and we're stoked with frontman Bobby Gillespie's ensemble: an immaculate, streamlined red suit; white shirt with red print (poppies?) underneath; and black patent-leather shoes so flat that they look like they've been ironed - no bunyons, there! They don't exactly burst through the gates, kicking off the set with their slinky 13th Floor Elevators cover, Slip Inside This House. Gillespie is as irresistibly sullen as usual, smiling probably a grand total of six times (but only twice before Higher Than The Sun, song nine) throughout the entire show's duration. Jailbird's call and response - "I'm yours/(I'm yours)/You're mine/(You're mine)" - isn't exactly deafening, but this is no fault of the band, who play flawlessly.

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Innes drives the songs and his tech is a ninja, running on with a torch whenever the guitarist so much as leans down to inspect his equipment. Gillespie says they finished writing the setlist just before they came out on stage and doesn't really fire up until song eight, the woozy Trippin' On Your Love. Punters turn around to face each other and dance in circles, turning GA into a proper dancefloor. (I'm Gonna) Cry Myself Blind is a stirring, more down-tempo inclusion that showcases Gillespie's vocal. Gillespie then dedicates the rambunctious 100% Or Nothing to Rowland S Howard (RIP) and is an absolute gun at singlehandedly shaking those double maracas as he parades across the front of the stage. The front section of the audience becomes a whirling dervish during Swastika Eyes and then there's a winning main-set closing triumvirate: Loaded, Country Girl (over which punters sing Rocks, which kinda annoys Gillespie) and then the unparalleled swagger of Rocks that we've all been waiting for - glam overload.

The band return to the stage for an encore and Gillespie asks us if we want a slow song and two fast songs or three fast songs. We score the slow-song combo, but reckon we would've preferred to finish on a three-fast-song high since I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have stalls proceedings somewhat. But, hang on a sec: isn't the instrumental part of this song used in the Californication intro? And then, holy shit! Come Together. Now that's pure ecstasy and we wish we had some old-school eccies in our systems right now. As we sing Primal Scream's catch-cry, "Our love shines oooooooon!" in unison, a cappella, we absolutely mean it. Our love for this band will never waver. But it's not over yet and Movin' On Up is the remedy. What a band!