The Cult w/ Primal Scream
written by Scotty Evil
I think most people are tired by the time they hit Sunday. That appeared to be the level of energy put out by Scottish experimental rockers Primal Scream as they opened to a sparse crowd at the venerable QE.
Although I am admittedly not familiar with the vast majority of their catalog, as a multi-genre DJ I listen to a LOT of music. And as a musician and performer, I love live shows.
This was barely live and I certainly did not love it.
The band took to the minimalist stage setting spot on the scheduled time with their 2015 version of “2013”. Frontman Bobby Gillespie, in skinny pants, a sheer long-sleeved blouse and golden smoking jacket seemed disinterested and was quite pitchy in his vocal deliverance. Bassist Simone Butler was in her own world far off stage left. Guitarist Barrie Cadogan sported a pork-pie hat atop his shaved noggin and bounced around wielding a gold topped Les Paul. The sole bright spot was the drumming of Darrin Mooney, laying down solid rhythmic beats that were both precise and very danceable.
Gillespie seemed perturbed at both the lack of bodies and energy in the room. “It’s a fucking rock concert, c’mon…” and then proceeded to phone the rest of the performance in.
Oh and there was a keyboard player? I think he was mostly responsible for triggering the pseudo avant-garde samples that quite frankly just made their music more annoying. The whole performance was so forgettable that I got up 7 songs in and went for a beverage.
And so I waited for The Cult. It wasn’t hard to notice how many empty seats there were. The scalpers outside had given up and gone home to eat ramen noodles dinner.
The headliners too were on time, a soft swash of red stage lights bringing them onstage. The spotlight was on guitarist Billy Duffy, his shiny black Gretsch Country Club slung low in front of his crotch. Ian Astbury was however pitchy and inconsistent.
The first 45 minutes was peppered with newer material and lesser known singles. But not nearly as entertaining as the oddities between songs.
First off, let’s hope he fires his stagehands, as the frontman spent the vast majority of his time crouched down in front of his monitors fussing with and taping his setlists. Then adjusting his mic stand. And then making known his feelings about Paris, Bono, Prime Minister Trudeau, people texting in the crowd, and the one heckler who loudly told him “fuck you” after the terrorist attack commentary.
“Was that a fuck you? In MY house?!? Well now.”
And so the night went on. More re-taping sheets of paper, pacing the stage and quips about people on their phones. Berating the men in the crowd for not being “into it”. Finally he said “I suppose you want some hits. Well, we aren’t playing any, it’s only the newer stuff” as they launched into “Wild Flower”, waking up the crowd enough to get them out of their Facebook feeds and selfie taking. The band ended with “She Sells Sanctuary” but returned for a two song encore. Astbury tossed a succession of tambourines into the crowd. By this time, the 5 rows directly in front of my seats were mostly empty.
At least many Facebook friends out there got real-time updates from the audience. If they hadn’t already gone to bed that is.
Here’s a Youtube of Sanctuary.. check it out.
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written by Scotty Evil