The Forum, Melbourne VIC
February 18th, 2018
Supports: SSHH and Lime Cordiale
Even though it was a Sunday night (and a school night at that!), Melbourne was treated to a triple bill of epic proportions as Primal Scream rolled into town. Unfortunately, it was such a shame that so many attendees chose to skip the support acts tonight because they were a damn delight to watch.
First up were SSHH, who just might be my new favourite band. With Sharna ‘Sshh’ Liguz herself leading on vocals, and son-of-a-Beatle Zak Starkey on guitar, the duo kick of the night with a delicious blend of rock n’ roll, crowd involvement, leopard print leotards and onstage drumming penguin cameos. It’s hard to describe their set, because it really should be experienced, but I can honestly say that I haven’t had that much genuine fun watching a support band in a long time. I mean seriously, what kind of band has their lead woman point out the crowd members too cool to come dance down the front? Sshh does, with Liguz jumping off stage and moving through the venue to gather a following of people to come shake their hips. I can guarantee you those pulled up to dance had a better night because of it.
Up next were Lime Cordiale, who delivered a fusion of garage rock, shoegaze melodies and a touch of brass, courtesy of the inclusion of a trombone in their set. They’re a really cool band who have been doing the rounds for quite a few years, and while their sound is great, there is something about their stage presence tonight which just doesn’t gel with the crowd. There was no real impact from their set, especially when they were between two acts with a bit of zest in their appearance. It felt like Lime Cordial played it safe tonight, but when you’re supporting a band like Primal Scream, you really shouldn’t have to.
The clock ticks past 10pm as Bobby Gillespie struts his way on stage in his red two-piece suit. He’s the coolest cat in town, and I honestly don’t think anybody else in the venue last night could have pulled off such a bold look, but Gillespie nails it. Less on fashion now, and more on the music. What can I say? For what it’s worth, the crowd seems to be loving Gillespie’s every move, while bassist Simone Butler keeps the groove going through her bass lines.The band gels together well as a whole, but I can’t help but notice a lack of heart in the performance on stage, particularly early in the set.
Primal Scream have a reputation for delivering memorable live shows of rock, smooth dancing and great sing-alongs. As they fly through tracks such as ‘Jailbird’, ‘Can’t Go Back’ and ‘Walking With The Beast’, it kind of feels like they’re just going through the motions, before finally loosening up and kicking things into gear with ‘Swastika Eyes’ and ‘Loaded’. Slow starts aside, I think it’s fair to say that Primal Scream gave an overall solid performance tonight which their diehard fans in the crowd danced their shoes off to.
It’s always great to see a band make their audience happy, and I have no doubt in my mind that their eclectic set and Gillespie’s dance moves certainly helped to perk things up for many in the crowd at the end tail-end of their weekend, right before Monday morning rolls around, and reality kicks back in.
Primal Scream – Australian Tour 2018
Tuesday 20 February Enmore Theatre, Sydney – 18+
Wednesday 21 February The Tivoli, Brisbane – 18+