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Billboard

vol. 100 Issue 52; page 42 

Dec 24, 1988

 

The Primitives

The Roxy, West Los Angeles, California

The British quintet, whose postpunk pop album "Lovely" promised some peppy delights, failed to deliver the goods at it's Nov. 28 Los Angeles debut before a mixed crowd of industryites and local fans.
   
 The RCA act's bow was in fact an annoyingly logy affair. At times some of the demonstrative young males in the audience, who dove from the stage and at one juncture constructed a human pyramid on the dance floor, threatened to upstage the band's spiritless performance.
   
Lead vocalist Tracey Tracey is the hub of the group's problems. She certainly is easy on the eyes: Petite, curvaceous, pretty, platinum blond, and dressed by Togs Au Go Go, she looks the part of a lead singer 100%.

But merely resembling a miniaturized Debbie Harry isn't enough to put a show across. In action, if action it may truly be called, Tracey appears near inertia. Pouting slightly and listlessly rattling a tambourine, she was a wholly disinterested focal point.

The four musicians whacked out a set's worth of loud demi-Buzzcocks pop rock, but for all their velocity and volume, the songs remained kickless.

After an overly protracted pause, the Primitives returned to a plainly underawed house for a three-song encore. Their slumberous and ill-advised cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'll Be Your Mirror" made Nico's restrained original vocal sound like the work of Ethel Merman. The last song of the night was the group's perky U.K. hit "Crash", but even that superior rocker proved to be too little, too late.

This outfit, and especially Tracey, won't make it in the U.S. or anywhere else for that matter until it discovers how to put the "show" into it's show business.

--Chris Morris