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Music Review Primitive pleasures from the past

The Primitives
100 Club, London

ONTO the 100 Club’s tiny but iconic stage step 1980s indie darlings The Primitives. Some jangly guitar and rockabilly riffs kick in and the fizzing ball of energy that is lead singer Tracy Tracy (pictured) launches into I’ll Stick With You, immediately grabbing the audience’s attention and holding it for the best part of an hour.

It’s the London leg of the band’s 30th anniversary Lovely tour, celebrating the Coventry power-pop quartet’s debut album a whole three decades on. It looks like many fans from those days have turned up for what’s a very packed hour of buzz-saw indie numbers as the band whip through 20-plus tracks, melding Paul Court’s 1960s guitar grooves with Tracy’s somewhat bubblegum pop vocals.

But there are darker lyrics, such as the self-explanatory Stop Killin’ Me which starts the first singalong of many. Really Stupid follows in similar vein as does Nothing Left with tracks merging into one another, although the band’s biggest hit Crash gets a mass cheer combined with the less enjoyable raising of camera phones.

The band is tight, Tracy works the small stage as best she can and has the audience in her thrall right through to the three-song encore.

Emerging in indie’s heyday, The Primitives have not changed much over the past 30 years and that’s perhaps that’s what’s both good and bad about the show. While older fans readily lap up the three-minute bursts of tuneful musical mayhem, the few newer songs sound very similar to what has come before.

Some other indie bands of the time like Primal Scream or Pop Will Eat Itself evolved and developed their sound and audience but it seems that The Primitives have stuck to their guns and signature sound and continue to mine that particular seam.

It’s perfectly pleasant yet comes across as lacking progress but then, the audience seem more than happy with that.


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