The Primitives are a British indie pop band from Coventry, best known for their 1988 international hit single "Crash". Formed in 1985, disbanded in 1992 and reformed in 2009, the band's two constants throughout their recording career have been vocalist Tracy Tracy and guitarist Paul Court. Drummer Tig Williams has been a constant since 1987 and the reformed line-up is completed by bassist Raph Moore.


 [hide*1 Early career and mainstream success (1986–1992)

Early career and mainstream success (1986–1992)[edit]Edit

The Primitives were formed in 1985 by PJ Court (born Paul Jonathan Court) (vocals, guitar), Steve Dullaghan (bass), Peter Tweedie (drums) and Keiron McDermott (vocals). Vocalist McDermott was replaced by Australian Tracy Tracy (born Tracy Cattell). Tig Williams replaced Pete Tweedie on drums in October 1987.[1]

The band were part of the indie music scene of the mid-1980s alongside bands like The Jesus and Mary ChainPrimal ScreamMy Bloody ValentineThe Soup Dragonsand The Wedding Present. Their major rivals within the 'blonde pop' scene were Transvision Vamp and The Darling Buds. They received valuable publicity when The Smiths singer Morrissey was photographed wearing a Primitives t-shirt.

The band's early singles were released on their own Lazy Records imprint. In late 1987, they signed the label over to RCA, who released the band's material from then until their split. Their first album, Lovely (1988) reached No. 6 in the UK Albums Chart, and produced two Top 40 hit singles: "Crash" (UK No. 5, US Modern Rock No. 3) and "Out of Reach" (UK No. 25). "Way Behind Me" was released as a single soon after, and was included on later versions of the debut album, as well as on the follow-up. Towards the end of 1988, the band had a sell-out tour of the UK, climaxing in two nights at London's Town & Country Club.[2]

The band's second album Pure (1989) was preceded by three singles - "Way Behind Me" (UK No. 36, US Modern Rock No. 8), "Sick of It" (UK No. 24, US Modern Rock No. 9) and "Secrets", (UK No. 49, US Modern Rock No. 12).

In 1990, the band did a co-headlining tour of the USA with The Sugarcubes as well as a short tour of Japan.[2] They split in 1992 following the commercial failure of their final album, 1991's Galore.[1]

Reformation (2009–present)[edit]Edit

Steve Dullaghan died in Coventry on 4 February 2009,[3] following which, after nearly 18 years of dormancy, The Primitives re-formed, with new bassist Raph Moore.[1] Their first live shows were in Coventry and at the Buffalo Bar in London in October 2009. In spring of 2010, The Primitives toured the UK and also performed a single US concert at the Bell House in BrooklynNew York. The Primitives supported The Wedding Presentat Koko in Camden, London on 13 December 2010 as part of that band's Bizarro album 21st anniversary tour.

The Primitives also went back into the studio with original producer Paul Sampson, recording the EP Never Kill A Secret,[1] featuring two original songs - the title track and "Rattle My Cage" - and two cover versions of lesser-known female-fronted songs - "Need All the Help I Can Get" (written by Lee Hazlewood and originally recorded by Suzi Jane Hokum in 1966) and "Breakaway" (originally recorded by Toni Basil in 1966). The EP was released on 7 March 2011. The album Echoes and Rhymes followed in 2012, featuring 14 further recordings of lesser-known female-fronted songs.[1][4] The Japanese edition of Echoes and Rhymes featured a further three bonus tracks, two of which are remix versions of "Need All the Help I Can Get" and "Breakaway". The third bonus track "Can't Stop The Want", also featured on the digital EP "Turn Off The Moon".

A new original track featured on the Elefant Records Christmas compilation album A Christmas Gift For You From Elefant Records called "You Trashed My Christmas". An accompanying video for the track was also released.

A compilation album was issued in March 2013 titled Everything’s Shining Bright – The Lazy Recordings 1985 – 1987. The compilation featured all the Lazy releases, plus, from 1987, previously unreleased, different versions of songs that ended up on Lovely, along with some 1985 demos and the 1987 ICA show, with Morrissey introducing the band on stage.

A new single "Lose The Reason" was released on 18 February 2013, through Elefant Records.


Current members
  • Paul Court - guitars, vocals (1985–1991, 2009–present)
  • Tracy Tracy (aka Tracy Cattell) - vocals, tambourine (1986–1991, 2009–present)
  • Tig Williams - drums (1987–1991, 2009–present)
  • Raph Moore - bass (2009–present)
Former members
  • Steve Dullaghan - bass, guitars (1985–1989; died 2009)
  • Peter Tweedie - drums (1985–1987)
  • Keiron McDermott - vocals (1985–1986)
  • Clive Layton - keyboards (1988–1991)
  • Andy Hobson - bass (1989)
  • Paul Sampson - bass (1989–1991)
  • Neil Champion - bass (1991)


The Primitives - "Crash" excerptMENU   0:00 An excerpt from "Crash" (1988)----
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  • Lazy 86-88 (1989) - UK No. 73[5]
  • Bombshell - The Hits & More (1994)
  • Best of The Primitives (1996)
  • Bubbling Up - BBC Sessions (1998)
  • Thru the Flowers - The Anthology (2004)
  • Buzz Buzz Buzz (2005)
  • The Best of The Primitives (2005)
  • Buzz Buzz Buzz - Complete Lazy Recordings (2006)
  • Everything's Shining Bright – The Lazy Recordings 1985 – 1987 (2013)


Year Title Chart positions Album
UK Singles Chart[5] US Modern Rock
1986 "Thru The Flowers" - - Lazy (86-88)
1986 "Really Stupid" - -
1987 "Stop Killing Me" 8 -
"Ocean Blue" - - Lovely
"Thru the Flowers (New Version)" - -
1988 "Crash" 5 3
"Out of Reach" 25 -
"Way Behind Me" 36 8 Pure
1989 "Sick of It" 24 9
"Secrets" 49 12
1991 "You Are the Way" 58 - Galore
"Earth Thing/Spells EP" - -
"Lead Me Astray" - -
2011 "Never Kill A Secret" EP - - Non-album EP
2011 "The Witch (Halloween Mix)" - - Echoes And Rhymes
2012 "Turn Off The Moon" - -
2013 "Lose The Reason" - -
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