PRIMAL SCREAM FEATURE
George Clinton for the London shows. ‘Free your mind and your ass will follow. That‘s it. Then the Scream are gonna come on. we‘re gonna play the best of the old stuff and the best of the new stuff. It‘s gonna be high energy. It‘s
gonna be a total high energy show. A lot of
people will come and get absolutely gone. Just lose themselves in the music . . ‘
Just like Bobby. Coming from anyone else. such rock star announcements would be the epitome of head-up-the-ass pretension. But not Bobby. Bobby believes. lives and breathes his life-affirming. life-shaping rock ‘n‘ roll. Back in March l99() ‘Loaded' had just been released. It was a bolt from the starry blue. a revelational single that had the temerity to characterise an era. Strung-out and lazy. yet propulsive and compulsive. it was [Easy Rider meets sleazy
riders meets stoned funkiness meets soulful groove.
Screamazlelica followed suit. Give Out But Don't Give Up couldn’t hope to emulate its predecessor. and doesn‘t try to. That wouldn‘t be any fun. or have any truth. And. for all the talk of Stones rip-offs and soul pastiches and producers (Atlantic's legendary engineer Tom Dowd. rock behemoth George Drakoulias. funkmeister general George Clinton. ()(ls UK vibes-man Brendan Lynch) doing the real work. Give ()ut . . . stands tall as honest-to-badness rock ‘n' soul. You won't hear a more enthusiastic record this year. From the raucous primal surge of ‘Rocks‘ and ‘Jailbird’. to the “space funk‘ of ‘Struttin". to the broken and blue ‘Cry Myself Blind' (similarity to .S‘ereamarlelii‘a‘s ‘Damaged‘
notwithstanding). to the hymnal reverence of
‘1’” Be There For You‘ — this is Primal Scream making the ultimate fans’ record. But (jive ()m
is more than a cowed. genuflecting homage; it has sassiness. vigour and (un)holy pleasure and pain stamped through it like a stick of rock. This is the real deal.
Key line: ‘l‘ll pay the price of drunken nights. l’m wasting in at twilight zone.‘ — ‘Big Jet Plane‘. Bobby lays bare the downside. the payback. the bitter twist of tragedy that seems to stalk the sweet voice of so many soul legends — Sam Cooke. Otis Redding. Marvin
"' .\ ‘_r“
‘l’d rather the boys were out in
the streets - getting involved in things. I don’t
want them to
die, but I’d rather they were .- . . living. Do you know what I’m saying?’
Gaye. ‘Save me. Jesus Christ!’ wails an anguished Bobby at the songs close. Seems that spiritual redemption is only the half of it. Physical salvation is also in order.
Alan .‘vchee reckons that. aside from the obvious creative coup. recording Give ()ut. . . in Memphis was good for Primal Scream ‘because it kept them away from the drugs and all the vice they get into here.‘
Bobby knows this. ‘Can you imagine what sort of shit people get into when they hit LA and New York'.’ It ends up with Martin [Duffy] getting stabbed or shot.‘
You don‘t know which‘.’
‘lle can‘t remember it happening to him. He’d been at a party all night. and was sitting playing piano with three of Dr John‘s band. They were pretty wasted . . .’
So is the (il)logical conclusion living the rock 'n’ roll life. dying the rock ‘n' soul death‘.’
‘Ach. like Duffy said. worse things have happened to him than
in the darkness and landed in a river. He can’t swim. You don’t need to be in a rock ’n‘ roll band to get into scrapes like that. All you do is walk into a bar in Glasgow. Memphis or Berlin and the same kind of shit could happen to you or me. If you sit in the fucking penthouse or the record company office all day. nothing's gonna happen to you. I'd rather the boys were out in the streets getting involved in things. I don’t want them to die. but I‘d rather they were . . . living. Do you know what I‘m saying‘?‘
Oh yes. Don't light it. feel it. Walk it like you talk it. Live the life you love. Give out but don’t give up. Primal Scream and their new album: real life or a party'.’
"l'here’s a lot of different things.‘ reckons Bobby Gillespie. ‘lt‘s heartbreakers and hipshakers.‘
So it‘s real life and a party.
‘A party is part of real life. isn’t it? As much as funerals are.‘
‘But there ain‘t no funerals on this record. Not yet.” i’J Primal Scream play Glasgow Barrow/and on Saturday 2 April. Give ()ut But Don 't Give Up is released on 28 March.
that. The same man fell off a cliff
Give Out . . . is more than a cowed, genuﬁecting homage; it has sassiness, vigour and (un)holy pleasure and pain stamped through it like a stick of rock. This is the real deal.
Primal Scream: ‘We're lust gonna give people the best night of their lives.’
Evolve or die
ust as liuadrophenia was a period film, Give
Out But Don’t Give Up is a period album -
doing little more than mirroring a different
time, in this case the early 70s. The songwriting credits for this album could be Gillespie, lnnes, Young, Jagger, Richard, Stewart, Wood, Parfitt, Rossi and lynott.
This seems to be the true follow-up to the second album, Screamadelica being more of a diversion - one of the most ecstatic I have ever travelled (and they say the art of remixing isn’t relevant - Ilal).
Although Screamadelica has given the Primals the confidence to make this - ‘the album they’ve always wanted to make’. My problem is that I’ve heard it all before. I’ve got most of the originals, and believe me you can’t make soya taste like steak. I tried to like the ‘good time’ tracks like ‘Jailbird’, ‘Call On Me’ and ‘Struttin’, but the Primals’ good ole boys’ rock ‘n’ roll just sounds like my big brother’s lynyrd Skynyrd albums. And as for the current single ‘Rocks’ . . . Stax my ass - Chinn and Chapman more like. Yes, 705 cliches abound, the best being Robert Young and underrated guitarist Andrew Innes getting pure Ronnie Wood, the worst being sax solos straight out of a [other Vandross ballad, which ‘Free’ seems more akin to. But the one thing that gave me the dry boak was the relentless horns which appeared on every bridge and chorus. Muscle Shoals kiss my ass, I thought we’d finally got rid of that cliche when Phil Collins murdered the reputation of the once mighty Phoenix llorns.
ﬂow for the good news. The slower stuff and the ballads ‘Cry Myself Blind’ and ‘Big Jet Plane’ are things of pure beauty. After the intro to ‘Cry Myself Blind’, I could have sworn a 22-year-old Rod Stewart was going to tell us about a Mandolin Wind, or that he’s found a Reason To Believe. This is the natural successor to one of the best songs a poor white boy has ever written, ‘l’m losing more than lever had.’ Here Bobby Gillespie reminds you what singing is really about. Emotion is all , bugger technique. These two songs are ‘hungry’.
So if you’re a pure Primal Scream fan who was into them during Sonic and the second album, buy this now. It’s probably the album you always wanted them to make. If you’re into them because of Andy Weatherall, buy it for the rare beauty of Cry Myself. In the end there is one thing I find myself thinking every time I listen to this album. It’s the warning rock ‘n’ roll gave the now extinct ‘Trad Jan’ . . . evolve or die. (Jim McKlnven)
Jim McKin ven and One Dove’s album Momlng Dove White was released last year.
The List 25 March-7 April 1994 7