Wednesday 24th June 2015
Apollo in Manchester, UK
Review & Photography by Gina Godfrey
The time... 8pm. The place... Manchester Apollo. The reason... PRIMUS!! The auditorium was filled with the buzz of hungry fans both young and old, anticipating the long overdue return of this mayhemic trio. Overhearing some members of the audience question why there was no support act, all was to be made clear when the band took to the stage, seeing the welcome return of original drummer Tim “Herb” Alexander, and opened up with their 1991 classic ‘Those Damned Blue-Collar Tweekers’. By the third song, which front man Les Claypool introduced as “Larry LaLondes’ [Wynona’s] Big Brown Beaver”, there was a definite change in the atmosphere as the crowd stepped up a gear, and mosh pits formed. Then the thunderous rumble of the classic track ‘American Life’ really whipped the crowd up into a violent frenzy. The energy continued through several songs, climaxing at the first set’s finale with legendary classic hit ‘Jerry Was a Race Car Driver’.
As the curtains opened on the second set, there was a roar from the crowd as they were presented with gigantic mushrooms, candy canes and the first track, ‘Hello Wonkites’, from 2014’s ‘Primus and the Chocolate Factory With the Fungi Ensemble’. This tour was to promote the album which was accompanied by the 1971 film, ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’, playing on the big screen behind the band, who were joined on stage by Mike Dillon (marimba & vibraphone) and Sam Bass (cello), turning the wacky trio into a colossal quintet. The set consisted of re-workings off the original soundtrack from the 70s’ movie, presented in the dark zany style only Primus could pull off. If ten foot tall Oompa Loompas joining them on stage wasn’t enough, guitarist Larry LaLonde sang his rendition of the classic ‘I Want it Now’, originally by Veruca Salt. The Primus Wonka Ensemble leaves you feeling surreal, uncomfortable, yet comforted by songs recognisable from your childhood.
At the end of the set, as the crowd chanted, the band returned back onto the stage to finish off with three more hits, first being ‘Too Many Puppies’ from their 1990 debut studio album ‘Frizzle Fry’. The atmosphere was once again one full of very sweaty mosh-heads, having had a respite during the Wonka set. ‘Fisticuffs’ was next up, with crowd participation in full force as a video played of one of the Oompa Loompas visiting both Manchester City and Manchester United football stadiums, buying a kit which split the reaction of the crowd... a nice local touch, which I can only imagine they have done in most stops on their tour, but made personal to Manchester and VERY entertaining. Primus concluded their encores with their 1991 Anthem ‘Here Come the Bastards’, leaving us Sailing the Seas of Cheese once more.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
Primus in the Apollo, Manchester, UK, 24th June 2015
Photograph copyright © 2015 Gina Godfrey - www.metal-discovery.com