The Primitives - ICA London
Coventry based jangly indie popsters The Primitives were cult favourites back in the second half of the 80s. Championed by Morrissey and loved by many the band released three albums and toured worldwide, finally calling it a day in 1992. The group reformed around a year ago, playing London and Coventry dates in 2009, followed by a more extensive UK tour this year.
The band's headlining show at London's ICA was part of Club AC30's three day Reverence event, with Oslo’s Serena Maneesh and Cocteau Twins guitarist and composer, Robin Guthrie topping the bill on the other two nights.
Although a fan of The Primitives back in the day I hadn't heard much of their material except for the obvious exception for a while so had a bit of a 'Crash' course in the hours leading up to the show, giving the band's Best Of The Primitives album a spin before leaving the house, with the collection reminding me just how good a band they were in their heyday and not just one hit wonders. That being said, I did head along to the venue with a bit of trepidation as you can never tell what a reformed act is going to be like live. Have they still got what it takes?
Well, The Primitives certainly didn't disappoint, rushing through a sparkling set with the gang sounding truly awesome and lead singer Tracy Tracy owning the stage. The ICA crowd were totally up for the show and greeted the likes of "Thru The Flowers", "Stop Killing Me" and "Really Stupid" with roars of approval and their admiration didn't stop there as a large middle aged mosh pit gave a few "gentlemen" the best work out they've had in ages and the stage even had a couple of good natured invaders!
I was actually really surprised how decent the band were live, with several tracks making a big impression, especially my evening's highlight - their take on 1988's "Way Behind Me", leading to a new found love for the song in question. Of course the number that got the biggest response from the general audience was "Crash", the song that took the band to number 5 in the UK singles chart and number 3 in the US Modern Rock chart at the time of its release and can still be heard to this day soundtracking numerous car related TV shows (no doubt earning the band a few bob at the same time!). The song appeared towards the end of a raucous set, geeing the crowd up even more, resulting in an inevitable encore, with the band finally leaving to huge cheers and a bunch of flowers from a crowd member for Tracy Tracy!
I'm not sure what The Primitives plans are for touring in the foreseeable future but they're certainly worth checking out if you get the chance.