Groove Festival 2017 will play host to two massive music acts; UB40, the world’s most successful reggae band, and British rockers, Primal Scream. Over 25 acts will feature across the festival’s two stages, offering an eclectic mix of genres from ska to rock and everything in between.
Primal Scream – Saturday
By definition, Primal Scream are a British rock band formed in Glasgow in 1982, but to thousands of enthusiasts worldwide they’re so much more than that. The name represents not only the assemblage of Bobby Gillespie, Andrew Innes, Martin Duffy, Simone Butler, Darrin Mooney and Barrie Cadogan, but instead constitutes the band who single-handedly broke the mould of British chart music; defiantly catapulting new genres into the mainstream in a devil-may-care attitude signature of their rock ’n’ roll roots. Ultimately, the band were responsible for forming a well-lit bridge between the futuristic uncertainty of acid house music and the grease-laden safety of rock, and shaping the path for music of the future.
Despite Primal Scream being conceived in a Glasgow basement in 1982, it wasn’t until 1991 that they kicked down the door to the scene, and after the success of third album ‘Screamadelica’, put their dirty converse up on the white leather couch which was the music industry’s monotone nature prior to their arrival.
Initial albums Sonic Flower Groove and Primal Scream stirred up notable attention on a local level, but it was with the inclusion of acid house’s youthful 808’s that they found their true sound. Inspired by their newfound appreciation of the growing underground house scene, hardened electronic veteran Andrew Weatherall’s injection of dance elements into their music catapulted them from local celebrities to global superstars, reaching number 16 on the UK singles chart with “Loaded”, followed in quick succession by top 20 entry “Come together”. These pioneering releases played a crucial part in the success of the album Screamadelica (1991), which went on to win the first ever Mercury Music Prize, and in the process opened the floodgates to their success.
1992 saw the beginning of fourth album Give Out but Don’t Give Up, with single ‘Rocks’ released in 1994 reaching no. 7 in UK charts. Their new Stones-influenced sound sparked mixed reviews, however, with NME referring to them as “dance traitors” for abandoning the boldness and creativity of Screamadelica.
Primal Scream would gradually become known for possessing a lineup that seemed to change in tandem with the leaves changing colour; the band returning after a short hiatus with Gary “Mani” Mounfield of the Stone Roses and Paul Mulraney in an attempt to revitalize the group’s dynamic. The new additions proved successful, and teamed once more with Weatherall’s unique production, the 5th album ‘Vanishing Point’ reflected the successful cross genre elements seen in Screamadelica. The first single, “Kowalski”, reached no. 8 in the British charts and was a benchmark for the album’s success with Musik claiming that, after the inclusion of their song in the film Trainspotting, “this group’s place in the history book of late 20th Century music is assured.”
Scream’s unfaltering success proceeded into the 21st century, becoming frequent residents in both single and album top 20’s, with their 6th album XTRMNTR being considered the 3rd best album of the decade according to NME, and 2006 single ‘Country Girl’ reaching no. 5 in the singles chart respectively.
The band have maintained an impressive touring schedule throughout their 35-year lifetime, perfecting their energetic stage show while gathering a string of impressive headline slots including four Glastonbury appearances, Electric Picnic and a flurry of festivals and events across the world, solidifying their names in the halls of fame. Their impressive dynamic highlights their ability to not only stay relevant but to learn from past experiences and strengthen with time, making them the ideal performers for new and old fans alike.
UB40 – Sunday
Since reuniting three years ago, all original UB40 founding members Ali Campbell, Astro and Mickey have developed into a formidable touring outfit. Their world tours have included visits to North and South America, Nigeria, South Africa, Dubai, Europe and Papua New Guinea. They are currently in the middle of a sell out North America and Canada tour and next year will see them return to the States, play Australia and visit the vineyards of New Zealand for a Red Red Winery tour. Earlier this year, they performed songs from the first two Labour Of Love albums on a sell out arena tour that included shows at London’s O2 Arena, the Manchester Apollo and the Barclaycard Arena in their native Birmingham.
‘We’ve had an outstanding three years on the road,’ says Ali. ‘In America, we’re playing huge venues that we last visited twenty years ago, and I can’t wait to play arenas in the UK again. For me, it’s all about promoting reggae. At the end of the day, fans don’t care about what goes on behind the scenes. They only care about the music, and that’s what we’re giving them. We’re having a great time and we’re doing it in style.’
UB40 featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey released a critically acclaimed top 10 album in 2014, Silhouette, and have plans to release a new studio album later this year.
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.
Early Bird tickets on sale now – Buy Now!