Primal Scream – Uptown. Girl pop, but not Billy Joel.
One of my favourite bands, they have given me more musical pleasure than almost any other group. And if you take Jesus and Mary Chain into account, Bobby Gillespie has been at least in part responsible for a lot of my most cherished songs.
Each PS album seems to be inspired by a different listening experience, the band immersing themselves, Method-style in the whole ambience that surrounded the music they are inspired by when recording. Screamadelica, Vanishing Point, Xtrmntr – all with different style, but all noticeably from Bobby and the band.
I didn’t really know Beautiful Future until today when I played the album. Uptown immediately stood out as a highlight that I wanted to play again. Starting off with a cymbal rhythm and closely followed on the beat by Mani’s great bass, the sung out repetitions of the title, then the semi whispers of the first verse suggest a typical rock break out in the chorus – a break out that doesn’t happen as expected. Instead there is a marimba lead into a strings-laden bit that wouldn’t be out of place on a breezy 60’s pop song, like Petula Clark’s Downtown. And those marimbas – it could fit right in with Under My Thumb. As notorious Stones’ copyists, that seems rather appropriate.
Now I get the measure of this song – it’s one that doesn’t rock, it swings. No aggression, but smooth crooning instead. It’s a song of love for Flowered Up’s Weekender. A simple thing of joy, of absolute musical pleasure – I ‘m so happy to have discovered it. It just shows that there is always more unknown good music out there to listen to. It may be instantly familiar, derivative even. But that doesn’t matter if it stirs the emotions, sways the hips and puts a smile on your lips.