Young, Loud & Snotty
Time's Up! NEIL TAYLOR puts his typewriter where his gripes are and
pleads on behalf of new, young pink-rock style groups (like PRIMAL
SCREAM and THE BODINES) as they rebel in the face of trad-rock invasion
from America. Supposrting shots; LAWRENCE WATSON.
[This was part a joint article about The Bodines and Primal Scream, which is why they are talking about The Bodines]
Exit The Bodines: Enter Primal Scream
If something doesn't happen soon, next year will see the demise not of
independant music (thatwas last year's funeral) but of the music
business itself: the monster will devour it's mentors in the form of
falling sales and old, sagging journalists keeping under the stench of
their own rotting taste.
As The Bodines depart for their live perfomance, it's not difficult to
think that it amounts to nothing. All there is going to be after this is
"To me it's just the total fucking erosion of British culture by America
Bobby Gillespie, lead singer with Primal Scream, leans back in his seat
to deliver the final blow to tans-Atlantic tat: it's familiar table talk
"I just think that new bands in this country are choked even before
they're born. There's a lot of new, really good pop groups in Britian
who are totally fucking ignored as a result of American rock and
inverted fucking racism on the part of journalist..."
What has undoubtably been the finest (later) Creation release release -
Primal Scream's 'All Fall Down'/'It Happens' - has been privately
applauded by the press butup until now no-one has had the initiative to
put their pen where their penchant is.
These Glaswegians - Bobby on vocal, James and Paul on gutars, Robert on
bass, Martin on percussion, and Tom on drums - formed last June, and
they have since developed into one of the mostpotentially brillient new
bands. Building a sound upon delicate percussion, a probing bass, and
meticuleous melodies, they have developed through the obvious (though
useless for attracting major attention) medium of the live concert. And
every outing, Bobby Gillespies' voice has strengthened, whether
delivering love songs like the slow, gently rising 'Leave" or more
pungent flowing songs, like the outstanding 'It Happens'.
"We've only played a small number of concert," comment Bobby, "But
that's deliberate. We never want the attitude that so many bands have,
the sort of 'let's go and play any old dive' outlook, bands that start
out as pub-rock bands are pub-rock bands for the rest of their lives, no
matter how successful they are".
"Instead, we've been organising gigs to help our friends. We hire a room
every two weeks and put bands on. The first band we put on was The Loft,
and they where followed by Big Flame. We'll be the third band, and then
we'll get The Pastels, then mabe The Shop Assistant, and then...who
From A Whimper To A Scream
As Bobby Gillespie see it, two things are important for the development
of Primal Scream, Firstly, the group - like a ll new groups deserves
more radio coverage, or rather easier access to it, than tehy are
getting. Secondly, they feel that the press should give them (and
others) the access to the sort of audiance that their single won't reach
if it is marketed along the lines of a 'normal' indie singel. And
overriding both of these problems is the inescapable link between Bobby
Gillespie, drummer with The Jesus and Mary Chain, and Bobby Gillespie,
singer with Primal Scream.
"I don't want peope to think 'oh that's the guy from The Jesus and Mary
Chain, better check the single out', because that's just shit, it's
secondhand," claims Bobby.
"I want people to appreciate us for what we are and not who our friends
are. Remember, I was in this groups before I joined the Mary Chain, and
the only reason I joined them was because they needed a dummer and I
could keep time. I can't fucking drum!"
"This groups shoud make it on it's own merits but it's so difficult
getting radio play - too many DJs just sling indie records in the bin.
It's not that I think we should be given hours of radio play a day, it's
just that we should have access to compete on equal terms with those
recorss that so seemingly get automatic airplay. Our songs are melodic,
they're accessible - all we're asking for is a chance".
The chance Bobby Gillespie wants is the chance to prove that Primal
Scream are a classic band, lifting the good points of past 'classic'
bands (Love, Velvet Underground) and delivering them up into a new era.
Live, their songs glide on waves of harmony and rhythm - bobbing though
sounds like 'Careless' with its flowing melody and pumping bass - and
ignore the total contradiciton that lies at the very heart of the band:
Primal Scream present a sound so soft, yet as peope they are bitter and
hard, though in love with what they are doing. As Bobby admits, the
situation is the exact opposite of the MAry Chain, where the band's
persona is wimpy but their sound bitingly hard.
Times' Up: Where Are The Young Men?
SO WHERE, then, are Primal Scream going?
"We need more money," comments Bobby, "and some fucker's got to give it
to us!" When we recorded our single I was clock-watching all the time,
and it reflects in the end product. it has to".
"What we want in the future is enough money to record properly. I don't
mean six months in a recording studio recording one single like Tears
for Fears or some other shits - that's disgustingly decadent! We just
want enough time."
"The tragedy in this country in the music business is that people don't
realise that young groups, if they were given the chance to record
properly and be promoted properly, would sell as manyy records as major
"I care about about music and what really fucking annoys me is seeing so
many people viewing music solely as a business venture. It cripples
talent, anf I'l give you one example that proves it. If the June Brides'
single 'Every conversation' was produced properly and put out on a major
and plugged, it would be a number one, because that record is a classic
pop song! It's a sin when a record like that sells only 700 copies. What
sort of fucking state of affairs is it when tallent like that is totally
That's not whinning. That's the music business in 1985."
What more can I add?
Originally appeared in NME, 3rd August 1985.
Copyright © IPC Magazine Ltd.