Family brings out best in Bobby

Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream performing on the 4 Music stage at the V Festival in Chelmsford, Essex. PA/PA Photos.
Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream performing on the 4 Music stage at the V Festival in Chelmsford, Essex. PA/PA Photos.

Interviewing Bobby Gillespie brings certain expectations. Since their debut Sonic Flower Groove was released in 1987, his band Primal Scream have virtually been a byword for rock’n’roll excess.

Magazine interviews over the years have been full of references to sex, drugs and socialism, with Gillespie waxing lyrical about taking down governments and the hypocrisy of the ruling classes.

But as the band releases its 10th album, thepolitical firebrand/sensational quote machine has quietened somewhat.

That’s not to say Gillespie isn’t entertaining and engaging. If anything, he’s more fun now the volatility has faded.

“Ah, it’s having kids,” he says, explaining his relative calmness. Gillespie and his wife Katy England have two sons, Wolf and Lux, aged 11 and “he was born in 2004, so what’s that? Eight or nine?”

He continues: “They make being in a band great. At first it was difficult. I had my first, and Andrew (Innes, the band’s guitarist) had his not long after. We were living a certain way when we were on tour, and all of that stuff has to go when you have a family, you can’t be that irresponsible and we had to sort that side of our lives out. It’s great having kids, I love them so much and they’ve changed everything for me.”

If having children has calmed Gillespie and Innes, the Scream’s two longest-standing members, it’s also improved their work ethic.

Knowing they couldn’t be away from home for too long, writing and recording for what would become their 10th album, More Light, was condensed into a few short, prolific sessions in Belfast, at the studio of producer David Holmes, their own studio in London and Los Angeles.

They have indeed made a great record. It might be their best since Screamadelica. You could say it’s a grown-up sequel to their 1991 masterpiece.