The Primitives

 

Tuesday 20th January 2015
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Although the original line-up that THE PRIMITIVES started with in Coventry (England) included PJ Court (vocals, guitar),Keiron McDermott (vocals), Steve Dullaghan (bass) and Pete Tweedie (drums), before releasing their first and successful album, “Lovely”, in 1988, Tweedie had already been substituted by Tig Williams, and Mcdermott was replaced by the platinum blonde Tracy Tracy, the band’s true icon. Coming out of the independent scene that bands like THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, THE WEDDING PRESENT, MY BLOODY VALENTINE and PRIMAL SCREAM came out of, this line-up found the perfect balance between the crystalline guitars of THE BYRDS, the agility and speed of RAMONES and the unforgettable melodies of ORANGE JUICE.

“Lovely” was preceded by three singles, “Thru The Flowers”, “Really Stupid” and “Stop Killing Me”, the second of which was recently recognised by the prestigious magazine, Mojo, as one of the 40 most important indie-pop singles of all times. Little by little they are beginning to get our attention and the first big push the got was when Morrissey appeared in public with one of their t-shirts on. The definitive moment for them came with their previously mentioned marvellous debut, and their great, unforgettable song “Crash”, which reached the top 5 on the British sales lists and the top 3 on American rock sales lists, and catapulted them to a massive audience.

They sign with the multinational company RCA and release two notable albums: “Pure” in 1989 and “Galore” in 1991. But neither album reaches the same levels of success as their previous album, and this ultimately leads to the band’s dissolution in 1992. Paul Court and Tig Williams continue to participate in diverse projects (STARPOWER, HEDY), while Tracy brings her voice to other bands, like BAND OF HOLY. The band reunited in their hometown of Coventry at the end of 2009, to pay homage to the recently deceased Steve Dullaghan, the group’s original bassist. The success of their performance and the public’s positive response after more than 17 years away from the spotlight led them to do a UK tour in April 2010 (where they headlined the Indietracks festival) and to play a few shows in Europe and the US, during which they stopped by Spain to blow everyone away at the Contempopránea and Lemon Pop festivals. In March 2011 they release two new songs and two covers of songs by dark-lensed, female-led sixties groups on their EP “Never Kill A Secret EP”, released by the English label Fortuna Pop!. Both covers were the beginning of their much-anticipated new album, “Echoes and Rhymes”, which gives itself over completely to this concept, with covers of artists like Dana Gillespie, Polly Niles, Olivia Newton-John, ADAM AND EVE, Sandy Posey, Laura Ulmerand REPARATA AND THE DELRONS. This covers album will be released by Elefant Records at the beginning of 2012. We’re already impatient to get to hear this new material.

2013 THE PRIMITIVES releases ”Lose The Reason”, a limited 7” single with two songs. 2014 The band releases “Spin-O-Rama”, a 7” vinyl single as an advance for their new album: The last vinyl single by THE PRIMITIVES that we released, “Lose The Reason” (which sold out in just a few days) was the first taste of the group’s new songs and of their upcoming album. “Spin-O-Rama” is big news. First of all, because there is a new and appetising release for all the people who love THE PRIMITIVES’ songs; secondly, because this single is another step closer to the release of their upcoming full-length, this time with their own songs, for Elefant Records. And the third reason is that this imminent new album is full of songs as fabulous as “Spin-O-Rama” and “Lose The Reason”. “Spin-O-Rama” has a delicious arpeggio motif that reminds us of something from an early Cat Stevens’ single, guitars in the best tradition of C86, a chorus that is brazenly catchy and a dynamic that takes you up and down like a roller coaster, elated and overjoyed. It sounds like a HIT for sure. The B-side is one of their trademark covers (we already got a taste of them on their last album), of which we are such fans. It’s like something pulled out of an old crate full of dusty 7” singles, containing the kind of forgotten gems that collectors obsess over. In this case the cover is of a group from the mid-sixties called THE WHAT’S NEW, who, curiously, despite being Americans, only barely released a few things in France, among which we can find the marvellous “Up So High” which our protagonists respectfully recovered, maintaining the luminosity of the choruses and the vitality of the guitars. It could easily have been an early influence on THE FLAMING LIPS.

This 7” clear vinyl, in a numbered limited-edition of 500 copies, has two incredible songs. And now, we are anxious and fidgety, waiting for this new full-length that confirms that THE PRIMITIVES are enjoying a second youth and a magical era that brings back their best moments with that freshness and immediacy that their first hits had. On 13-10-2014 THE PRIMITIVES releases their new album “Spin-O-Rama”: We’ve been talking about it for a while now, and actually, we’ve even been able to get a little taste with the two advance singles, but now it is really happening: THE PRIMITIVES have a new album, and this time, it’s completely new material, which they’ve been letting us in on bit by bit. Time hasn’t passed for this group, whose sound is just as fresh as ever and whose contagious melodies take us back to the end of the eighties, beginning of the nineties, when they released such renowned albums as “Lovely”, “Pure”, and “Galore”.

“Spin-O-Rama” was one of the songs they gave us a preview of with the limited-edition 7” single. It has a perfect arpeggio suggestive of classic THE STONE ROSES, an infectious verse that sounds like a playground song set to BOBBY FULLER FOUR rhythm track, and Tracy Tracy giving us a marvellous, soaring chorus over a wall of snarling guitar. “Hidden In The Shadows” is a high-voltage Brit-pop punker along the lines of THE BUZZCOCKS and GENERATION X. “Wednesday World” continues in the English tradition, but this time focused in the psychedelic pop of the sixties, somewhere between Billy Nichols and THE KINKS, letting aromas of LOVE come through every now and then, with those prodigious bass lines, and the trot of the drums. “Follow The Sun Down” keeps us in the same period, but this time with a more twangy rhythm ‘n blues line, with hints of Nancy Sinatra and THE CREATION, plus a hypnotic and addictive riff that perfectly recreates the ambiance of the time. “Purifying Tone” establishes a new connection between the two periods, with Paul Court reminding us of the dreamier side of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND or THE STONE ROSES’ first songs. The chorus takes us to the sky and back with those delicious harmonies and that wavering tremolo that gives an outer-spacey touch to a far out song.

“Lose The Reason” was the other song we got to hear in advance, again at full-throttle, with Paul and Tracy having a magical vocal duel that settles into another unforgettable chorus. “Petals”unleashes their most pop-punk spirit, bringing them close to those bands from the C86 movement we love so much, like THE SHOP ASSISTANTS and our wonderful TALULAH GOSH. “Working Isn’tWorking” is a new return to the sixties through fuzzified folk, but with that pop innocence so typical of a band like THE MAGNETIC FIELDS. It is a continuous dialogue between two periods in which the melodies were crucial, when they made a song, but without pushing the electricity or intensity aside. “Velvet Valley” is a sweet moment, a curiosity without lyrics. With the insistence of the structure and crunchy guitar it may very well be a small homage to Lou Reed. The constant noise, and that incomparable attention to the most exquisite melodies give this track the feeling of a fuzz drenched HOLLIES. “Dandelion Seed” floats close to THE CHARLATANS and TEENAGE FANCLUB. Its powerful bass line and rabid guitar bringing us near to the end of the ride with a spirited slab of chiming psychedelic pop.

It is an urgent album, and it goes by in a heartbeat, putting us in “the-album-you-want-to-listen-to-again-as-soon-as-it-ends” situation, and getting the songs stuck in our head for months. THE PRIMITIVES in full form.

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