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The Primitives
(England) Coventry
They were from Coventry and formed in 1985 (despite what you may have read) and their first single was 'Thru The Flowers' which was released in May of 1986. It is not the same version that appeared on their album 'Lovely'. Initially, they were very primitive and all the songs were noisy and sloppy because that is how they played. Their drummer at the time Pete Tweedie wasn't very good so most of the early stuff was actually a drum machine (something most people don't realize) and Pete would play the ride or hi hat.

They released six singles with the sixth being a re-recorded version of 'Thru The Flowers' before they eventually signed to RCA in 1987.

In 1988 the album 'Lovely' was released and it is brilliant. It was a night and day change from their early singles. All of the sudden they knew how to play their instruments. The first change they made was getting rid of Pete their drummer. The other key to their sound was producer Paul Sampson who went back through all their old demos and found 'Crash' a song they had scrapped. It was actually recorded at the same session as the first version of 'Thru The Flowers'. Anyway, a little know fact here is that Paul S. sat down with the song which had nothing but simple chords and wrote all the riffs for the song, arranged it and ummm (I'm going to get shot for letting this out) Played them as well. There I said it.

Crash was recorded at Cabin Studio's which at the time was a 16 track studio. Paul S. used a drum machine to keep the time though at about the same time they hired Tig as their new drummer. In the end they took the tapes to a studio in London and transferred it to 24 track and Tig sat down with the already recorded song and laid down a live drum track. They also did some other things to the song at that time such as run the shu shunt sha shu shunt guitar from tape (which was a telecaster btw) through a Boss Heavy Metal pedal and through a Mesa boogie then back to another track. The settings for the Mesa Boogie were as follows - gain 4, treble 7, mid 7, bass 4, presence 6, master 5. Reverb was considered but ended up being added later in the mix.

In between the first album 'Lovely and the second 'Pure' they lost Steve the bass player who was last spotted as the bus driver for Pulp. Since they didn't have a bass player Paul Sampson filled in on bass. They holed themselves up in Cabin for 9 months starting without any song ideas. At the time of the albums release they still didn't have a permanent bass player so Paul S. went on tour with them in Japan.

for the next album 'Galore' they hired Ian Broudie (of the Lightning Seeds) to produce and he also co-wrote some songs with them (see he wanted credit where Paul S. didn't care) anyway, that is where it all fizzled out and the band broke up.

Paul Court and Tig went on to form Starpower (not to be confused with the US band) which released two singles. Tracy sang a bit on the first one. After nothing much happened for them they formed Hedy which hasn't released anything and despite my best efforts I haven't been able to hear any of the demos. I think they are afraid I'll steal their ideas. I guess they found it strange that I could remember all the lyrics to an un-released Starpower song that I was only played once two years ago (yes, when they left the room I dubbed a copy).

And on a final note the Stone Roses asked Paul Sampson to produce their first album but Paul's manager who also managed the Primitives (in the studio recording Pure) didn't tell him until it was too late. What a shame.

Gary ( for the indiepop mailing-list in June 1997

Update Dec-2009: After nearly 18 years, The Primitives are planning to tour again. After two successful gigs in 2009, they will play several UK shows in April 2010 and possibly something in the US. They are also in the studio with Paul Sampson recording some cover songs.

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Thru The Flowers '86 (12")
on Lazy Recordings
Thru The Flowers (7"+12") 1986
on Lazy Recordings
- Thru The Flowers
- Everything Shining Bright
- Across My Shoulder
Really Stupid (7"+12")
on Lazy Recordings
Stop Killing Me (7"+12") 1987
on Lazy Recordings - LAZY 03
Out Of Reach (7"+12")
on RCA - tba
Crash (7"+12") Feb 1988
on RCA - tba
Lovely (LP) 28.Mar 1988
on RCA - tba
Way Behind Me (7"+12")
on RCA - tba
Lazy 86-88 (LP+CD)
on Lazy Recordings - LAZY 15
Pure (LP+CD) Oct 1989
on RCA - tba
Secrets (7"+12"+CD5)
on RCA - tba
Sick Of It (7"+12"+CD5+7"Box) 1989
on RCA - tba
Galore (LP+CD)
on RCA - tba
- You Are The Way
Spells ep (CD5) 28-Oct-1991
on RCA
Best Of The Primitives (CD) 1996
on Camden(BMG)
Bubbling Up (CD) 1998
on New Millenium Communications/BBC Worldwide UK
15 tracks from various BBC Sessions (Peel, Andy Kershaw) recorded between 86-88..
On compilations:
Sonic Sounds 2  (7") 1987
on Via Sounds Magazine - Sonic 2
- Nothing Left (First Version)
CD86  (CD) 23-Oct-2006
on Castle Music CMEDD1420
- Really Stupid
on Cherry Red Records - CRCDBOX10
- Thru The Flowers
Last updated: 26-Sep-2017 © 1994-2024 TweeNet Creative Commons License