The Primitives - Relentless Garage London
Coventry's The Primitives have taken to the road to support brand spanking new material in the shape of their Never Kill A Secret EP, performing a headline set at London's Relentless Garage supported by two lo-fi female-fronted bands.
Evans The Death were first up. The group pulls members from Chelmsford and Clapham and are fronted by lead singer Katherine Whitaker, sporting a Laura Marling cira 2008 hair style, a do she referred to as a mullet, though I wouldn't be so unkind! The group obviously love 80s jangly pop and delivered their own take on the genre in a slightly ramshackle style, with a couple of tracks shining out, including one which I believe was called "Bo Diddley".
Second support Tender Trap were a new name to me and I had assumed they had been going for many a year as lead singer Amelia Fletcher mentioned during the show that they had supported the headliners in London back in the day. It was only after the fact that I realised she had been referring to her previous group as the three core members of Tender Trap had once been part of Twee Pop band Heavenly. The Trap may not have been around as long as I thought but they'd still had almost a decade's worth of material to pull from at the Garage, including current album Dansette Dansette, with the album's "Do You Want a Boyfriend" sounding exceptionally good, with recent recruit Emily Bennett's voice blending nicely with Amelia's, reminded me slightly of early Pipettes material.
I appreciated both supports at the Garage but I had forgotten how vile a venue it was for photography, with both bands shrouded in darkness! I always vow after each previous gig never to return but I must have the memory of a goldfish as I'm always dragged back there. It's not that they don't have a capable lighting rig as they do! I can only assume that the guy in the charge of them eats carrots by the bagful, as he leaves most bands in the dark! That being said, I grimaced my way through my three song allocation of the evening's main act in the photo pit only relaxing when I was on the other side of the barrier, able to appreciate the music a bit more.
I was fortunate enough to watch the Primitives last year at the ICA and was extremely impressed by their 'comeback', as was the majority of the venue's crowd, many of whom had returned to the Garage for another outing, including one man perched front row centre clutching a bunch of flowers to hand to lead singer Tracy Tracy at the end of the performance. After a slightly shakey entrance when the band had realised they had no setlists in place they opened proceedings with Lovely's "I'll Stick With You", followed by oldie "Everything's Shining Bright" and Prim's classic "Stop Killing Me". The band dipped into their back catalogue many times during the evening, producing a host of tracks from their three studio albums in addition to the songs that frequented the Indie charts throughout the late 80's, with a tambourine tapping Tracey fighting off requests left, right and centre!
The new tunes on offer seemed extremely promising, especially as it was my first time hearing them, with the title track "Never Kill a Secret" a simple, mid-paced song but very effective. My heart still belonged to the older material mind you, with "Sick of it All", "Really Stupid" and Top 5 single "Crash" all sounding as fresh as the day they were released, even if "Crash" had a tiny bit of a stall at the beginning!
It's always great viewing reformed bands from your earlier years when they've still got what it takes to deliver the goods. Some retro acts just cant quite manage it but The Primitives were more than capable of making their mark on the Garage stage, leading to an inevitable encore featuring a wonderful take on my Prims fave "Way Behind Me" and 1987 single "Thru' the Flowers".