another convincing comeback hits the road
another convincing comeback hits the road

May 18th 2012
live review

another convincing comeback hits the road

The return of another 80s band is going very well indeed…

Every town and city should have a venue like Lock 42. Part ex-youth club vibe, part coolest place in town it’s the sort of place that keeps live music vibrant and vital where, when nicely full like tonight, it’s a great place to feel part of a gig.

The School have an individuality which is refreshing. A seven (and sometimes eight) piece with more instruments on stage than members they exude a C86 charm with shades of Belle and Sebastian undertones. There are some smart female vocals, a trumpet and violin weave in and out of the songs and they finish with a Jonathan Richman cover, and that doesn’t happen often these days.

The return of the Primitives has been a welcome surprise. Their excellent new ”ËœEchoes and Rhythms’ album of relatively obscure sixties female sung covers gets a good airing tonight and fits nicely into a set of old favourites. During the opening song it becomes quickly apparent that Tracy Tracy’s microphone isn’t working so they stop to get it fixed. A laugh and a brief chat between the singer and guitarist Paul Court means they abandon the opener and go straight into late eighties classic ”ËœReally Stupid’ and that moment says a lot about why the Primitives are back. Here’s a band who’ve reformed simply because they enjoy playing and that shows through an hour plus set which is great fun.

The singer and guitarist have aged rather well, as has drummer Tig, which is part of the reason this doesn’t feel like re-visiting something that happened twenty odd years ago. The other reason is of course that the Primitives sharp perfect pop songs retain a timelessness about them which entwines comfortably with their take on such sixties gems as ”ËœSingle Girl’ and ”ËœI Surrender’.

It’s easy to forget just how many great pop songs the Primitives wrote, from the light and airy ”ËœWay Behind Me’, the gentle and intricate ”ËœThru the Flowers’, the power packed ”Ëœ Sick of It’ and the breathless three minutes of ”ËœStop Killing Me’. ”ËœCrash’ of course remains their calling card but interestingly it isn’t greeted as if the whole night has been waiting for it in expectation, suggesting that the audience are very aware that this band are much more than one hit wonders. The closing rumble of ”ËœBuzz Buzz Buzz’ is a fitting finale to a quality set making

Andy Peart

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