GIG REVIEW: The Primitives at The Lexington

WORTH A LOOK?: ****

WHEN?: Saturday 4 September, tour runs until 19 September 2021

SETLIST: I’ll Stick With You; Thru’ The Flowers; Spin-o-rama; Stop Killing Me; Sick Of It; Lose The Reason; Petals; Rattle My Cage; Run Baby Run; Where The Wind Blows; Buzz Buzz Buzz; Really Stupid; I’ll Trust The Wind; Empathise; You Are The Way; Nothing Left; Crash; Way Behind Me; Spacehead; Everything’s Shining Bright

We’re in a room above a north London pub not far from where we first saw The Primitives at the height of their commercial success in May 1988.

  • Read on for reasons including how this is our 5th time seeing the band in 33 years

33 years ago the Coventry band were at the peak of their commercial success with single Crash making the top 5 and their accompanying debut album Lovely going top 10.

That gig at the old Town and Country Club in Islington was the first time we’d encountered a concert without seating and a frenetic mosh pit at the front of the stage where fans danced aggressively, bouncing off each other, some losing their shoes in the process.

More than three decades later and the fans are considerably older and, while there is dancing, it’s not with the frenzy of old from the audience that is we would estimate 95 per cent male and made up of men in their 50s as we are.

We’re close to the stage and while lead singer, the iconic Tracy Tracy often rattling her tambourine, isn’t one for much between-song banter she’s a much more assured performer now than she was when the band first found fame.

We saw them at Portsmouth Guildhall in 1989 when they were promoting their best album Pure, two years later at Windsor Old Trout when a power cut marred their show supporting third LP Galore and then in 2010 at central London’s ICA.

Their sound is guitar-led indie pop and the touchstones musically are 60s power pop and latterly Blondie although Tracy Tracy no longer sports her trademark peroxide look.

They split after that 3rd album but reformed a year after the death of bassist Steve Dullaghan in 2009. Songwriter and guitarist Paul Court remains an enigmatic presence onstage and is joined by drummer Tig Williams. Producer Paul Sampson also appears with them onstage tonight.

There’s not a huge variety to the sound but why would you change things up when you have so many songs of such high quality? We think Crash, Way Behind Me and Sick Of It are three of the best pop songs ever written and it is with much joy that we can report that they all feature tonight.

This is our second gig in three nights and we couldn’t have picked a more entertaining blast from the past to remind us just how special it is to be back seeing bands live once again after multiple lockdowns.

  • Pictures via Facebook courtesy International The Primitives Tickets
  • Have you heard any of these songs? Let us know what you thought in the comments below 
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow monstagigz on Twitter @NeilDurham, email neildurham3@gmail.com and check us out on Instagram and Facebook

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