THE PRIMITIVES AT THE TOWN AND COUNTRY CLUB, LONDON – MAY 1988

Terminal Crash Fear

The Primitives – That woman looks just like my mum. Same unfloppable hairstyle, same geometrically precise eyebrows, I bet you even her bikini-line’s been waxed to the same level. Christ you’d have thought beauticians would have some imagination with their clients and not just turned out a conveyor belt loaded with designer sex kittens.

But gamour suits Tracy Tracy, a girlie saved from being the last member of the Beki Bondage fan club, by bouffanting her hair, tucking her bottom in and pushing her breasts out.

Apart from looking like every backing vocalist who ever failed, TT glimmers and glides with a new-found confidence. Bought through a knowledge of manipulating men, the pencil skirt and stilettos are employed at the sacrifice of any real development of an individual identity.

Seeing the turn of new-found professionalism and group-togetherness, implemented by not playing at a breakneck speed that tangles their fingers, The (rest of the) Primitives still look as shabby as Kings Cross tramps, even if Tracy Tracy’s taught them to apply eye-liner. She should have started the grooming process by combing their hair.

Musically they’re perfect. A safe adventure in re-writing a seminal classic from every decade, starting with Simon & Garfunkel, working through The Beatles, and by some infernally brilliant logic creating a cocktail of Blondie, The Monkees and The Velvet Underground. That’s panache for you.

What The Primitives shouldn’t do now is press the self-destruct button. The stage is strewn with nose-dived vintage cars and debris, the clutter of a crash. They shouldn’t be so eager to tempt fate and become last year’s models.

(Helen Mead – NME, 21/05/88)

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