Primal scream? Not near me, says rock's wildman in pub row
Wednesday 17 January 2007
As a rock star with a once-legendary reputation for hedonism, Bobby Gillespie knows a thing or two about excessive noise and boorish behaviour.
His band, Primal Scream, performed with such X-rated verve at Glastonbury in 2005 that organisers cut their microphones before escorting them off-stage.
But the 42-year-old son of a Glasgow publican, who once thought nothing of partying through the night and sung "Hallucinogens can open me or untie me", now takes a dim view on those who disturb the peace in the well-heeled corner of north London that he calls home.
The tamed wildman of rock joined a campaign with his neighbours against extending the opening hours of his local pub - because it plays loud music late into the night.
A letter sent to Islington Council by the singer, obtained by The Independent, complained that the Alma Pub on Newington Green had been "playing recorded music at an unacceptable volume past 12 o'clock".
Gillespie, who has two young sons, Wolf and Lux, and last year married his long-term partner, Katy England, a stylist, at a celebrity-packed ceremony, said that music from the Alma, an upmarket gastropub, one night prevented him from sleeping.
The former hellraiser turned outraged suburbanite, who once practised by playing dustbin lids, said: "There was a live percussionist playing along with the records, the sound was of a very high frequency which reverberated into my bedroom and my children's bedroom. I found the repetitiveness disturbing and I was unable to sleep because of it."
At the height of their powers Primal Scream, who won the inaugural Mercury Prize in 1992, were renowned not only for dance-influenced rock masterpieces such as Screamadelica but also their consumption of drugs.
One NME journalist overheard the band discussing whether to have "Vietnamese, Chinese or Indian". When the reporter suggested a burger, one of the band turned around and said: "It's heroin we're discussing. Not food."
Older and more sober, Gillespie, who counts Kate Moss, Pete Doherty, Sadie Frost and Mick Jones among his friends, has become a devoted father more likely to limber up for a gig with a bowl of soup than anything else.
He said recently: "We go into the studio to work. You can't be creative if you're fucked up on drugs. So I prefer to be clean."
Outlining his new-found dislike of antisocial conduct to his local authority, the singer, whose mother Wilma ran a pub in Glasgow, complained that the licence extension sought by the Alma would bring unwanted visitors to his neighbourhood.
In last summer's letter, Gillespie said a licence extension would mean that the pub was "disturbing the peace of our beautiful street and attracting noisy, drunk people to our area leaving the premises or coming into the area looking for a late-night drink - who are incidentally just [as loud] if not louder than the music being played".
The singer added that he and his family had moved there "because it is quiet and beautiful".
Mercifully for the rock star, the members of Licensing Sub-Committee A of Islington Borough Council had some sympathy. Although they agreed to extend the sale of alcohol at the pub and allow the live or recorded music until 1am Monday to Sunday, they ruled it could happen no more than once a month.
Gillespie and the management of the Alma declined to comment yesterday.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Darren Vann: Indiana man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear more
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...
£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...
£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...