It wasn’t regarded as being all that cracking back in May 1985.  Indeed, it was regarded as something of a joke, as indeed were the band.  It’s since become a staple at every indie/twee disco across the planet, and the tune something of a template for many badge-wearing boys and girls who wanted to sing quietly into a microphone.  I’ve a feeling the modern-day Primal Scream wouldn’t be able to keep a straight face if they tried to play this live these days.

mp3: Primal Scream – All Fall Down

The indie kids of the era have long said that they preferred its b-side.  It certainly does fill floors whenever it gets aired.

mp3: Primal Scream – It Happens

All told, the two songs have a combined running length of not too much more than four minutes.  It could be argued, with merit, that other bands were better at this sort of thing than Primal Scream, and it was best for all concerned when Andrew Weatherall got his hands on their material and changed things forever.  But there’s something very innocent and charming about this 45, and indeed its follow-up Crystal Crescent (b/w) Velocity Girl, which make the songs an enjoyable and enduring listen all these years later.



This week, I’ll let you, dear readers, fill in the gaps.

“Glasgow. Early 80s. Bobby Gillespie. Jim Beattie. Robert ‘Throb’ Young. Creation Records. C86. Andrew Innes. Elevation Records, Sonic Power Groove. Flop. Creation Records. Flop.  Martin Duffy. Late 80s. Acid House. Andrew Weatherall. Remixing, Sampling. Denise Johnson. Loaded. Screamadelica. Mercury Music Prize. Blues Rock. Give Out But Don’t Give Up. Mani from the Roses. Vanishing Point.  XTRMNTR. Collaborations. Festival Favourites. Turn of the Century.  Etc. Etc. Etc.  Bobby’s got a book coming out soon……”

mp3: Primal Scream – Velocity Girl

A tune that has to be fitted into the above narrative just before or after ‘C86’

Nobody has yet penned an ICA for Primal Scream.  Just sayin’…..



Today’s posting should have been from SWC, but I’ve elbowed it into next week so that I can have a wee rant.

I love books almost as much as I do music.  I’ve well over 500 of the things lying around various corners of Villain Towers, constantly resisting the urges of Mrs V to get rid of some of them.  I’ve a fondness, you won’t be surprised to learn, for books about music, musicians and pop/rock history.  There’s nearly 200 of these in the collection, of which around half are biographies or memoirs.

Hearing the news that Bobby Gillespie is about to have his story published was quite exciting, and discovering that the book is being published on 28 October 2021 means it’s a no-brainer for being added to the next Santa list.  The fact it’s only taking things up to the release of Screamadelica is even better news as it will inevitably have a huge focus on my home city and the environs in which Bobby grew up.

The info came via one of the few social media things I keep up with and clicking on the link led to an immediate increase in my blood pressure.

Tenement Kid can be pre-ordered just now from a number of places, including Waterstones, the largest book chain in the UK, where the asking price is £20 for a signed copy.

The publisher, White Rabbit, has this info on line:-

As well as publishing in hardback, ebook and audio – all of which are available to pre-order now – TENEMENT KID will be available in two special collector’s editions:

It turns out that one is an ‘Independent Record Store Special Edition’, consisting of 500 copies which will be signed, numbered and stamped, in a bespoke Green slipcase, for which the price is £49.99

The second is a ‘Rough Trade Store Special Edition’, consisting of 1000 copies, again all to be signed, numbered and stamped, but this time in in a bespoke Red slipcase, for which the price is, again, £49.99.

Fair enough if you’re a big fan, but not enough to make me justify the additional £30 for something that I won’t have in my hands for another seven-and-a-bit months.

Here’s the thing….five Independent Record Stores have links available for the pre-order. Drift Records in Totnes (which is SWC country), Resident Music in Brighton, Norman Records in Leeds, Piccadilly Records in Manchester and Monorail Records in Glasgow. Two of the pre-orders, in Manchester and Glasgow, are already sold out.

Now, I may be wrong, and they have been snapped up by fans who have something to really look forward to, but I can’t help but be cynical and reckon folk are just taking a punt on the fact there are only 500 of things and have a plan to put their copy up on-line in early November in which they will seek to make a tidy profit. It’s the sort of behaviour that quickly put me off Record Store Day when the shops would be teeming, not with fans but with speculators, and has become increasingly common as singers/bands/labels put out limited edition copies of albums, usually at a premium, which quickly sell out before all too soon appearing on Discogs or the likes.

To illustrate…..

Monorail had a limited exclusive edition of As Days Get Dark, the new Arab Strap album, which came out just seven days ago. It included a bonus flexi disc, signed by Aidan and Malcolm and the flexi discs were limited to 600 in total. The asking price was £22.99 and unsurprisingly, given their popularity round these parts, it sold out in the blink of an eye… the extent that I missed out and had to settle for a copy without the flexi at £2 cheaper.

This special edition with the flexi is already on Discogs.

There are three on offer.

£80, £95 and £129 are the asking prices.

All described as mint, sealed/shrink wrapped and unplayed which means these fucking parasites paid £23 for something they had no intention of ever playing just so that they could look to make a killing.

Now, do you think I might be right about Bobby Gillespie’s book?

mp3: Primal Scream – If They Move, Kill ‘Em



JC writes…….

It was on Monday 21 September that SWC sent over the e-mail with Part 3 of Burning Badgers Vinyl, with it dropping into the inbox less than 24 hours before the scheduled appearance of a posting of my own in which one of the songs featured.  I reckon, if there is an afterlife, that Tim Badger is still chuckling away at all this…..

Over to SWC……

Here is a little known fact. Vanishing Point is Badger’s favourite Primal Scream album. He told me this whilst we were stuck in traffic on the M6 on the way back from a Stoke City football match, which for some reason he’d won tickets for (ghastly game Stoke City lost 1-0 l to his beloved Spurs and to all things a Danny Rose headed goal, it was worth it to watch Badger roaring with unbridled pleasure, surrounded by 2000 seething Stoke Fans, as Spurs scored).

About three years after that afternoon, and about three years ago from today, Tim Badger and his wife attended a function around my house. After everyone had left, Tim thought he would make himself useful and start to unload and reload the dishwasher, whilst the rest of us finished off the wine, rum punch and whatever else we could find.
It was about twenty minutes into that chore, when we heard a bump, a yelped ‘ow’, a muffled swear word, and an almighty crash and the unmistakable sound of breaking china. My daughter was first on the scene.

“Uh Oh” came her voice, slightly louder than it usually is. “That’s daddy mug, he’s going to be cross”. My ears prick up. I have three mugs that I consider to be mine. One is a German Amplemann Mug I picked up in Berlin the morning after a Mogwai concert, the second is my ‘British Tea Power’ mug bought by me from a British Sea Power gig about eight years ago (JC adds…..I’ve also got that particular mug!!!!) and the third, is a cup that I consider to be more important that nearly everything else I own, my Screamadelica mug bought from the 1992 Primal Scream Tour for £8. I cross my fingers and hope it’s the German Mug.

Of course, it’s the Primal Scream mug, anything else wouldn’t make sense given the topic of today’s piece.

When I get to the kitchen Badger is rubbing his leg…”I banged it on the dishwasher, it really hurt, the cup slipped…” his eyes drift to the floor, which is usually a kind of charcoal grey colour, now it’s a mixture of white, red, yellow and dusty china. “…Sorry, mate…” he says and gives me this goofy sort of grin, which makes me want to kick him in the leg even more than I do already, considering there is precisely no evidence of him actually hitting his leg at all.

I am devastated about the cup but my wife, after witnessing me moping about it for about an hour tells me to
“Cheer up you grumpy sod, its only a cup, if it helps the Badgers have invited us around next week and Lorna says you can break Tim’s Lego Deathstar which took him three months to make.”

I make a plan in my head to do exactly this. I never do it though, the Lego Deathstar is frankly a work of art and Tim, regardless of what he had done before, would have disembowelled me with a fork if I even moved once piece of it (it still has pride of place in the middle of the bookcase in the lounge).

All of which fun and games bring me to the point. The second record I pull out of the box was by Primal Scream. In fact the third and fourth records out of the box were also by Primal Scream and all three were immaculately kept 12 inch promo copies of three of the singles from the ‘Vanishing Point’ album. To be precise these three records in fact

Burning Wheel
If They Move Kill ‘Em

Which kind of backs up the opening paragraph of this piece. ‘Vanishing Point’ is according to Tim a record that is “way more ambitious than Screamadelica” and is a record “that he would definitely rescue from a burning building”. It is, he continues “massively underrated, and blends so many ideas together in this big smouldering pot of noise (dub, blues, Krautrock, indie rock n roll, Big Beat), and it is a record that only Primal Scream could have got anyway with”.

He is sort of right about ‘Vanishing Point’. It is underrated, certainly by me. It represents a time where the band were experimenting both musically and chemically with everything and everyone and the result of that is some incredible music, which, in a roundabout way, brings us to the remixes housed on these 12 inches.

mp3: Primal Scream – Kowalski (Automator Mix)
mp3: Primal Scream – Burning Wheel (Chemical Brothers Mix)
mp3: Primal Scream – If They Move, Kill ‘Em (Kevin Shields Mix)

Let’s be a bit like Nas and do this shit in reverse. If They Move, Kill ‘Em is a remix that is so good that the band put a version of it on their next album ‘XTRMNTR’, under a slightly different name ‘MBV Arkestra’. Basically, Kevin Shields takes the strutting wailing menace of the original and replaces it with pure violent noise and its insanely brilliant. It sounds perfect on ‘XTRMNTR’ as well.

The Chemical Brothers Remix of Burning Wheel is kind of what you would expect from late nineties Chemical Brothers. The Brothers replace the hypnotic and slightly psychedelic beats of the original version with massive filthy beats that bounce off the walls full of righteous fury and anger. Again, its insanely brilliant. Especially the bit about five and a half minutes in.

Finally, we come to the Automator Mix of Kowalski which sees this tiny, barely there, bassline simply blend the song together, with a few new samples and a dirty old beats pumping away (if that’s the right word to use!) behind Bobby’s whispery vocals. It’s the weakest of the three remixes but it’s still a marvellous five minutes.




The others were Rocks (#7 in 1994) and Country Girl (#5 in 2003) with the latter being the most successful, charts-wise, of all the Primal Scream 45s.

Kowlaski was released in May 1995 and reached #8. It came out a couple of months before the band’s fifth studio album, Vanishing Point. It was an instant hit here in Villain Towers:-

mp3: Primal Scream – Kowalski

I’m happy to pass on the info that the song is named after the main character of Vanishing Point, a 1971 road movie which, although critically panned at the time of its release, has since obtained cult status.

The CD single came with two rockin’-out cover versions, one of which saw the old punks rise up in anger, but to be fair(ish), Bobby & Co. make it sound like one of their own rather than a Clash number (not that I’m defending it as it’s pretty sore on the ears, sounding as if an act like Lynard Skynard had got their hands on it):-

mp3: Primal Scream – 96 Tears
mp3: Primal Scream – Know Your Rights

Thankfully, the CD closes with an excellent remix of the single:-

mp3: Primal Scream – Kowalski (Automator Mix)



From wiki:-

The Dixie-Narco EP is an extended play by the British band Primal Scream, released in February 1992 on Creation Records. Recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis, this was the only official Primal Scream release to contain the song “Screamadelica”, which was not used on their Screamadelica album. The song later appeared on the 20th anniversary edition of Screamadelica and on Shoot Speed – More Dirty Hits.

An interesting thing to note is that the link on the wiki page to an All Music review of the EP now just takes you to something that is no longer there. I’m thinking it may have been quietly removed on the back of this news story:-

The Dixie Chicks Change Their Name, Dropping the ‘Dixie’

The Dixie Chicks are now the Chicks.

The platinum-selling country trio, which in 2003 became pariahs in Nashville for criticizing President George W. Bush on the eve of the American-led invasion of Iraq, has changed its name, apparently in tacit acknowledgment of criticism over its use of the word “Dixie,” a nostalgic nickname for the Civil War-era South.

The group made the change stealthily on Thursday, releasing a new video as the Chicks and adjusting its social media presence. Representatives for the band confirmed the new name.

In a brief statement on its new website, the band states simply: “We want to meet this moment.” The new video, “March March,” features images of current and historical protests — for women’s rights, gay rights, environmental causes and Black Lives Matter.

For the Dixie Chicks, the pressure had come over its use of the word Dixie, with commentary in the news media pushing the group to change its name just as the country debates issues like removing Confederate monuments.

The name change comes ahead of the release of the group’s first album in 14 years, “Gaslighter,” due out on July 17.

Bobby Gillespie‘s political views are well-known, and there is no question that if the EP in question was being issued today, it would not carry that particular title. More likely that it would adopt the name of its lead track, Movin’ On Up, or perhaps the name of one of its three other songs, but most likely not Screamadelica as that would only cause confusion.

The EP is long out of print, certainly on vinyl, with decent quality copies going for £10 and upwards on Discogs. I’d be surprised if there’s all that many CD versions lying around in shops or stores. The other piece of good news is that the tunes on the EP don’t appear to be available on a stand-alone basis, but can be found as part of the 20th Anniversary expanded edition of the Screamadelica album.

These are from the vinyl. I’ve already renamed the EP within my i-tunes library:-

mp3: Primal Scream – Movin’ On Up
mp3: Primal Scream – Stone My Soul
mp3: Primal Scream – Carry Me Home
mp3: Primal Scream – Screamadelica

For anyone not familiar with the release, it’s worth mentioning that Screamadelica, coming in at almost 11 glorious minutes in length, takes up one side of the vinyl, with the remaining tracks on the flip side.

Carry Me Home is a song penned by Dennis Wilson, intended for inclusion on The Beach Boys album, Holland, released in 1973 but it never made the cut.  To the best of my knowledge, it has never had a formal or authorised release on any Beach Boys record.


45 45s @ 45 : SWC STYLE (Part 45)


1. Come Together – Primal Scream

Released as a single on Creation Records in August 1990 (Reached Number 26)

There were two plans for the number one and last segment of this series. The first plan was to write something about my daughter and post ‘Shake It Off’ by Taylor Swift. I was going to wax lyrical about how fantastic my daughter is and how it was because of her that I decided to scratch this particular itch that had developed inside me. Then she wrote that ICA from a few weeks ago and sort of showed everyone reading how fantastic she is.

Although I will tell you about the events of a cold December morning, which will further evidence it. On that morning, my daughter caught me crying. It was two in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. I’d had a bad day and sat up in the lounge and I was listening to something I downloaded (a podcast about the disappearance of Maddie McCann) and it made me cry. My daughter, bless her, stumbled into the lounge, needing the toilet and happened to see me.

Six hours or so later I walked my daughter to school. There is a bit on the walk where we always decided to go left past the farmhouse or right along the track. I always ask her which way she wants to go. On this morning she told me I could decide. We walked along the track and halfway along the track my daughter stops and asks me why I was crying in the night. She asks me (and remember she is seven) if I still loved mummy and if I still loved her. I stop in my tracks and kneel down, skilfully avoiding the horse poo.

I tell her that I was crying because I was listening to something sad on the computer and that, of course, I still love her and mummy. My daughter nods and tears appear in her eyes and she tells me to listen to something happy, which is devastatingly brilliant advice. We hug each other. There is not a soul around and the world just kinds of fast forwards itself around us. It’s one of those moments that should last forever and one of those moments that make you feel better instantly.

I’m going to stick a song in here, just because it needs one

Lazarus (12” Version) – The Boo Radleys

Ten minutes later we are at the school gates and I stand with my daughter and tell her to have a good day and that I will see her later. She stops at the door of the school and spins round and runs back to me. She digs her hand into her coat pocket and pulls out this little pink rubber unicorn thing that goes on the end of a pencil. She hands it to me.

“I always bring a friend to school in case I get lonely” she tells me, “But you can have this one, if you get lonely, give it a squeeze”, she says and with it she spins back around and runs in the school. My hand closes around the unicorn and I have to turn around quickly, otherwise the parents will see the tears in my eyes. That unicorn remains in my pocket to this day. I’ve just squeezed it a minute ago whilst writing the paragraph above this one and every time I squeeze it makes me happy or happier. Sometimes it’s the small things that make me realise/remember that I am one of the luckiest men there is. Anyway, let’s look at the second plan.

The second plan was to end this series by posting the song that was sitting on Top of the Charts on the day I was born. Sadly that for me is ‘Whispering Grass’ by Windsor Davies and Don Estelle, for those in the dark, these two were in the old BBC comedy ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’, a tragically unfunny, possibly racist sitcom about some men in the army. The song is awful as well. So I abandoned that plan too. But if I had been born the year after that….then this would have been sat at the top of charts, and it is way better (so same time next year…?)

I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester by The Wurzels

I was always going to say thank you to JC though, for allowing me the time and space to write this series though. This series was always supposed to be about influences, people, songs, events, places, things that have happened that influenced me over the last 45 years (although in reality 35 years). One of those things has been this very website, one of those people has been you Mr Clark, and if I was wearing a hat, I would be tipping it right now. The knowledge, the humour, the comradeship and the all-round warmth shown across this page is refreshing and a joy. The fact that you allow me to witter on, unquestioned is appreciated more than you will ever know, although I would imagine that one or two of the regulars would disagree with that.

Thanks for reading, as ever. Its been a pleasure. Stay tuned for my A to Z of ICAs….I’m joking…I think


JC adds:

Happy 45th birthday SWC.

Thanks for an incredible series that felt as if we were on board the most emotional of rollercoasters, with shrieks of laughter interspersed with ‘WTF!!!!????’ moments.   You cannot let this be your final contribution to the blog, unless, of course, this has helped mend a few scars that have prevented you from getting things going again under your own steam.

Have a great lockdown birthday with your loved ones.  Play some songs, have some dances, and eat loads of cake. I’ll certainly, at some point today, pour myself a glass of rum and toast your good health.  7pm UK time if anyone cares to join me while I’m giving this 7″ single from 2008 a spin.

mp3: The All New Adventures Of Us – 45 Forever

7pm update:  as promised.  Spiced Rum from Glasgow with ice.  And a 45 rotating at 45rpm.  Happy birthday SWC.




The Jesus and Mary Chain emerged blinking and battling into the sunlight at a period when I temporarily stopped caring so muc about music to an extent that I got very cynical about things, genuinely believing that there would be very little to emerge in the following years that would thrill or excite, far less sound unlike anything that had come before. I was 25 years old and my pessimism/doom’n’gloom turned out to be well wide of the mark, as I hope I have proved on many occasions through postings on this little corner of t’internet.

My thoughts on the JAMC were clouded by the fact that the noises coming out of the speakers were just a variation on the shock of punk rock, taking the sacred cow of the Velvet Underground who had been lauded by so many of the indie bands on the 80s and throwing some feedback on top. The antics of the stage performances, where fights and riots would be instigated from a ‘couldn’t give a fuck’ attitude seemed no different or more confrontational than that of The Birthday Party who themselves had grown up and subsequently grown weary of it, and therefore it was only a matter of time before the Brothers Reid did similar.

I didn’t mind some of the songs I was hearing but not enough to make me rush out and buy anything….until the day I was exposed to a b-side and a cover version at that:-

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – Surfin’ USA

The Beach Boys were, and still are, a band that I ever quite ‘got’. The 80s were a particularly annoying time for me as so many journos from that period were fond of wanking themselves into a frenzy over Pet Sounds being the greatest album of all time. I’ve listened to that album in my teens, 20s, 30s and 40s and never once been remotely impressed with it. Hearing this wonderfully energetic and irreverent take on the song, not to mention the sampling of the religious nutters at its end, at a period in history when there were some bad bad people on the right (and on the rise) in the land of the free, made me smile and made me take a liking to the JAMC.

A few weeks later, I got my hands on the 12” single on which it had appeared. This was the era when vinyl didn’t sell out instantly and you could find copies of singles hanging around the shelves many months later. It was my first exposure to this:-

mp3 : The Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklands

Hadn’t until now apprecaited that they made such great pop singles, tuneful and memorable and at exactly the sort of pace and tempo that so often fitted my mood.  The five minutes that converted me.

Many years later, a former member of JAMC offered his band’s take on it….and in doing so made it sound like one of his own:-

mp3 : Primal Scream – Darklands



I rely very heavily on guest postss to make this place tick, so when I get asked if I want to contribute the odd piece elsewhere, I’ll almost always certainly take up the challenge.

I did so just yesterday over at The Sound of Being OK, the new(ish) venture from SWC, Tim and KT. I know that just about all of you were very fond of their work under the When You Can’t Remember Anything banner which, sadly, had to come to a sudden halt for all sorts of reasons in the summer of 2017, but the great news is that the quality of writing and the ideas they are generating for features across the new blog are every bit as first-class as the old place.

They are running a wonderful series on the best b-sides of all time; well it was wonderful until I got involved and offered up some thoughts on a 1986 single by Primal Scream. This was its a-side:-

mp3 : Primal Scream – Crystal Crescent

Click here if you fancy reading what I had to say about its more illustrious flip side.



While I do enjoy some of the upbeat stuff if I told I was only allowed to keep one piece of music by Primal Scream then it would be this-

mp3 : Primal Scream – Star

And I haven’t chosen it simply for its political message, powerful though it is. Oh and I should mention that this lyric and the sentiments would have received a big thumbs-up from Bobby Gillespie‘s father – who was a hugely respected trade union official here in Glasgow back in the days when that was a position that really meant something.

Actually, the lyric does have one huge glaring error that was remarked upon widely at the time. Tributes are paid to the ‘late’ Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King…..but Rosa Parks was very much alive when the single was released in June 1997.

Nope, my sole reason for loving this above any other Primal Scream song single is down to its laidback and gorgeous tune. Surely no-one can fail to be moved by the wonderful playing of the mellotron by the late Augustus Pablo and the subtle and understated use of the horn section. Bloody marvellous.

It the second single to be lifted from the LP Vanishing Point and it climbed to a very respectable #16 in the UK charts. And here’s the other tracks that appeared on the CD single.

mp3 : Primal Scream – Jesus
mp3 : Primal Scream – Rebel Dub
mp3 : Primal Scream – How Does It Feel To Belong

As you can imagine, I’m quite fond of the Rebel Dub version of the single……

Incidentally, the cover is a photo taken of Bobby Hutton outside Oakland Police Department on 23 May 1967. Within 12 months he would be dead, before his 18th birthday, after an ‘altercation’ with said police department.




1986 was an important year in the history of the genre that has become known as indie-pop, characterised by the release of C86, a 22-song cassette compilation from the NME consisting of what were largely up and coming UK bands who were making guitar-based pop music that was a throwback to the Postcard and early Rough Trade era at the start of the decade.

It was a time when music was being made on the cheap and in a rough and ready fashion which harked back to the punk/new wave era, and it was no real surprise that the biggest music paper in the country focussed on what it hoped would the next new wave of music on the tenth anniversary of the birth of punk.

C86 did not generate any huge amount of commercial success with the vast majority of the bands involved never really getting beyond cult status. But there was something of a timeless quality tabout a number of the songs, and indeed of other contemporary songs which weren’t included on the cassette.

In 2006, CD86 was released to mark the 20th anniversary of C86. It consisted of 48 tracks, compiled by Bob Stanley of Saint Etienne, complete with a short essay in which he extolled the virtues of the movement with the statement:-

“It was the beginning of indie music. It’s hard to remember how underground guitar music and fanzines were in the mid-’80s. DIY ethics and any residual punk attitudes were in isolated pockets around the country, and the C86 comp and gigs brought them together”.

While I beg to differ about it being the birth of indie music (what had I spent my late teen and early 20s dancing to if it wasn’t indie?), I won’t disagree that the songs of the era have a certain charm and so, for the new Sunday series now that the Moz singles feature has again come to an end, I’m going to look at all 48 songs on the CD 86 compilation and where possible also feature the b-side if the song had been a 45.

Interestingly enough, the CD86 compilation only featured 3 of the original 22 songs which had been on C86, while seven of the 22 acts were omitted altogether – Stump, Bogshed, A Witness, Miaow. The McKenzies, Fuzzbox and The Shrubs – in his essay Bob Stanley offers the opinion that some groups on the NME compilation were genuinely dire and he specifically mentions The McKenzies, A Witness and Stump.

It is the case that each of C86 and CD86 opened with the same song by the one band that emerged from the movement to really experience worldwide fame and fortune over an extended period….just a pity for the genre that they made their fame and fortune from a totally different style of music!!


mp3 : Primal Scream – Velocity Girl

Clocking in at some 80 seconds in length, this just about perfectly encapsulates what the C86 movement was all about.  The production was a long way removed from the slick and glossy material that was then dominating the charts, the band sounded as if they had only just got together for a bet or a laugh (or both) and the singer wasn’t blessed with the most natural of voices – but somehow it all came together in a way that was enchanting and entrancing.

Strangely enough, Velocity Girl was the b-side of the second ever Primal Scream single released on Creation Records back in 1986, but thanks to its inclusion on various compilation LPs over the year has become far better known than its a-side:-

mp3 : Primal Scream – Crystal Crescent

Tune in on the next 47 Sundays for the rest of the series…..




This, the second single lifted from what turned out to be the final ever LP released on Creation Records, is a mighty fine piece of music.

XTRMNTR had caught out a lot of folk. It was a full-on, in your face aggressive and angry record which didn’t make for easy listening. It had received a huge thumbs-up from the critics who almost universally lauded Primal Scream for having the balls to do something so brash and unexpected while the band had a large enough loyal following to take the LP into the Top 3. But unsurprisingly, the singles lifted from the LP never really got much in the way of radio play and all three of them stalled outside the Top 20.

Things weren’t helped in the case of Kill All Hippies as the band released it in the exact same format as the version which opened the album which means it doesn’t really take off for over a minute which really was commercial suicide when it comes to radio play which, back in 2000, was still very important as the digital internet age in terms of music consumption was really still around the corner.

mp3 : Primal Scream – Kill All Hippies

The second track is a Massive Attack remix of one of the gentler and easier listening tracks on the album. The original version of Exterminator is great but this remix is just stunning…especially when listened to through an expensive set of headphones. There’s just so much going on.

mp3 : Primal Scream – Exterminator (Massive Attack remix)

The single as a whole was dedicated to Curtis Mayfield who had died just a few weeks earlier. The third song was especially written by Primal Scream as a tribute to him and it is funky as fuck:-

mp3 : Primal Scream – The Revenge Of The Hammond Connection

If you’re not dancing around the room having played that last track there is something seriously wrong with you.



This should have appeared last week…..but I forgot to transfer the text over from a word doc.  Apologies.

I’ve reached the stage of this incredibly long-running alphabetical series where it is time to feature Primal Scream. So many great things to choose from but I thought I’d go with something a bit different and one probably not so well-known to readers from overseas.

The summer of 1996 was to feature a major football tournament.  It was the European Nations Championship, conveniently shortened to Euro 96, and the host nation was England.  Being just over the border, there was huge interest in whether Scotland could also make it through the qualifying stages which we did reasonably comfortably, although it has to be said we did have an easy group (Russia, Greece, Finland, Faroe Islands and San Marino) as well as some half-decent players at the time.

It was inevitable however, that having qualified with a bit of ease that the footballing gods would deal us a cruel hand in the actual tournament which is why we ended up drawn against Holland, Switzerland and the hosts.

The fact we were playing such an important match against our oldest and deadliest rivals created all sorts of interest and in the tournament not to mention weird spin-offs. One of these was the release of a very unofficial single by Primal Scream.

It was a collaboration with the Scottish author Irvine Welsh who just three years earlier had shot to fame and infamy with the publication of his debut novel Trainspotting, as well as the team at the English-based On-U Sound, a record label best-known for dance and dub releases.  The end result is everything as crazy, imaginative and offensive as you’d imagine.

Is it any good though?

Well….as a huge fan of much of what Irvine Welsh has written over the years, I’m prepared to say that this is a tremendous release.  As with any bit of writing by Welsh, it is OTT and then some.  There’s a fair bit of black humour mixed in with some excellent social observation and commentary although it will not be to everyone’s taste. And again, as  with any bit of writing by Welsh, there’s loads of gratuitous swearing, so be warned when you click on the mp3s.

The full title of the release was Primal Scream, Irvine Welsh and On-U Sound present….The Big Man and the Scream Team meet the Barmy Army Uptown.  There were two musical versions made available along with a spoken word track featuring Welsh alone.

mp3 : Primal Scream et al – Full Strength Fortified Dub
mp3 : Primal Scream et al – Electric Soup dub
mp3 : Irvine Welsh – A Jake Supreme

Released by Creation Records on 3 June 1996 on the eve of the tournament, this reached #17 in the UK charts despite, to the best of my knowledge, never receiving a single airing on radio….such was the pulling power of the Scream and Welsh.

As to the tournament itself…….Scotland didn’t disappoint by doing what we always do and that is being eliminated in the most ridiculous of ways. We drew with Holland and then lost that important game to England – a match in which the decisive and brilliant second goal by Paul Gascoigne came a few seconds after we had contrived to miss a penalty.

In the final matches, played on the date of my 33rd birthday,  Scotland beat Switzerland 1-0 but had to rely on England pulling off the most unlikely result of a four-goal win over Holland. Unbelievably, they were within 12 minutes of pulling off that very feat when Holland scored to make it 4-1 meaning Scotland were eliminated on the rule of having scored less goals over the three matches than the Dutch.

It was very cruel way to bow out – and our hope of a re-match in the final against England was cruelly dashed!

But such is the way of being a fan of Scotland. At least we don’t have the torture of the upcoming World Cup to distract us.




Chinese fontThe Robster chose the letter P

Difficult. Is one way to describe the letter P. So many decent bands begin with P. I’ve discounted Portishead, Placebo, Pure Morning (although I truly recommend you seek out ‘Scum’ from their debut album), Pop Will Eat Itself, Procul Harum and the Pixies, to name but six. I also was tempted to talk about Panjabi MC, as I have a great story about him at a wedding in Chennai, but I would definitely get sued. Anyway, there is only one place to start when talking about bands beginning with P.

Imagine the scene if you will, it 1994, it’s the Reading Festival and a relatively drunk S-WC (evening meal vodka and a falafel burger, the food of a king) and his mate who we shall called Chris (as that is his name) are hitting on two wee Scottish girls from ‘the twee village of Blairgowrie’(their words).

It is Saturday evening and we are trying to talk the two girls into coming to see Madder Rose with us, as Chris really likes them and besides we want to catch Compulsion and Elastica who were on before them. They say no, they want to see Primal Scream, the problem is on before Primal Scream is Ice Cube who no really likes but they are willing to put up with that in order to get a good spot. Personally I’m not fussed either way, as long as I see Compulsion I don’t care. Also the girls were nicer to look at that Chris, so I was probably swaying in that direction.

We consume more vodka and I think I manage to eat a doughnut to soak up the alcohol, in 1994 eating wasn’t cheating. The two girls by the way had drunk way more than us and were absolutely far more sober than either me or Chris. In the end in ways that only girls can they ‘persuaded’ us to watch Primal Scream with them, we caught Compulsion first (who were great) missed Elastica and hot footed it over to Primal Scream. I should point out that the persuasion was not as seedy as I have made it sound, I think they produced another half bottle of vodka and that swung it.

End result, Primal Scream in 1994, was the best live performance I have ever seen, perhaps it was the drink, the company and the atmosphere but standing in a field at 1030pm listening to ‘Higher Than The Sun’just about does it for me. The four of us woke up the next morning in the same tent (clothed, you filthy minded buggers, although I do remember being disappointed) with two of us having the mother of all hangovers, but it was really worth it. I have to say I have never listened to Madder Rose since that festival.

mp3 : Primal Scream – Come Together (Farley mix)

Since then I have seen Primal Scream live more than any band, they are pretty much the only band I would now travel to see outside of the South West to see live and they just get better and better live. I saw them at a place called the Eden Project a few years back now, down in Cornwall, they played ‘Screamadelica’ in full and it was truly amazing. I love their energy, their passion, and in Bobby Gillespie they have a frontman who will I think go on for ever. For those who haven’t heard it, ‘Screamadelica’ is the greatest record ever made. Period. No arguments. Forget what is written about ‘The Queen is Dead’ or ‘Pet Sounds’, they don’t even come close.

A couple of years ago I went to a wedding it was pretty dull, until the party afterwards. I was sat at the bar recovering after having a boring conversation with some bloke who drove buses in Chester. Which took up the ENTIRE MEAL. Everything I spoke about he managed successfully to bring in buses to the equation. What do you think about David Cameron’s view on Syria? Well funny you should say that, in Chester on the buses we use engine parts made in Syria…that kind of thing.

Anyway, at the bar there was a couple of blokes who didn’t fit in, they looked cool and out-of-place. I kind of nodded at them and we did the how do you know the bride and groom thing. Turns out they were related, or one of them was. They were in a band, and that band was Public Service Broadcasting. One of the two (and I have to be careful as they use pseudonyms) said we have a mantra we aim to teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future. What they do is trawl through old film archives, and use snippets of voices and then set them to music. It sounds weird but it really works. If you have a long musical memory then you might remember Paul Hardcastle tried something similar with the song ‘19’ and perhaps even Big Audio Dynamites ‘E=MC2’ but PSB do it excellently and without the feel of a gimmick. They had me the minute they told me their mantra and I hadn’t heard them. When I did what I got was the sound of 1930s announcements set to a whirl of indie guitars and electronica and I was gobsmacked at what they had done. The problem is and I never told them, is what are they going to do next?

mp3 : Public Service Broadcasting – Spitfire

Finally an oldie but a goldie, a record that is in my top ten tracks of all time. Probably, I keep changing it. I post it as an advert really, because right now on Amazon every Pavement album is available on download for £2.99 and if that is not an excuse to buy them all then I don’t know what is.

Whenever I move house – which isn’t that often these days, but I have stretched the rules to whenever I stay in a hotel, the first song I listen to in that house, room, suite whatever is ‘Summer Babe’ by Pavement. I don’t have a reason, when I moved into students halls for the first time I plugged my stereo in and the first record out of the box was ‘Slanted and Enchanted’ and I put in on and turned it up. Within ten minutes, my new neighbour had knocked on the door and asked me if I fancied a beer and that he loved Pavement and did I have anything by the Wedding Present. After that it just stuck. These days I normally listen to it on tinny speakers on the laptop but I have this feeling that one day the person in the room next door will knock and say ‘is that pavement?

mp3 : Pavement – Summer Babe (winter version)

Next week – R. but lets have some more letters please