Live Review: Primal Scream, Sshh

16 February 2018 | 5:40 pm | Mac McNaughton

"If you've taken it, chances are the 'Scream have done an album on it."

More Primal Scream More Primal Scream

Howling like a wolf, crawling across the stage, cavorting among the curious, growing crowd and tripping over their feet without missing a beat seems par for the course for Sharna Liguz, better known as Sshh.

It was a delight to see Zak Starkey (yes, Ringo Starr's son) on stage in his black Adidas trackie, wrangling grooves out of his guitar like arced up fighting snakes. Comparisons to many envelope-shredding artists could be made, but they'd be redundant. Sshh's punk energy sliding along the razor edge of insanity and performance art was all her. That it is backed by a molotov cocktail of guitar, drums (courtesy of local Ali Foster) and a roadie in a penguin mask made for a spectacle one couldn't quite believe but couldn't resist dancing to. If only more support acts - nay, more bands as a whole - were this unpredictable.

Some like to think of Primal Scream albums as being different chapters in the encyclopaedia of how different drugs affect rock 'n' roll. If you've taken it, chances are the 'Scream have done an album on it. On tonight's evidence though, courtesy of the healthy smatterings from Screamadelica, ecstasy apparently gives the most long-term satisfaction. That unmistakable throbby groan of Slip Inside This House eased the Metro into a hip-swaying mass, then, not for the first time this evening, things got a bit Stones-ey with Jailbird. Jetlag perhaps caught Bobby Gillespie off guard, taking most of the first half to loosen up.

At the end of Trippin' On Your Love (from 2016's simply high-on-life Chaosmosis), he looked pretty much ready to retire for the evening with a hot toddy, but after the nourishing comedown of Star and Damaged, he hit his second wind with a ballistic 100% Or Nothing and Swastika Eyes. With Andrew Innes and Martin Duffy still in the ranks, the kaleidoscopic array of the 'Scream sound remains as solid as ever but recruiting Simone Butler on bass - whose CV includes artworks and DJ stints with Suicide and Nick Cave - is the shot in the arm the band didn't actually need but are bolstered for having.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Everyone may have seen the encore double whammy of Movin' On Up and Come Together from a mile off but it was the perfect euphoric comedown to a night of sonic groove adventures.