Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Gillespie’

Bobby Gillespie from Primal Scream and Jehnny Beth from Savages are releasing a new collaborative album together, “Utopian Ashes”. Due out on July 2 via Third Man Recordings. They shared its second single, the string-backed “Chase It Down”  Thomas James directed the atmospheric black & white video.

Previously the duo shared the album’s first single, “Remember We Were Lovers” via a video for it. As well as Gillespie and Beth, the album also features Beth’s musical partner Johnny Hostile (bass) alongside three members of Primal Scream—Andrew Innes (guitar), Martin Duffy (piano), and Darrin Mooney (drums).

Utopian Ashes is a concept record of sorts that chronicles the collapse of a marriage. A press release compares the album to country-soul classics such as Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris’ Grievous Angel and George Jones and Tammy Wynette’s We Go Together.

“In the same way you create characters for a novel, we’ve created characters here,” says Beth in the press release. “But you put yourself in it, because you’re trying to understand the human situation. The singing has to be authentic. That’s all that matters.”

“When you write a song you marry the personal with the fictional and make art,” adds Gillespie. “I was thinking about two people living alone, together but apart, existing and suffering in a psychic malaise, who plough on because of responsibilities and commitments. It’s about the impermanence of everything—an existential fact that everyone has to face at some point in their lives.”

It was in 2015 when they were both invited to get up on stage with Suicide at the Barbican in London that the duo first met. In 2016 Beth joined Primal Scream on stage for a duet of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood’s “Some Velvet Morning” (a Primal Scream staple). Sessions for the album happened in Paris in 2017.

Summing up his intentions with Utopian Ashes Gillespie says: “I wanted to put pain back into music. I wasn’t hearing a lot of it in modern rock music.”

Jehnny Beth released her debut solo album, “To Love Is To Live”, last year via Caroline Records.

Primal Scream’s most recent album, “Chaosmosis” was released back in 2016 via the band’s own label, First International.

Primal Scream (Credit: Neil Cooper)

Primal Scream are to release the original ‘Memphis Recordings’ that eventually became their 1994 album Give Out But Don’t Give Upas a 2CD or 2LP vinyl set.

Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Original Memphis Recordings is a document of the sessions with Tom Dowd and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section (David Hood (bass) and Roger Hawkins (drums)). These took place at Ardent Studios in Memphis and these sessions are said to showcase a more ‘country soul/rock ‘n’ roll’ side to the band. These recordings were apparently found in Andrew Innes’ basement.

“I felt we went down there with such good intent, but somehow we lost our way afterwards,” Bobby Gillespie admits. “There’s definitely a lesson to be learned about how creativity can go down the wrong track.”

“We’re a band that constantly keeps moving and doesn’t look back, but, for years, I felt bad about us going to Memphis and not doing what we set out to do. Hearing these songs after all this time has made everything all right again. I feel redeemed.”

The nine tracks “run the gamut between blues, gospel and brilliant songwriting” and are released over four sides of vinyl. The 2CD version is even better since you get a bonus disc with 15 additional variations (rehearsals, monitor mixes, jams etc.).

Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Original Memphis Recordings will be released on 12th October 2018. There are some signed options at the band’s store. This is great news. Even as a big admirer of the Scream since their second album I never really ‘got’ “Give Out..”. Despite moments of absolute brilliance it never seemed, to my ears at least, to hang together as a coherent whole. So I’m genuinely excited at the chance to hear these sessions.

Decamping to the deep South, Primal Scream attempted to record with producer Tom Dowd and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section.

On their return, however, the band decided that the results simply weren’t good enough, bringing on board producer George Drakoulias for a hasty re-editing process. Instrumental parts were re-recorded,

‘Give Out But Don’t Give Up: The Original Memphis Recordings’ brings these recordings together, containing two full discs of unreleased material.