Primal Scream plays Warsaw in Greenpoint on Thursday in support of its 10th album—and first since 2008—the career-spanning More Light. The band kicked off a rare U.S. tour two weeks ago at Austin Psych Fest (or whatever they're calling it now), and their captivating and unpredictable live show is a psychedelic wonder to behold. Here is a catch-up on the band in five video clips.
1. The band's breakthrough Screamadelica, which helped launch the England's "second summer of love" in the early ‘90s, won the inaugural Mercury Music Prize in 1992 for its landmark mix of sample-heavy gospel, dub and acid house from legendary producers Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley. The now-iconic album cover became a Royal Mail postage stamp in 2010, but its most enduring legacy will always be this:
2. Bobby Gillespie, who started out playing drums in Primal Scream before switching to vocals, also played drums in the Jesus and Mary Chain. Kevin Shields, who started out playing guitar in My Bloody Valentine, before switching to guitar in Primal Scream, also toured with the band, even becoming a semi-permanent member for a handful of years. Here is their first collaboration from 1998, a Shields remix under the name "MBV Arkestra":
3. "We like making druggy-sounding psychedelic music. It’s just that since we stopped taking drugs we got better at it,” Gillespie, now seven years sober, recently said. He and the rest of the band were rather notorious for their drug intake at one point (i.e., the other 23 years). A now infamous story from the U.K press recounted the band arguing about whether to get Vietnamese, Chinese or Indian. When the journalist asked if they'd fancy a burger, they replied, "It's heroin we're discussing, not food!" Accordingly, here they are playing "Shoot Speed/Kill Light" live at Japan's Summer Sonic festival in 2001:
4. Irish DJ/musician/Steven Soderbergh soundtrack man David Holmes produced More Light, as well as 2000's XTRMNTR. According to Gillespie, he was hired for his "whole attic full of obscure stuff." Here is the best example of some of that "stuff":
5. Stylistically, More Light encapsulates many periods of the band's incredibly varied musical history, and while they are generally known for more driving tracks and hard-rockin' party anthems (see "Swastika Eyes," "Rocks" and "Give Out but Don't Give Up") it's the quieter tracks from the record that see them wrestling with their past that leave the biggest impression: