Chances are that, if you’ve been into Screamadelica at any point in the 20 years since its release, you’ll have been tempted and conveniently placed to see it “done” live, so extensive has the 2011 tour been.
But this gig, recorded at London’s Olympia last November, was the first time the group ever took it to the stage, playing it from A to Z, often stopping at E (well, kind of – the setlist isn’t wholly faithful). Olympia itself seems like a perfect venue for this rebirth, and gospel singers, fancy lighting, masses of silhouettes and an all-round good vibe make for a compelling 10-track set.
It’s only when the accompanying (and actually preceding on the night) “rock’n’roll” (their words) follows on the DVD that you realise how many other great records this lot have made, but also how many stinkers. For every Accelerator or Jailbird, unfortunately there’s a Suicide Bomb or Country Girl. Still, the Primals know better than anyone that there are no ups without downs. Luckily for us viewers, we can turn it (on and) off when we choose.