The Academy 2, Manchester, 13th December (15/12/02)

Gus Woodhead:

And so again we travel to sunny old Manchester for the annual knees up (almost as regular as the Bad Manners Christmas Tour!). I had hoped that the journey here would have been less painful than that to Sheffield but upon reaching the city centre my directions went to pot due to roadwork's and yes you guessed it got a little lost but retrieved myself in quite a fashion managing to park just 3 minutes walk from the front door - luck they call it!

So approaching the venue tickets touts were many "tickets for Primal Scream mate?", all they got in return was a swift "no and I'm not your mate!". Upon entering (after signing for temporary membership of course) a warm welcome awaited from Biffo (hello again) and much to my surprise Geoff and his stall in the main entrance, mind you there were no dingy corners! My purchase of two videos and a t-shirt came to everyone's surprise, but when all said and done our Neil needs one! It was at this point that the pre-gig comment of the night appeared from Geoff "what we've nearly sold out already!", it was the tone of shear amazement in his voice that made it!

And so into the hall which had several floor dwellers and to my surprise plenty of folks already huddled around the front I took up my position and settled in, only to be disturbed by a fat scouser and his girl friend in tow who pushed their way through, apparently they lived next door to Nigel. Now she was very nice and polite but he well, in a word if you want a quiet beer and no disturbance go and stand at the back of the room not in the f***ing pit you moron. It did look like turning ugly at one point as he was get knocked around on purpose but he eventually disappeared and the night improved, as one of our comrades stated there are no prawn sandwiches at a Biscuits gig.

And so the band entered following the carefully marked arrows on the floor to Walking in the Air, which ended abruptly at Nigel's request. Through the mists of dry-ice and the intense lighting, which could double as a sun bed, the gig kicked off with light at the end of the tunnel and progressed thus from the official list:

light at the end of the tunnel
san antonio
dead men
f titmus
pancake day
bob wilson
paradise lost
venus in flares
3rd track
24hr garage
deep house
look dad
s gig
d prague
lucille (kenny rogers)
thy damnation

turned up

A set spread across the years with a rare outing of venus in flares and what could only be described as a 24 hr garage re-mix, the words wandered quite a little. Other highlights included snippets of two new songs, one about tending the wrong grave for years (had an airing at Sheffield) and a very funny one about decorating and it making " the room look bigger". Not even half way into the set Nigel's waiting for Ken had him admitting that he run out of fill ins - "Never" I hear you call but it is true we were treated to the new songs and crowd banter. Then Lucille by Kenny Rogers - what has happened to Holiday in Cambodia? Also we had chant of "can you hear Primal Scream, NO NO!"

The mosh pit was always present but for the main was quite small until the latter stages when it got very animated and doubled in size, reaching across the stage and 3 deep (in places) - respect to the young lady in the purple top who was next to me who kept going as hard as anyone throughout (take note scouse bird!). Back out for the encore Nigel popped back into the dressing room for a Dictaphone of apparently Argos sounds, went down like a lead balloon sound quality Nigel blame the sound man! Trumpton really was a great rendition and being backed up by turned up and AOR, very nice!

The encore break allowing me to make a brake for it on stage and grab the set list (as above) without any one trying to even stop me, and to add to my collection I managed to blag Carl's drumsticks off him at the end of the night - good man!

All in all a great night was had by all and the pit was as good as any for a while those who missed it missed a treat but still there is always the video. Roll on the next the gig whenever, wherever and even IF ever? we shall have to see but Carl do you really want your sticks back?