Primal Scream

SXSW showcase reviews

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Photo by Sandy Carson

Primal Scream

Cedar Street Courtyard, March 19

By now it's obvious: Scottish rockers Primal Scream are the true inheritors of the Stones' battered, jagged, yet ultimately glorious Brit-rock & roll crown. Both Keith Richards and Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie have pried a few jewels off that tarnished old topper, the better to barter for illicit consumables over the years, but the eminence fronted by the newly sober Gillespie and backed by guitarist Andrew Innes, former Stone Roses bassist Mani Mounfield, keyboardist Martin Duffy, and new guitar recruit and snappy dresser Barry Cadogan proved yet again why the former train-spotters continue to be the most exhilarating UK rockers 25-plus years on. Their Cedar Street gig ranged from 1990's classic Screamadelica ("Loaded") to a thundering version of new single "Can't Go Back." Gillespie looked and sounded a full decade younger than the shorn, scrawny blowhard that staggered through his last Austin incarnation in 2000. With demon-green laser beams shooting over the sardine-tinned audience's sea of raised hands, the Scream's skintight renditions of classic hyper-rockers "Swastika Eyes" and "Miss Lucifer" twice resulted in a stage-front scrum that brought security into the crush. Encoring the 50-minute set with an electrifying version of "Rocks," Gillespie and company exited slapping front-row flesh, grinning, laughing, and looking altogether pleased with their own beautiful future.

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Primal Scream

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