Primitives/Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie
& Country Club, London, England
as blonde as I might have expected. Two sell out nights, phrases like
"triumphant" and "all-conquering" being dispatched by even then neanderthal
bouncers, and enough people in black and white tee-shirts to
populate Carnaby Street until the end of the century. I've an idea that
this blondeness might only be skin deep.
Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie twitter in and out of the darkness, with a bit
of Bauhaus here, a bit of Nick Cave there, a lot of Big John (ex Blood
Uncles) all over the place. They bludgeon you for a bit, then leave.
I'm beginning to feel like a snooze.
Tracy Tracey (nee Tracy) saunters on looking like Ruth Ellis, her pop
group arranging themselves in the nooks and crannies of a stage set
that includes two crashed cars and a giant pop-art pile up. Very colourful,
very lively. You can see how they COULD be perfect. When the metal stops
shearing though, when the moment of collision turns to a lifetime of
paraplegia, all The Primitives can do is rage sweetly.
The Primitives have lots of songs. Millions of them! You can tell what
every single one of them is called by the way that the title wallops
in before the cheers of recognition around you have died in a thousand
throats. The bass drum doesn't puncture so much as offer support, the
guitars doggy paddling towards the molten fuzz. It's as tame as the
Mary Chain when it should be as frisky as The Darling Buds, as drenching
as Blondie, as intangible as The Shangri Las. And it goes on forever.
"Crash" is the exception, an elliptical surge, a knickerless romp into
the bloodied sugar bowl, a victory. Sadly, most of the rest, be it "Out
Of Reach" or "Stop Killing Me" or "This One's Got Guitars In It And
They Aren't Half Buzzy", stumbles into the car bonnet and curls
up like a big, warm dormouse.
I'd like to love The Primitives, like to feel that they gave me everything
I want from my glittery pop, like them to anoint rather than to annoy.
Roberts disagrees of course, claims that the two shows were the very
summit of the blonde Himalayas, that the stage twinkled with flames
and his heart with rubies. He may be right. I wish.
The clifftop looks 100 miles away from down here. Far from lovely.