Formed in 1984 and winners of the first ever Mercury Music Prize for 1991’s ‘Screamadelica’, Primal Scream have influenced a generation of fans over their 20 year career. Fronted by former Jesus & Mary Chain’s Bobby Gillespie with Andrew Innes (guitar), Darrin Mooney (drums), ex-Felt keyboardist Martin Duffy (keyboards) and Stone Roses bass guitarist Gary ‘Mani’ Mounfield, they signed to Alan McGee’s Creation Records in 1985 and the rest is history.
Beginning a career that has spanned eighteen hit singles, the band’s 1987 debut LP ‘Sonic Flower Groove’ was influenced by The Byrds, Velvet Underground and the C86 scene. Not only did it publicly introduce the band, but it also set the tone for a musical style that would define the following decade and pave the way for bands like The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays.
Their follow-up album ‘Primal Scream’ witnessed a musical progression for the band, but it was 1991’s Mercury Music Prize winning ‘Screamadelica’ that became their landmark release. A tour de force produced by Andrew Weatherall, Hugo Nicholson and former Stones producer Jimmy Miller, it changed the face of British pop music with its kaleidoscopic fusion of dance, dub, techno, acid house and rock, putting Primal Scream at the top of their game.
They returned in 1994 with ‘Give Out but Don’t Give Up’ which was recorded in Nashville and featured the hit single ‘Rocks’, but with 1997’s ‘Vanishing Point’ they created a more complex dynamic of the indie allure which characterised their debut release, re-establishing the group as a major force in British rock.
Two Top Ten albums followed – ‘XTRMNTR’ and ‘Evil Heat’ in 2000 and 2002 respectively – boasting a greater electronic feel and new musical direction for the band. In 2003 they released their ‘Dirty Hits’ collection, a retrospective of their career to date.
In 2006 they returned with ‘Riot City Blues’ and the Top Ten track ‘Country Girl’ – the band’s highest-ever charting single. Laid down live on the studio floor at London’s Olympic Studios, it was produced by Youth and features and impressive supporting cast – Will Sergeant from Echo & The Bunnymen, Warren Ellis of Nick cave & The Bad Seeds and Alison Mosshart from The Kills. A triumphant UK tour followed in November 2006, which included two sell-out dates at London’s Brixton Academy.
Bestowed with NME’s Godlike Genius Award in March 2007, Primal Scream continued their most successful era to date by signing with the highly successful independent label B-Unique, home to Kaiser Chiefs, The Automatic, The Twang and The Ordinary Boys.
2008’s ‘Beautiful Future’ was Primal Scream’s ninth studio album and their first for B-Unique. The bulk of the album was produced by Björn Yttling [Peter, Björn and John] and Paul Epworth (Bloc Party) including the incredible first single ‘Can’t Go Back’.
The album featured guest collaborations from Lovefoxx of CSS, Josh Homme from Queens Of the Stone Age and folk legend Linda Thompson. As you would expect from one of Britain’s most exciting and inventive bands ‘Beautiful Future’ displays a heady mix of genre crunching taking in Philly soul, dark electro, accelerated rock ‘n’ roll riffs and pure British pop, all given that particular Scream edge.
Primal Scream’s latest album, ‘More Light’, released May 13th on their own First International label through Ignition Records, is the band’s tenth studio album. It was recorded in London and Los Angeles during 2012 and was produced by David Holmes.
The album is another twist in the band’s history, recorded after their recent successful worldwide tour of their hit album ‘Screamadelica’. Like ‘Screamadelica’, ‘More Light’ presents a musical state that lacks boundaries.
Gillespie explains: “The sense of space in the ‘Screamadelica’ gigs and the arrangements in the music had a wee bit of an effect in this. For the last few years we’ve been playing high energy, two guitar rock ‘n’ roll, and I think doing the ‘Screamadelica’ shows, we were on the way to doing something more spacious and free form, but I think that helped as well just the sense of space, some of this is quite epic sounding.”
With an experience as vast and wholesome as theirs, we can’t wait to see what they have in store for us at this year’s Groove Festival.