The Primitives/The Popguns/The Orielles – The Lexington (4-5 April 2014)

with 2 comments

So, Craft 100 happened. I had no intention of having anything to do with it. Besides, I’d have to go all the way to Clapham. Sod that. Then I noticed that Partizan Brewing would have their first cask beer available there. Ok, I’d haul ass over there, swift half of that and home. Tick it off the list, etc.

Yeah, sure.

The next day at work was…difficult. By the close, I’d decided to go home and have a lie down for a bit. The opening band were playing both nights of this residency for The Primitives. So, get there in time for The June Brides. Catch everything the next night. Unfortunately, there’s a derailment somewhere further down the line from me and the trains are screwed. Rendering all my planning redundant. I get to the venue as The Brides are leaving the stage. Ho-hum.

Every generation has it’s TOTP moment: Bowie’s androgynous Starman; Marc Almond bringing fisting into the living room; are you a Boy George, or are you a girl; lipstick proposals emblazoned upon the gladiola’d one’s chest; and, I’m sure there’s something to do with Britpop getting eulogised in the current anniversary celebrations. Squeezed between the latter two of those has to be Tracey Tracey‘s manhandling of a microphone stand during the performance of Crash. Ok, maybe not quite. However, there are a dedicated bunch of folk who know there is much more to the Brummie quartet than just that song**. As evinced by the triumphant 25th anniversary gig at the 100 Club late last year. Which has to be the impetus behind this “intimate weekend“. They take to the stage to rapturous applause, Miss TT dressed as a sequinned kitten, and proceed to remind you of everything about this band. Especially, that they were often completely ramshackle and all over the place. It’s one of those where you can identify the covers from the recent Echoes & Rhymes album because those are the ones that are sung in key. The drummer’s, as ever, rock solid but you can only assume the rest of the band are using a new brand of ear-plug and they’re heavier than they are used to. I’m sure that guitar can be heard on the stage. And still, somehow the quality of the material shines through. (And, what a body of work it is.) It’s exuberant. Rough. But, joyous.

Next night, I’m there in plenty time for The Orielles. Boy, they’re young. Which is no excuse for this half-arsed shambling. I always take it as a bad sign when I spend too ling focusing on the drummer’s performance. sometimes, you even lose interest in that.

Turns out The Popguns are not The Popinjays as I had assumed. Yup, guess I lose an indie-kid stripe for that kind of faux pas. (See also “McLusky? What The Bluebells guys?”*) So, instead of the expected candy-pop confections, we are treated to a more traditional set of jangly-rock numbers. Some are even familiar. The band are tight as hell, and make a fair racket. Just, not really what I was looking/hoping for.

Part of me wonders whether last night’s issues with The Primitives could have been (partly) down to the sound and vagaries of the room. So, tonight I place myself just in front of the desk. So, I should hear this one as it’s definitely intended to be. Seems the intention is to be God‘s-own power-pop combo. Everything bang in-place and right on time. Every line smack-bang on note. The guitars big and majestic. And, still, totally rocking. Forget the singles so perfect (Really Stupid, Stop Killing Me etc), legends have been built on less than Spacehead. When they’re on top form like this even the new stuff is worth killing for. Oh, yeah.

I go over to where I was standing the night before to double check on the room acoustics/sound thing. Nope. Still completely boss.

*Actually, I can’t let that one pass; it wasn’t me what said that.
**Although, let’s be honest; if you had come up wit that you might’ve just given up. Knowing you’d never hit such a perfect peak again.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

06 April 2014 at 11:30 am

Posted in Gigs, London, Music

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Orielles were great. Your comments aren’t a review just a slur

    Damian Morgan

    27 April 2014 at 5:53 am

  2. […] of one-off anniversary shindig.  Seems not, as we find ourselves jammed into the venue (if the Prims gigs were sold out, someone needs to phone a fire officer on this), waiting for the wig to take to the […]


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