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The Primitives are an English indie pop band from Coventry, best known for their 1988 international hit single "Crash". Formed in 1984, disbanded in 1992 and reformed in 2009, the band's two constant members throughout their recording career have been vocalist Tracy Tracy and guitarist Paul Court. Drummer Tig Williams has been a constant member since 1987 and the reformed line-up is completed by bassist Raph Moore. The band were part of the indie music scene of the mid-1980s alongside bands like The Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, The Soup Dragons and The Wedding Present. Their major rivals within the 'blonde pop' scene were Transvision Vamp and The Darling Buds. They received valuable publicity when The Smiths singer Morrissey was photographed wearing a Primitives t-shirt.

Links To Peel

The Primitives were initially part of the C-86 scene, where they were regularly played by Peel until the late 80's. In an interview with Linear Tracking Lives!, guitarist Paul Court, answered questions about Peel's influence and their sessions they did for him: [1]

Linear Tracking Lives (LTL): As a kid, what are some of your fondest memories of listening to John Peel's show?

Paul Court: I started listening to the show in 1978. Radio One used to turn into Radio Two in the evening and then revert back to Radio One at ten for the John Peel show, so it really felt like a visit to some secret, cut-off place. I loved all the post-punk stuff coming through in '78/'79. Lots of melody and experimentation creeping in. I'd listen in bed and would normally fall asleep before the end and wake up in the early hours wondering why the fuck he was playing Leo Sayer, before realising it had gone back to Radio Two and some truckers request show was on, and that I'd missed the next installment of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End or the final song in a Spizzenergi session.

LTL: What do you think made Peel so good at what he did?

Paul Court: I think because he was just left alone to get on with it, which fortunately meant giving the underdogs and outsiders a chance.

LTL: What standout Peel Sessions do you recall from other bands?

Paul Court: Loads of different contrasting stuff, such as The Birthday Party and Helen and The Horns. He played a lot of stuff that I really disliked to begin with, but couldn't stop thinking about the next day, so I would tune in wondering if he'd play it again that night, subsequently becoming a big fan -- The Birthday Party, The Fall, etc. I loved the first few Mary Chain sessions.

LTL: For many reasons, 1986 must have been such an exciting time for the Primitives. It was also the first of three consecutive years the band appeared on Peel's Festive 50, and in the fall you recorded your first of three Peel Sessions. What was it like going into the studio and then hearing yourselves on the program? Is there a particular song or session that really stands out in your mind?

Paul Court: The studio was at Maida Vale in London. It was an ornate single story cake of a building with studios below the ground. It felt very much like being in the 1930s down there -- I don't think much had been altered since then. The first couple of sessions we did were produced by Dale Griffin, the drummer from Mott The Hoople. You could tell he wasn't best pleased having to record all these musically inept bands. I remember him saying the guitar jangle on the chorus of "Stop Killing Me" didn't fit, but I refused to change it because that was what I played. Eventually he conceded that it sort of worked. When we went back for a second session he was a bit friendlier and told us we'd improved. Hearing the session on the radio was a massive thrill. It would take a few weeks for it to appear on the show and they wouldn't let you take a tape away, so you couldn't really remember how it sounded. This was our first John Peel session.  

Festive Fifty Entries


Two of the sessions are available on Bubbling Up (CD, 1998, NMC Music) and Buzz Buzz Buzz - The Complete Lazy Recordings (CD, 2006, Castle Music).

The Primitives - Peel Session 1986

The Primitives - Peel Session 1986

1. Recorded: 1986-09-30. Broadcast: 15 October 1986. Repeated: 19 November 1986, 29 December 1986

  • Stop Killing Me / Shadow / Buzz Buzz Buzz / As Tears Go By

2. Recorded: 1987-03-31. Broadcast: 13 April 1987. Repeated: 29 April 1987, 26 May 1987, 30 December 1987

  • Dream Walk Baby / Ocean Blue / Everything's Shining Bright / She Don't Need You

3. Recorded: 1988-04-17. Broadcast: 25 April 1988. Repeated: 30 May 1988, 21 December 1988

  • Things Get In Your Way / Keep Me In Mind / Way Behind Me

Other Shows Played

The Primitives - Really Stupid

The Primitives - Really Stupid

The Primitives - Stop Killing Me

The Primitives - Stop Killing Me

The Primitives - Crash (Top Of The Pops 1988)

The Primitives - Crash (Top Of The Pops 1988)


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