Posts Tagged ‘Green Naugahyde’
Primus @ Royal Albert Hall Thursday 5th April 2012.
It is probably not unreasonable to say that The Royal Albert Hall is not the first venue to spring to mind for a Primus gig, or two Primus shows as the case may be. Whilst the RAH plays host to a number of exciting and spectacular events, the idea of psycho, psychedelic, alt. rockers Primus taking to the hallowed stage is an opportunity far too tempting to miss.
The crowd is expectant and, for the most part, a little stoned. This point is ably demonstrated to us by the ‘chilled’ guy negotiating the increasingly infuriating combination of a heavy back pack, Chinese take away (?!?) and folding chair, a puzzle that would keep him occupied (and us amused) several times throughout the evening.
Back to the show though….. Primus shuffle out and launch into an epic version of ‘To Defy the Laws Of Tradition’ which is greeted with unrestrained fervour from the rapidly forming mosh pit. This does rather set the tone for the night as it meanders on for at least ten minutes and confirms the band are in no hurry this evening.
New and old sit side by side as ‘Moron TV’ gives way to ‘Frizzle Fry’ and Primus are at their electrifying best. Jay Lane and Ler (Larry LaLonde) manage to find space to shine alongside the virtuoso bass skills of Les Claypool, equally jaw dropping live as on record.
During the early part of the gig, my attention is caught by a chap just to the side of the stage, clearly in awe of the show and fist pumping along to every beat… his enthusiasm will eventually overflow…but more on that later.
Splitting the night up, we are treated to an intermission with a series of classic black and white Popeye cartoons playing on the large screens before Primus saunter back for the second half of the evening.
Kicking things off with another track from the recent ‘Green Naugahyde’ album, ‘Jilly’s On Smack’ gets things jumping again and is closely followed by the insanely catchy ‘John The Fisherman’ which jolts everyone back into life after the mid-show break.
It is around this point that our over enthusiastic reveller (pointed out earlier) has his moment… by rushing the stage only to grab Les’ hat and make a dash for it, presumably to the nearest computer and his eBay account. Unfortunately for him the rather burly security guards, whilst a little slow to stop him in the first place, make up for it by bundling him out of our line of sight… he never does resurface so not quite sure how this story ends.
The large screen backdrop provides a hypnotic series of images throughout the night, the throbbing rhythms and looped visuals create a slightly surreal atmosphere and at times it is easy to be swept up in the whole thing. Images from their own videos ‘Jerry Was A Race Car Driver’ and ‘Seas Of Cheese’ are joined by film clips from the likes of ‘Forbidden Planet’ and at times the union of music and motion is perfect. However, at the start of the show Les confides that as this is the last show of the tour they are going to ‘fuck about’ and he is true to his word. There are times where they border on the pretentious and self-indulgent, although it is clearly not a sentiment shared by all as many of the front row lap up every note.
Primus really are law unto themselves and a true one off. No one else really does what they do and few can wrestle a tune out of a bass like Claypool. Their music is not made for the wider audience; it is a niche market that they have cornered, a true cult band capable of madness and genius, often at the same time.
PRIMUS ANNOUNCE PERFORMANCE OF CLASSIC ALBUM ‘SAILING THE SEAS OF CHEESE’ AT
THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL APRIL 4TH
Primus are excited to announce a European tour in support of Green Naugahyde, their first studio album in 11 years in stores now on Prawn
Songs. The tour, which will feature two Primus sets each evening, begins on March 23rd in Pordenone, Italy, and ends with 2 nights in London at the Royal Albert Hall on April 4th & 5th.
The band have revealed that their first performance on the 4th at the Royal Albert Hall will feature their seminal ‘Sailing The Seas Of Cheese’ album played in its entirety, followed by a complete run-through of their critically-acclaimed new album ‘Green Naugahyde’. The second night on the 5th will feature two sets spanning their entire back catalogue. Both of these special nights will be a real treat for Primus fans both new and old.
Green Naugahyde was produced and engineered by Les Claypool in his personal studio, Rancho Relaxo, in Northern California, and features Claypool, long-time guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane. Lane was in an early lineup of the band, and was also in Sausage, a 1994 reunion of the 1988 Primus lineup. Green Naugahyde expands on Primus’ incomparable sound and also sees them bringing it into the next millennium. It is a cerebral and complex album that, like all of the band’s output, is teeming with the band’s signature blend of whimsy and underlying darkness.
For the past 27 years, Primus have followed in the footsteps of boundary-pushing artists like Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd to create some of
the most original and inventive music in existence. Green Naugahyde is a Primus record with all of the magic and mystery that phrase entails-and while no one can say for sure what the future will hold in store for the band, the most important thing is that the album exists and will inevitably hold its own in the band’s impressive cannon of music.
23-Mar-2012 Pordenone, Italy Palasport
24-Mar-2012 Brescia, Italy Pala Eib
26-Mar-2012 Fribourg, Switzerland
27-Mar-2012 Paris, France Zenith
28-Mar-2012 Antwerp, Belgium Trix
29-Mar-2012 Cologne, Germany Live Music Hall
31-Mar-2012 Lille, France L’Aeronef
1-Apr-2012 Eindhoven, Netherlands Klokgebouw
2-Apr-2012 Brussels, Belgium Ancienne Belgique
4-Apr-2012 London, England Royal Albert Hall
5-Apr-2012 London, England Royal Albert Hall
I once had a long argument with a guy about great bass players. The dispute arose from the fact that I said I thought Les Claypool was a genius, but that I didn’t actually like all of Primus’ stuff. This sparked the retort ‘How can he be so good if you don’t even like his stuff?!’. What should have sparked a lively debate about the merits of creativity actually just digressed into a petty squabble but the basis for the discussion was a sound one.
Fast forward some 15 years and I am once more faced with a new Primus album. Coming some 11 years after their last offering and produced with drummer Jay Lane who has not graced a Primus record since the early demo days , ‘Green Naugahyde’ will once more test the boundaries between unparalleled experimentation and madness.
Probably best known to those outside the devoted as ‘that band what done the South Park theme’ Primus, led by the irrepressible Les Claypool inhabit a world where the music rule book has long since been lost in the post. Anything is possible, and if not possible, they’ll still give it a go.
How to describe Les’ bass playing to the newcomer…. Imagine if Flea sustained a head injury and replaced the strings on his bass with large wet elastic bands and then beat you round the ears with it. You are getting close.
But despite the 4 string gymnastics both Jay and guitarist Larry LaRonde still manage to make their presence felt, the drumming is sharp and tight, whilst the guitar often competes with Claypool for invention. In lesser hands this would just equate to some dreadful prog-rock chin stroking, but Primus remember to never push innovation further than the tune allows.
‘Hennepin Crawler’ is a prime (sorry) of this, whilst Les’ extraordinary bass line forms the basis of the track, the small space left is subtlety filled with some inventive guitar and some frankly awesome drumming, meaning the bass never becomes the only focus and the song has the magic effect of sounding airtight and on the verge of collapse all at once.
Sounding like System Of A Down covering the South Park Theme, ‘’Eternal Consumption Engine’ tackles another of Claypool’s pet peeves, over commercialisation and the loss of home-grown industry. ‘Here in the USA, we sure do like to spend our pay’ gets straight to the point, ‘nowadays everything’s made in China’ hammers it home.
The trio of tracks occupying the middle of the album are the pinnacle of the proceedings; they range from the sublime to the ridiculous and shift the tone of the album from downbeat darkness to whimsical.
Written about a friend who died from Heroin, ‘Jilly’s On Smack’ is heartfelt ala Primus, not so much a ballad as an unsettling, slightly eerie track with the haunting ‘Jilly’s on smack, and she won’t be comin’ back, no she won’t be comin’ back for the holidays’ repeated throughout. Troubling, emotional and far from your usual saccharine laced odes peddled by the mainstream. But in true Primus fashion, rather than build on these feelings it is followed by the insane aural fluff of ‘Lee Van Cleef’, a tribute to Clint Eastwood’s frequent silver screen partner.
Completing the threesome, ‘Moron TV’ is almost, and I stress almost, a straight up rock song. Straight up via The Twilight Zone that is and is a side swipe at Reality TV and the low benchmark needed to achieve ‘celebrity’ status these days, something that clearly irks Mr Claypool.
There are plenty of nods to the bands own back catalogue but it is delivered with a renewed freshness, something that was lacking slightly from 1999’s ‘Antipop’ that suffered in places from the input of a few too many outside sources. ‘Green Naugahyde’ manages to be both true to the Primus sound whilst also expanding to have a broader appeal than previous outings. So to complete my 15 year old argument, I really like this album; can I say Les Claypool is phenomenal bassist now please?
Check out the Primus website for more info HERE.
Hot on the heels of their critically acclaimed new album ‘Green Naugahyde’ (and first new album is eleven years), Primus are excited to be able to announce two very special shows on two different nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the 4th and 5th of April 2012. An evening with Primus, featuring two full sets, begins on September 23rd in Boston, makes its way west, and ends on October 22nd in Los Angeles.
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NEW ALBUM ‘GREEN NAUGAHYDE’ OUT NOW ON PRAWN SONG RECORDS:
“If your taste in music runs to bands that are very much one of a kind then this odd and oddly loveable album might well be to your liking” – Kerrang!
“Still wilfully eclectic and full of fun” – Prog Magazine
“The whole performance was infused with a lively sense of the absurd” – The Times