The Primitives + Young Romance + Recordsville DJ Set
The Ruby Lounge, High St, Manchester
Wednesday 27th June 2018

Gigs like tonight’s make me wish I was a better writer, able to express in words just how perfect a night of music it was.  Though I suspect Shakespeare himself would have struggled to find the words to describe tonight, and anyway I wrote to his cottage in Stratford and he hasn’t got back, so you’re stuck with my ramblings 🙂

Traveling from Liverpool for a gig in Manchester on a “school night” using public transport takes a lot of motivation, but when a gig is this good, it’s well worth the effort.

Recordsville DJ set

Since there is no photo-pit at The Ruby Lounge I had to arrive around doors o-clock to ensure I got a place at the front of the stage.  It was a boiling hot night, but I daren’t go to the bar for a pint, not only could a big crowd turn up and nab my space, but there’s  the consideration of needing to go to the toilet.

Waiting for the bands to come on can be really boring, but not when you have DJs as good as this.  Playing a wide mix of tunes that were sure-fire hits with the typical Primitives fan, from The Sundays to Girls at our Best, from 60s pop to Sister Sledge (no doubt a nod to the fact their producer, Nile Rodgers and Chic of course was performing the same night at the Castlefield Bowl).  They really know their stuff.

I haven’t been to Ruby Lounge for a while, so had forgotten what a good vibe it has, definitely one of the better small venues in the North West.

Young Romance

I must admit I wasn’t familiar with Young Romance previously, but when I saw them on the bill and checked them out on Youtube and Spotify, I wanted to see them in their own right!  Indeed The Primitives always seem to get excellent support bands, I remember when I saw them 30 years ago the support was Goodbye Mr Mackenzie who I was really into at the time, and a band called The Thieves from Cumbernauld who’d been on Famous for 15 mins on Channel 4.

Young Romance are a 2 piece, Claire and Paolo from London.  They started off supporting the likes of Mystery Jets, Slow Club and Summer Camp, and have played shows at Dot to Dot festival and Club NME at KOKO.  They’ve had praise from the likes of Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), John Kennedy (XFM) and BBC Introducing, and have played shows as far afield as Germany Holland and New York.

NME described them as “Mary Chain guitars collide beneath Claire’s vocals recalling Kate Bush in her heyday. This is a band that don’t just have the sound, they have the songs to match too.”

For me, their standout single is “Wasting Time”.

A corker of a single, which sounded every bit as great live as it does on recordings.

Their set was short and sweet, only 30 minutes, leaving me wanting more.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for future gigs.

When reading up on them I saw they were signed to Banquet Records.  I presumed it was a new imprint of the Beggars Banquet group, but it seems when the aforementioned group were about to close their last physical store, the one in Kingston, staff took over the shop and set up their own label and put on gigs in the shop.  As they say in their bio “We are a music shop run by music fans and we stock a broad range of music but specialise in new and cutting edge artists from the worlds of Indie, Punk and Emo, as well as Dance, Electronic, Funk and Hip Hop. You’ll always find a good selection of Soundtracks and Re-issues too! “.

Sounds like my kind of place!  Kingston isn’t exactly close to the touristy bit of London, being right at the end of the District line, but looks like it’s well worth the effort (and there are some nice pubs down by the river too!)  I’ll certainly be checking it out and giving it my support when I get a chance.  Check out their website.

The Primitives

The last time I saw The Primitives live was at Glasgow Barrowlands on their 1988 tour around the release of their debut RCA/Lazy Recordings album “Lovely”.  Tonight, 30 years later, they are performing the album again and sound every bit as fresh and exciting as they did back in the day.  Tracy Tracy (so good they named her twice!) is still the perfect front-woman, confident, sassy, and always entertaining, her voice still sounding great and the band on excellent form.

I did wonder whether they would play the album in order – since arguably their biggest hit “Crash” was the first track on the album.  When xPropaganda performed “A Secret Wish” earlier in the year, they got around the fact that their biggest hit “Duel” was 3rd on the album by playing it in order, and playing it again in the encore, and nobody was complaining.

Instead, The Primitives played the tracks out of sequence which was probably the most sensible move.  It did mean I missed “Crash” as the last coach left at 10:15 so I left just before it started.  As it turned out, the coach was 7 mins late, so I could have probably caught the whole set at a push, but it’s a 10 and a half hour walk according to Google Maps so best not to push it!

Public transport limitations aside, it was a joy and a privilege to attend this gig.  Lots of people have already told me they wanted to go, but life stuff got in the way, I really hope they do another tour.  I believe Tracy lives in Barcelona now (can’t think why she’d leave the bright lights of Coventry 😉 ) so not sure how practical these tours are for the band – but if they tour again next year I think there will be a lot of air-punching going on!

Once I’d got my photos I went to enjoy the gig from the back with a quick pint before the mad dash to Chorlton Street, and was struck by how mesmerised the large crowd were.  It was a great atmosphere.

On the coach along the motorway, I was probably grinning like a Cheshire cat, still buzzing from the gig.  There was a massive moon last night, so of course this tune was running through my head!

A truly special night, a reminder of just how good gigs can be!