The Primitives @ The Lexington

The Primitives @ The Lexington – 4th April 2014

Last night saw Buzz Saw Indie Jingle Jangle maestros The Primitives play the first of 2 nights at the very intimate Lexington venue in Islington, London. In the space of a year I have had the good fortune to see The Primitives perform at the Scared To Get Happy festival and the 100 Club to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the brilliant and timeless Lovely album. Last night saw The Primitives return to the Capital to exclusively preview songs for their first album of new material since 1991’s Galore.

As a live act The Primitives are a thrillingly exciting and vibrant band, and with the sweet vocals and charismatic stage presence of the diminutive Tracey Tracey makes The Primitives a band not to be missed. It is somewhat hard to fathom that it is nearly 30 years since The Primitives formed, because they sound and look as fresh as the ‘Flower Man’s’ Daisies.

Special guests The June Brides were a highly regarded Indie band that formed in 1983, and they made their mark in the mid 1980s with a number of singles, EPs and an Indie chart-topping album There are Eight Million Stories. They also allegedly refused to appear on the NME’s highly influential C86 tape, claiming that they did not want to be tagged with the ‘Jangly Pop’ moniker.

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However, after witnessing the last 25 minutes of their trumpet and viola driven set I could not help but think that they were very much part of a willfully obscure and some might argue pallid Indie guitar scene, with bands that did have something of a Punk ethos of being deliberately incompetent. The June Brides could quite easily have been mistaken for a bunch of university lecturers who happened to gate crash the stage last night, and their set included most of their mid 1980s output, including the ones that I am familiar with Every Conversation and This Town, which were delivered competently enough but slightly hampered by Phil Wilson’s somewhat flat vocal delivery.

Now the moment we had all been waiting for had finally arrived and The Primitives took to the stage and ripped straight into I’ll Stick With You, followed a few seconds later by the appearance of Tracey Tracey to rapturous applause. The Primitives clearly enjoy playing together and their infectiously short, sharp and downright catchy Indie Pop songs sound timeless, and it was such a joy to hear all the classics last night, including Stop Killing Me, Out Of Reach, Really Stupid, Thru The Flowers, Crash and Buzz Buzz Buzz, and with a sprinkling of new material that blended in seamlessly with their majestic 1980s output.

It was great to hear my current favourite tracks Really Stupid and last year’s brilliant 45rpm Lose The Reason played back to back, and what struck me was how good the new material sounded. Lose The Reason is gloriously catchy and sweet on the ears and is easily a match for anything on Lovely. The Primitives sound like they have no need to try and recapture their glory days as their music is timeless and their devotees including me are eagerly anticipating the promise of an album of new material.

Tracey Tracey owned the stage last night and was on sparkling form along with the rest of the band. Bands that reform usually leaves me cold and it can be quite painful watching bands play past their sell by date to ever diminishing returns. However the same can’t be said of The Primitives who still sound so fresh and relevant, and witnessing them live does not feel like a trip down memory lane at all. The Primitives performance last night shows the band have lost none of their melodic verve and Indie Pop sensibility.

Photos by: Mute Elephant Music © all rights reserved 2014

Long John

Charming Chap and a new sharp force for Eyeplug, being a toppermost writer with a keen appreciation for things of quality and distinction. A well known face on the London ‘Mod’ Scene but with an open mind and heart. Got a strange interest in Pirates? One to watch out for!

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