Two for the price of one again today at the Alternative Alternative Disco, where often overlooked or just plain forgotten records by Indie acts past and present are dusted down and given an airing.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always had a bit of a thing for female fronted Indie bands; if I thought about it, I’d probably say this can be generally be traced back to my childhood love of Blondie and then The Pretenders.
But if I wanted to look specifically at Indie bands, then there’s no doubt we’re talking about The Primitives.
Hailing from Coventry, The Primitives success flared briefly. I first stumbled across them – no surprises here – when listening to John Peel, although truth be told they had already crossed my radar, for I’d seen a photo of Morrissey wearing a t-shirt for their excellent “Stop Killing Me” single (I know have this as a painting, hanging on my living room wall). But it was courtesy of Peel that I first heard one of their records – “Thru The Flowers”, the first record I bought by them.
A few months later, their debut album, the appropriately titled “Lovely” was released, and my love of them was further strengthened when I bought a copy of their album from the local Our Price store, where the chap on the till commended me on my choice. I don’t think that ever happened again, or if it did, I don’t remember it. It’s never as good as the first time.
As well as containing the aforementioned singles and a whole host of other equally, erm, lovely jangly guitar pop jewels, there was the smash hit “Crash”, which peaked at #5 in the UK Chart. It was the first time a band I had championed prior to them having some chart success had a hit, and I felt vindicated.
Their fame was short-lived; they soon usurped (equally briefly) by Transvision Vamp as the peroxide blonde fronted band of choice. The follow-up album, “Pure” had less memorable songs and although a couple of them – today’s choice included – were minor hits, their moment in the sun had gone.
Today’s choices come from the 12″ single released in the wake of “Lovely” and as a precursor to “Pure”; the single itself could easily feature in my fledgling “Clap, Clicks & Whistles” thread (and probably will, in a few months, when hopefully you’ve all forgotten about me posting it here), and the other song was the second track on the B-side of the 12″, and was the song I was thinking of when I got distracted and posted the Inspiral Carpets instead a couple of weeks ago. It’s an absolute belter, despite the decision to alleviate the lovely Tracey Tracey of lead vocals and allow lead guitarist PJ Court have a go instead.
The Primitives reformed back in 2009, and have received some pretty warm reviews for their new material; I was lucky enough to catch them live (for the first time) when they supported The Wedding Present at Koko in Camden in 2010 as part of their tour to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the “Bizarro” album.
I’d heard a few live recordings by them back when they were in their pomp and found them to be a little disappointing, so I approached the gig with more than a little trepidation. I need not have worried, they were great, dashing out much of the “Lovely” album along with others from their not so large back catalogue.
To my eternal shame though, as one late 80s classic ended, just as Tracey announced “We’re going to do one of our new songs now”, I turned to my mate Gary and, in a voice in a lot louder than I had intended, asked “Pint?”
Oh come one, we’ve all thought that at sometime or another when a reformed band makes that mid-gig announcement, haven’t we?