Mesmerising

There’s something mesmerising about concrete brutalism. I’ve long been a fan of these post-war monuments to modernism and have occasionally trekked to stand beneath some, such as Trellick Tower in West London and Preston Bus Station (best viewed from a distance, up close it’s a dirty and somewhat unloved car park/bus station). I watched Johnathan Meades on BBC 4 last night. He operates on a different level- at times it’s best just to switch off and let his commentary wash over you while enjoying the visuals.

Richard Norris (in his Time And Space Machine guise) has remixed Temples. Temples are four young men from Kettering making psychedelic rock circa 1966-7 and have been tipped by Johnny Marr, Bobby Gillespie and Noel Gallagher (could be offputting to some I suppose). I saw them briefly supporting Primal Scream last December and the song and a half I saw were alright. Richard Norris loops them about the place, reverb heavy vocals, phased guitars and backwards guitars, psychedelia firmly intact. NME were offering a free download but I think the capacity got reached by a mad rush of 60s psychedelia fans.

Edit: free download is back.

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Goodbye Johnny

I saw Primal Scream on Sunday night in what turned out be a jam-packed sweatbox. A good number of male and female middle aged fans with a surprising number of twenty something Jake Bugg lookalikes. We arrived just as Temples were finishing so I can’t really comment- psychedelic pop-rock I reckon. Weatherall played a load of obscure psychedelic rock (and some dub earlier according to a mate who got in when the doors opened). I was somewhat disappointed not to see the bearded one in action though, not getting near enough to the front to notice he was in front of the stage rather than on it. So I couldn’t take notes in my special Weatherall trainspotter notebook or get a photo for you.

Primal Scream came on, on time, spruce and together, and played several guitar overload songs- 2013, Jailbird, Accelerator, Hit Void. Hot and sticky, the sax and Duffy’s keyboards well up in the mix. The middle section was mainly the slower, spacier songs from More Light, which settled things down a bit but bored the pants off a few of the casual gig-goers- one of whom told me ‘if they don’t play something I know in the next ten minutes I’m off’. And he was. A terrific, ice cool version of Autobahn 66. And then the big songs- It’s Alright It’s OK, Rocks, lots of extended intros and finishes, sirens galore for Swastika Eyes with Innes and Little Barrie choreographing their guitar moves stage left and right. Art-rock Scream as much as festival Scream. A crowd pleasing encore- I’m Losing More Than I’ll Ever Have (which I saw them play in Planet X in Liverpool in summer 1989 and there wasn’t much that night to suggest I’d still be seeing them play it 24 years later), followed by Loaded and both versions of Come Together, a full on audience singalong, Bobby milking the applause, refusing to leave the stage. Good stuff really, good stuff. It does show the problem of bands wanting to play their new stuff while still trying to keep audiences interested. Not everyone’s cup of tea but we had a good time. It was very sweaty- did I mention that?

This is the video for Goodbye Johnny, featuring a load of Bobby G lookalikes lipsynching and a glamorous pair of transvestites. All filmed on an Iphone.