“Glastonbury! Are you ready for some rock and roll” ushers Billy Gillespie as Primal Scream begin their Saturday night set on the Pyramid Stage with new single ‘2013‘.
Propping up the Rolling Stone‘s highly anticipated headline slot, this is a booking that is right down to the knowing genius of Glastonbury‘s schedulers. Primal Scream have the rock and roll ethos of the Stones running through their veins, as if Gillespie and co broke into the Swedish centre where Keith Richards is mythically rumoured to have his kidney dialysis that flushes out his near toxic organs, and stolen his used ooze.
So to hear a rousing ‘Movin’ on Up‘ as the Pyramid field waits anxiously for the Stones is very special. However it’s not all rock and roll. Primal Scream‘s career has moved from burning MC5 style rock sleaze, through late 80s-defining dance music, fiery gospel and visceral electro, and this evening’s set touches down on all points.
So an incendiary ‘Swastika Eyes‘, with its rapid “Military industrial” chorus, is followed by an infectious ‘Loaded’ that turns the entire field into one early evening rave. Gillespie introduced the song by shouting “Take speed! Take acid!” in stark contrast to Dizzee Rascal‘s “We don’t need no speed! We don’t need no heroin!” plea the night before.
This in turn is followed by a gorgeous ‘It’s Alright It’s Okay‘, with Gillespie bringing Haim onstage for backing vocals, before the turf is practically ripped off and flung around for ‘Rocks‘. It’s a mini set within a set, these four songs summing up their entire career and setting up the Pyramid field for the original rock and roll to follow.
They end with a lengthy ‘Screamadelica‘, backed with live horns and Gillespie leading the crowd through an a cappella rendition of the “Come together as one” chorus, before he brings the song to a close by gently inviting the crowd to “enjoy the Rolling Stones.”
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