The Primitives emerged from the UK independent music scene of the mid-1980s, with a sound that distilled the shimmering guitar chime of The Byrds, the buzzsaw style of The Ramones and 60’s girl group melodies into two-and-a-half-minute pop gems.
After topping the indie singles chart several times, their widely acclaimed first album, Lovely, (released in 1988), made them one of the UK’s most revered alternative rock acts, while the international success of the single Crash saw them cross over to a mass audience. Further chart success followed, along with two more studio albums, Pure (1989) and Galore (1991), plus extensive tours of Europe and the US, before the band called it a day in 1992.
In 2008, Mojo Magazine named The Primitives’ second single ‘Really Stupid’ one of the top 40 greatest UK indie singles of all time. The band were reunited in 2009 by the untimely passing of their original bass player Steve Dullaghan, reforming to play a show in his memory later that year in their hometown Coventry; their first time on stage together for 17 years. Bolstered by the success of this and of a secret show in London, they went on to tour the UK in April 2010, followed by shows in the US and mainland Europe. The Primitives released the Never Kill A Secret EP through Fortuna Pop! in 2011 and, in 2012, a covers album Echoes and Rhymes, on Elefant Records.
An album of new original Primitives songs entitled Spin-O-Rama was released in 2014.
The Primitives went back into the studio in late 2016 to record tracks for the New Thrills EP, which was released in May 2017. Bloom! The Full Story 1985-1992, a 5 CD box set exploring the first wave of The Primitives’ career was released in 2020 on Cherry Red Records. In 2022 the band released the single Don’t Know Where To Start, their first new material in six years. The current line-up of the band includes original members Tracy Tracy (vocals), Paul Court (guitar/vocals) and Tig Williams (drums).
Don’t Know Where To Start is out now on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.
What They Say: “We released a single all by ourselves last year just to see what that would be like. It’s called Don’t Know Where To Start and was our first new material in 6 years. It’s been picked up by HHBTM records and is now out as a 4 track 12”. This year is also 35 years since the big Prims’ year of 1988, when we became pop stars for a while and our debut album was released, so we’re going to play live UK dates in May to celebrate all of that.“
Love – Doggone
Arthur Lee is the only original band member in this 1969 version of the band. I only knew of the first three albums until I heard this in the early 90s round the flat of a guy called Dave who was a mate of a mate in Coventry. He was kind of an old punk but he was really into Love and this was his favourite song by them. I ended up going to see Arthur Lee in 1994 in London with him and Steve Dullaghan, the Primitives original bass player. Sadly like Steve, Dave also died young.
Ottilie Patterson – The Orphan
19th century Celtic folk restyled as spirited 60s pop. Ottilie Patterson was a jazz and blues singer and didn’t normally do things like this.
Adwaith – ETO (Live at Clwb Ifor Bach)
I saw a photograph of this band at the beginning of last year and thought the bass player looked quite a bit like my daughter, which seemed a good enough reason to give them a listen. I like their beguiling, off-kilter pop a lot and I like that they sing in Welsh, even though I don’t understand a word, apart from some of the song titles which I’ve looked up in English. I’ve picked a live version because they’re really good live too.
The Revelons – The Way (you touch my hand)
Groovy vicious pop from NYC in the late 70s. I’ve never heard this played on the radio. It should be up there with all the other classics of the genre.
Lee Hazlewood – We All Make The Flowers Grow
Whoopie we’re all gonna die.
Del Shannon – Runaway
This record was discovered quite by accident! I bought a bag of 7-inch vinyl records at a jumble sale for 10p when I was about 10 years old. I had recently been given my first record player, a red portable, and this record was played over and over. I love the guitar intro and the catchy chorus, and the sound of longing in Del Shannon’s voice.
Harry J Allstars – Liquidator
I discovered this in my dad’s vast record collection and claimed it as my own. I played it constantly on my red portable and danced away for hours. This and Green Onions by Booker T. & the MG´s are amongst some of my favourite instrumentals. I loved that I could just put the record on repeat and continue dancing and never get tired of the hypnotic rhythm!
Unkle (feat. The Black Angels) – Natural Selection
This is one of my favourite tracks at the moment. It reminds me of touring around the UK when the Primitives got back together. The credit goes to Paul, he always creates an unusual and eclectic playlist for the Primitives’ tour bus. This was the first time I heard this song, it just jumped out and I loved it right away. I thought it was some band from the 60´s like The Silver Apples. Again, when I hear it I immediately want to dance.
Don’t Know Where To Start is out now on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. Look HERE for more information on The Primitives.