Glastonbury : Other Stage (Friday Evening)

Primal Scream play a blinder and only Electric Six's disco inferno and Yo La Tengo's delightful drone come close...

There’s something almost rude about the way Primal Scream waltz onto Glastonbury’s Other Stage and blow apart every other act that’s been before them. Ruder still, it only takes them about 30 seconds, the super-charged [a]Music[/a] burn-out of ‘Accelerator’ ripping out NME.COM’s brain stem and playing a solo on it with its teeth. The Primals may be a band pushing ever closer to those free bus passes but the wrinkles aren’t even beginning to show, with Bobby spinning around like he’s been taking freaky dancing classes with [a]Royksopp[/a]’s Robert Harvey. It’s the variety of their set that dazzles tonight. ‘Swastika Eyes’ is techno-powered dynamite that would have Aphex Twin covering his ears and running for the Healing Fields, whereas ‘Loaded’ brings more communal vibes than the entire [a]Idlewild[/a] let loose to host an orgy in a Prozac warehouse. And with a set that cruises from the likes of ‘Miss Lucifer’ to ‘Jailbird’ without missing a beat, there should be a few red faces for those who turned up thinking a guitar and a crap haircut should be enough to see them through. Sure, plenty of other acts played rock’n’roll today, but nobody owned it quite like Primal Scream.

[a]Cooper Temple Clause[/a]’s set sees a complete transformation within the audience, with those folks who started necking beers the minute they awoke returning to their tents to get friendly with the sick bucket. Suddenly, dancing in wobbly circles, hugging complete strangers and having meaningful conversations with gammy-eyed scrotes are accepted as standard fare and that’s just the effect that the music’s having on us. Because [a]Cooper Temple Clause[/a] are absolutely brilliant, throwing out dancetastic beats left, right and centre, with ‘Elpe’ and ‘Poor Leno’ in particular sounding like more fun than chasing baby robots around a marshmallow factory. Having your brain reduced to jelly has never been so enjoyable.

[a][/a]’s ascent to the top flight of rock stardom took a bit of a knock last year. Actually, it took a ruddy great kick in the nads with Bob Fairfoull leaving and the band having to tread water for a lengthy period. Tonight’s performance, however, is the sound of a group who can still thrill the hearts of their hardcore fan base, with songs like ‘These Wooden Ideas’ making them today’s act most likely to leave young female fans in fits of hysterical screams.

Give it up for the [a][/a] – a band with so much firepower that they put next year’s festival licence in jeopardy. Sometimes timing can be everything and right now we’re at the precise point where everyone’s completely bladdered, but not quite in enough of a state to reveal the colour of that lentil stew they ate for breakfast. It’s a perfect setting for the perv-rock pranksters to strike with their set of discofied party mayhem, cruising through ‘Dance Commander’, ‘Improper Dancing’ and this song called ‘Gay Bar’ that everyone seems to know already. Awesome.

The devotion afforded to [a][/a] by their army of Coopermaniacs seems to be a little unhealthy at times and today is a prime example. After all, we are witnessing an entire front row headbanging for their lives to what sounds remarkably like Liam Gallagher’s vocal chords being bludgeoned to death with a tent pole. They try to make amends with some Primal Scream-in-diapers techno offerings, but too often this is blind faith gone berserk.

[a][/a]’s mid-afternoon set is less a conventional show and more an entry into this year’s Who Can Scrape Something Resembling A Melody Out Of One Long Drone competition. There are splashes of funk-fuelled organ to help their fuzzy racket along and the results are admirable. After all, here’s a group who prove that if you choose a chord and play it for long enough, it’s only a matter of years before entire fields full of people turn up to check out your band at major music festivals.

Tim Jonze