Saturday 26 March 2011

The Primitives, Tender Trap, Evans The Death at The Garage - 23 March 2011

Tender Trap

Tonight I want a gig. Any gig.

In the end, due to timings I find that I have snubbed two free events (Japanese Voyeurs at Hoxton Bar & Grill, oOoOO at Old Blue Last) and am instead here at the Garage to see The Primitives. Again.

It’s a happy choice. I’ve not been in this venue since its refurbishment more than a year ago.

It’s deceptively similar. The cement floor has been replaced by wood and the lighting rig is much more megatronic-die-you-bastards than was previously the case.

First on stage are Evans The Death, whom I have seen before, and who still rather struggle to make an impression.

The band are personable, relaxed, and unfortunately, just not that exciting. Singer Katherine Whitaker struggles gamely with a tickly cough, but this is not an excuse. I like everything about them except the music they make. Pity.

The next band on are Tender Trap and they are so good that I am soon spitting feathers at perceived injustice on their behalf. (They are also so good that I forget to take a photo of them).

There is a market for airy, catchy, faux-Beach Boys sunny Californian sounding girly pop and bands such as Vivian Girls, Summer Camp, Best Coast etc have it all sown up in terms of UK adulation.

Tender Trap inhabit exactly the same territory and metaphorically cock their leg over each of their rivals. And yet, like Rodney Dangerfield, they get no respect.

Their set tonight is a total joy, the three girls in the band singing in harmony, the two boys keeping well out of the way and lurking at the edges of the stage. Genuinely, I can’t praise this band enough – you’ve heard this before, but you haven’t heard it better.

The Primitives are gradually turning themselves from a band from the past on the nostalgia circuit to an outfit with new material who have picked up right where they left off.

New tracks “Rattle My Cage” and “Never Kill A Secret” mix seamlessly with their earlier songs and it all sounds sweet.

Elfin singer Tracy Tracy is bedecked in bling, sequinned from head to torso, her right ear hung with a gold heart almost as big as the rest of her head.

The Primitives are still smart, still cool, and still relevant. Good on them.

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