The Primitives, Amida, Socialist Leisure Party
Miss Fliss 09/10/2009
When I happened to spot a secret headliners gig on Twee as F*ck's Myspace, I was delighted to crack the conundrum. Hangman letters: T _ e P _ i m _ t _ v _ s were left (which seems obvious in this context - but with the band having been out of the picture for years, there was a moment of disbelief), before further clues were scattered. God bless Twee as F*ck for pulling out another great old indie pop name. I salute this clubnight's style.
The first time I'd heard the name The Primitives must've been from the mouth of Morrissey, else just spotting an old photo of him with the band's name emblazoned on it. What drew me to the band more than anything was mentions in the yellowed old NMEs I spent many a studenty afternoon trawling through in hungry, wide-eyed fashion. I knew someone with a good attic full. It was great education for late 80s/early 90s indie. I would go on to spot names like The Pale Saints and Mega City Four in charity shops. I picked up a Primitives Best Of in a charity shop in Woolwich in about 2003. I've recently noticed the lack of unearthing of such treasures in charity shops and can only conclude that people are heading to eBay to make a buck on stuff instead - which is a shame, especially as bidding can get out of hand at times.
I found my height of excitement was in buying the tickets for this gig, and the days leading up to the event. When I got there, I found myself standing next to Tracy and one of the guitarists (erm, never could name anyone other than Tracy!), which was a nice start to things. She looks just the same! But this turned out to be one of those annoyingly late gigs, and three hours of waiting dampened the spirits somewhat. What's more, The Buffalo Bar is a mishaped little basement venue crammed with pillars in silly places - so when The Prims finally came on stage (later than listed), I had to lean awkwardly to the left to even just glimpse a bit of Tracy's blonde hair and her eyes. Her tininess didn't help my plight! The sound didn't carry especially well around corners, either.
The set felt a little bit like going through the motions. And there was no introduction, no talking from the band. There were quite a few songs from the best of. There was the inevetable erruption when Crash was played. Summer Rain was a sparkling gem of a sweet overblown balld and a true highlight. I'm not so keen on the tantrum and grind of Sick of It though - and Really Stupid and Nothing to Say grated on me for some reason. I was craving Secrets, surely The Prims' best song? Bar staff danced throughout the gig, as was a huddle of men in suits on a night out after the office. But I just wasn't feeling it. Maybe the venue's shape and sound besmirched things, as well as the gone-midnight finish. In different circumstances/context, maybe it would have been the indie pop heaven I first got so excited about six years ago. To round off a less than lovely night, we stepped out into the 1am night to find the Victoria tube line shut for the weekend. Which is fine if you're a night bus ride away - but try two or three, in confusion, in the rain! I guess I got a form of the 'rain' I'd been asking for.