Primal Scream headlined the first day of BBC 6 Music’s Music Festival in Bristol last night. In what has wound up being one of the surprise hit festivals of the year so far, the Bristol music scene has handsomely established itself as one of the essential proving grounds for bands on their way up.
But that’s not to say that veterans like Primal Scream are any less celebrated. Frontman Bobby Gillespie and company brought the house down and ended the first day on a high note.
Luckily for all of us not living in the UK, BBC 6 Music have taken it upon themselves to devote all their programming this weekend to sounds from the Festival, live and uncensored (much to the cringing of a few station personnel) from the stages of most all the venues making up this city-wide festival.
A huge effort and a lot to keep together, and so far it’s going off 98% without any noticeable glitches.
Primal Scream have been around for decades, getting started in 1982 and continuing without letup. One of the best Rock units currently on the scene, they gave their usual “blow-past expectations’ performances to a sold-out crowd.
It’s bands like Primal Scream and festivals like this one that reiterate the solid impression that Rock is far from dead – that bands are just as vibrant and exciting as ever, and that all the really interesting stuff is still not coming from the mainstream, but rather a bunch of people getting together and seeing what happens, playing for audiences who like music and have open minds. That’s the bottom line and it hasn’t changed in over 50 years, and probably may never change.
What’s good about this day and age is that we have access to it, which we didn’t very easily before. How amazing it would have been to listen live to one of the first Glastonbury Festivals, while sitting in a living room in L.A. – to listen to all those up-and-comers and wonder which ones would go on to become household names. Fortunately, we get to do that now – and the world gets a whole lot smaller, and we aren’t so alienated anymore.
At any rate, there’s a ton of bands between Friday and Sunday and I hope to be running many of them over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
And crank up Primal Scream while you’re at it.