Tuesday 11 December 2012

Pau and Toulouse

Last night I got some photos through from our friend  C@t M. from Paname, who saw three of the gigs on the tour. 

She took photos at Pau and Toulouse, and a video of Sister in Toulouse. 

Seeing them took me right back to the really happy times we had there. 

Pictures from Pau : 

Pictures from Toulouse : 

 Video of Sister - last song of last gig on this tour : 

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Home Movies

I have made some youtube videos for some tracks from Heavy War.

Predeliction For The Blues :


Way Beyond Tore Up

High Risk Times

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Some reviews coming in

Some reviews of Heavy War now online :

The Herald - Glasgow's longest-serving suppliers of quality garage rock

Blabber n Smoke - Howling from the gate with the energetic Way Beyond Tore Up

Let's Rock It Or Say Why - I've never been unconditional Scots despite ingenuity deployed by well-intentioned minds to indoctrinate me. (This is en francais - I can kind of translate it but if anyone reading this speaks French well enough to provide a translation, I'd be delighted. He likes it, anyway!)

Sunday 4 November 2012

Home is the sailor, Home from the sea

I've been back a wee while now - adjusted back again to home life.

The whole tour was a joy, from first to last. Many special moments where the music really lifted off, many great times meeting friends and fans, and also lots of hilarity as we travelled. From sharing a bottle of wine as we set out on the Eurostar to sharing a jug of Amstel at Bristol Airport we looked out for each other, enjoyed each other's company, and represented fully. 

At the very end of the last gig in Toulouse, Michael put one sweaty arm round me then corralled the rest of the band into a hug as we bashed out the last chords of Sister. I do hope someone got that photo.

We haven't made much money - but we pretty much covered our costs. That is as good as it gets, at this level.  

There are a couple of things we will look at for next time 
1) better detailed planning of exact location of every venue - we did well, but we could do better
2) we stayed with friends / promoters every night. It might be worth looking at a hotel or two next time. 
3) we need to make a bigger noise about having a vegetarian and pescetarian in the band - people who do not eat meat are unusual in France. (everyone did their best to help once we made things clear)

We couldn't have done the tour without the support of our friends in France, in particular  Bernard who set up a lot of the tour and drove - his brother  Christian & his wife Fabienne, Jes, Thierry, Manu, all of The True Faith, all of The Dick Tracy Lords, The Jerry Spider Gang ;the promoters and bar-owners - JB, Malik, Eric, Lo from JSG, Pif & Frank and all at Le Rad. It is an honour and a privilege to take our music to a country where people really get us. 

2 Scottish gigs set up - The Parlour, Leith on Sat Nov 10th, and Cumbernauld Sat 8th Dec. 

I hope we'll have a Glasgow show confirmed soon - most likely date is Dec 28th. 

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Videos from Rennes

A couple of videos up from Rennes - La Paillotte

It Don't Feel Free

Saint Jack


We got to Toulouse OK, then found that it is a very complicated place to drive! Tiny streets, radiating out from our destination, plus massive roadworks - but Paul stayed calm and finally we approached from the other side and arrived at the venue.

Tree-lined boulevards

The Black Hat Gang hit Toulouse

Support tonight were The Jerry Spider Gang, hard rocking dudes who have been criss-crossing around our tour - a few days before us in Lille, last night in Tarbes with The True Faith. We used most of their amps and their drumkit. Good big stage, good crowd, including a fan who saw The Primevals in Toulouse in 86 with The Cramps. Laurent, the JSG singer told me that when he was 14 he bought the "Stompin At The Klub Foot" Lp, which was mainly psychobilly bands but the 2 Primevals tracks on it were very different and blew his mind. He was delighted when I told him that they were both in tonight's set - St Jack and Lowdown.

My godson, Harrison, came to the gig too - he's working in Annecy. The True Faith were all there too, and Christian, and Kat - all impressed that he had made the journey!
The crowd before the show
Tom and Harrison - Toulouse

That night we stayed in a flat round the corner (which was arranged through the JSG) and Paul was wakened by water dripping through the roof at 6am - the last 4 days had been pretty rainy, and this was torrential rain on a roof that was being worked on. I went out for a walk even though it was damp - I hadn't had the chance to walk around much with gig timings. Toulouse looks fabulous - great alleyways and tiny streets and funky history. 

Damp Sunday Morning
Au Revoir, Toulouse
So that made 7 gigs in 7 days, all rocking and well received. Just under 3,000 km in the van, much hilarity throughout, and great times with very appreciative fans - old and new. 

And on to the airport, Bernard at the wheel 

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Pau -> Dolmayrac -> Toulouse

We had a good drive out of Pau - good maps to get us to the tiny village of Dolmayrac. Le Rad is run by a collective, and 2 of the guys came to see us in Nimes 18 months ago. They were excited to have us, and we were delighted to go. It's not a big venue, but when you walk in and see a poster for the All Tomorrow's Parties gig of The Stooges playing Funhouse, then you know you are in a rocking joint. 

As usual in France, we had a lovely meal before the gig, and our non-meat-eaters were especially well-catered for. The meal finished with one of the food highlights - un flan made by Katia 

Katia's delicious flan

The support band was Not Right, Jacques & Pif's band. We really enjoyed them - they sounded like themselves, not like other musicians, and they were relaxed and not forced. Very good indeed. Pif is a very cool drummer, too. Our set went very well - the place was packed, and because of the small stage I was up on a small podium at the side. Our gig went very well - great reception. Then afterwards we drank and chatted and danced until late. A lovely crowd, a great place to play - highly recommended for any bands considering it!

Les Primevaux - Le Rad ! View from the bar

Jumped down from the podium for Blues At My Door

Up On The Podium

Then a foggy drive in the dark to the gite where we were staying, and we were back on the road at noon to load the van and drive to Toulouse. 

Monday 22 October 2012

Some Live Photos

I'll add more as they come in

Lorient : (photos by Jean-Michel Baudry)


3 from Dolmayrac - photos by Pif, who helps run Le Rad and is an all-round dude

Lille -> Paris -> Pau

Damp drizzly weather, but a good drive in to Paris. As we got nearer Paris, the rain got worse. And worse. We're from Glasgow - this was proper rain. Of course this was also the point in the tour when we had a couple of hours for tourism - we ended up ducking around Montmarte as the rain battered down, then going to buy a snare drum skin. Paul asked us beforehand "what's 14 inches in centimetres?" and then in the shop baffled the assistant by asking for a 36cm snare drum skin. "What's that in inches ?" was the reply.

We met up with Jes again, and went back to his lovely flat for a bite to eat and an hour of chilling out playing "guess the singer" with his fabulous  record collection. Della Reese stumped us all, much to his delight.

We had two supports for the gig in Paris - lovely guys who are friends of the band - The True Faith and The Dick Tracy Lords. A good club, good stage sound, and another full set. Onstage I wore the jacket that I wore to Paris with The Primevals in 1985 - live photos to follow once we have them !

Ricky, our singer's brother and dear old friend of all of us, came over for this gig. Much hilarity.

We had planned to get out early as the drive the next day to Pau is massive - best part of 800km. But we got chatting and .... so at 2am we were back in Jes' and at 7am we were in the van at the National, waiting for the rest of the touring party. I stood outside a cafe to get some air and was surprised to think "that smells delicious" when a man walked past smoking. I haven't smoked since 1986, have no desire to start again - France is still a very smoky place! On the road for the drive - I slept for the first wave while Bernard took an hour to grind through really grim traffic - nose-to-tail at 7:15am- then Paul drove. I drove a little bit in the middle, great fun. Interesting to see more of the country.

Pau - The Showcase - another great venue. Lovely paella, lovely cheese from the Pyrenees, lovely friendly people in the bar. I enjoyed a 51 on the recommendation of a friend from the sud  - it was fab. The True Faith supported again - they were more liberated, freer down here - rocking ! throwing shapes !

When we were waiting outside the venue, a local journalist had come up and chatted, then interviewed us. He'd said he couldn't stay for the whole set as he had to be at another show too. So I was pleasantly surprised when he appeared at the end - then asked about my guitar! I directed him to Serge, who owns it. We have a running gag in my own band, the Beat Poets, that after gigs the general public approach Keith, our sax player, and I get people who want to discuss reverb units and guitar technology in general - this holds true in the South of France too !

 Photo of the band after The Showcase gig

Another lovely late night, chatting, mostly in French with fans - then back to the lovely house of Christian & Fabienne. Christian is Bernard's twin brother - he has refurbished a lovely old house that had previously been squatted. Cool guitars around, lovely photos on the wall of Aretha, the Stones - and a signed Fleshtones poster ! Very much our kind of people.

The next day, a lovely lunch in The Garage with everyone before we headed on to Dolmayrac - they were gigging in Taubes with The Jerry Spider Gang. I had a lovely long chat in French with Adrienne - Bernard was greatly encouraging me to speak more French, and I had been re-learning some words and also learning new ones to be able to explain that my godson was coming from Annecy to Toulouse for the gig.

Lorient -> Rennes -> Lille

Paul had brought effervescent Vitamin C tablets - it's a man's life in the Primevals - and they were a good start to the day!  A pretty good drive to Rennes, which we didn't get to see much of last time. We were all pleased that the set had worked, and relieved (but not surprised) that the borrowed equipment was up to scratch.

We met up with Seb, who runs Beast Records - they put the new LP out - in his shop. We had an hour or so to go and do some quick shopping - a guitar strap and some presents to take home - then the gig. A much trickier get-in than last night - 100 yards on a  cobbled street then down a tiny dimly-lit staircase.

A smaller PA too - so we did out best to get levels set but had to turn the amps up onstage as the crowd at the front soaked up all the guitars. A very sweaty gig, low ceilinged cellar, but great fun. Some old friends were there, including Mif who knew the band from touring with The Cramps in 86, Patrick who had told me last time we played Rennes "I have waited my whole life to see this band" and Jes's daughter who is studying in Rennes. She was tickled that when Michael, John & Paul stayed with Jes on Saturday, Michael had approved of her record collection before sleeping in her bedroom.

Back to Seb's for a quiet glass of wine and preparations for a long drive to Lille the next day.

L'imposture is a little bar, very rock & roll - we were all agreeing that this couldn't work at all in Glasgow. As soon as we got there, John & I headed off to the pharmacy - and we agreed that this must have been exactly what The Heartbreakers did every time they hit a new city. One small difference - we were going to buy deodorant.

Malik, the owner, greeted us with beers then we got set up. A small crowd but very enthusiastic. Another hot and sweaty night, and back to Malik's for more beer and chat - his wife's mum is Scottish, so she was delighted to have Scottish accents in her house.

Glasgow -> Paris -> Lorient

We got the train from Glasgow to London, then sprinted hotfoot to Eurostar - delays on our train made it rather a short timeframe! Sucessfully on the train, we shared a bottle of wine - tres continental, those Primevals. Our friends Jes & Thierry met us at Le Gare du Nord, and took us out for a lovely meal nearby.

Salade de gesiers in Paris

Michael and I told Jes in separate conversations how excited we were to be back in France. We also chatted about songs for the set, and Jes asked why we weren't doing "Total Destruction to Your Mind". We hadn't rehearsed it at all  - in fact this lineup has never played it - but we decided to try it out at the soundcheck in Lorient.

Martin & I went on with Thierry to Manu's flat - he was away at a funeral but had kindly agreed to put us up. After admiring Manu's excellent record collection we called it an early night as we had to be on the road for 10:30. In my experience, tours where everyone tries to be 5 minutes early run much more smoothly than ones where everyone is casually late.

Manu & Tiffany's flat - view from window

In the morning, it turned out that the Metro to the meeting point was very quick so we had an hour's wait. But that was fine - far better than us being late for the van. Our friend Bernard helped with a lot of the organisation of the tour, and did a lot of driving too - this was our first sight of the van, a very comfortable Renault. We left rainy Paris, heading for sunnier Brittany.

Le Galion is a rocking wee venue, good get-in, good stage, really good sound engineer. This was also our first sight of all the equipment that Bernard's band (The True Faith) and his friends had lent us. Guitars - a standard Strat - perfect for Michael, a Tele that required a little work straightaway, an Epiphone Wilshire that was Martin's main guitar, and a Fender Toronado that I used throughout. John had a good Fender Precision and an Ampeg head and amp. We worked through the Laneys and Marshalls - and we were all set.

A pretty wild crowd for a Sunday night, very warm reception, great fun - and to our delight the merch started selling, We had some of our old New Rose records with us - they all went on the first night - and the t-shirts started going. Afterwards back to JB's (the lovely bar owner) for beer and blethers, lights out by 3:30 so we could be on the road for 1ish to Rennes

Le Galion

The getout from JB's flat - FRENCH STAIRS!!

Thursday 4 October 2012

Nearly There!

Good rehearsal - as usual. This time we set up the room like it was a stage, so we couldn't hear each other so well and had less space. Sounds daft, but it means we will have less of a shock when we do this For Real, in front of Real People in 10 days time. 25 tunes tonight - pretty good.

Delighted to get the vinyl in from Beast Records - if my ears weren't singing a little from standing in front of the drums, I'd be trying it out just now. And we've got t-shirts too. Front Print only. 

If you are in Glasgow, then you can get the vinyl from Monorail or LoveMusic. We should have CDs next week. 

Can't wait to get on the train to get on the road.

Possible London dates being discussed, a Glasgow one,  and then something another weekend if we can make it happen in either Manchester or Liverpool

Now - a cold can of Stella, and some spacy electronica from Warp. Yeah, just cos I wear a leather jacket .... 

Monday 1 October 2012

French Tour Posters

Getting very excited now. Some posters in for the gigs - can't wait to get on the train and go! 

2 more rehearsals, still some tweaks to be made but we are pretty much ready to roll. 

I bought a couple of new hats - always room for more in The Primevals - and I think that everything else is pretty much organised now. 

Wednesday 26 September 2012

Nearly There

A good hard-working rehearsal, which leaves us 2 more before we go to France. We slowed a couple of tunes down a little - they had been tending to gallop away. Shaped a couple of other arrangements.

We got confirmation that what would have been a day off in Paris is now a gig in Lille. So the dates are now:

Lorient - Le Galion le 14 octobre

Rennes - La Paillotte le 15 octobre

Lille - L'Imposture le 16 Octobre

Paris - Les Combustibles le 17 octobre

Pau - Le Show Case le 18 octobre

Dolmayrac - Le Rad le 19 octobre

Toulouse - le Saint des Seins le 20 octobre

Beast Records have the LP on sale now, and we are organising tour t-shirts. We will have CDs shortly before we leave. If anyone is interested in one, please let me know. LP £10 plus £3 postage.

Beast Site : http://beastrecords.free.fr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=102&Itemid=47 This has a link to play Rightful Duty

Tonight : 

  1. Predeliction For The Blues
  2. Looking So Clean
  3. Fire & Clay
  4. Where The Bones Are Buried
  5. Follow Her Down
  6. Rightful Duty
  7. Way Beyond Tore Up
  8. High Risk Times
  9. Time Has Come Today
  10. Someone To Love
  11. One Sweet Drink
  12. Undertow
  13. Saint Jack
  14. Elixir Of Life
  15. Prairie Chain
  16. Sister
  17. Defying Science
  18. Heavy War
  19. Lowdown
  20. China Pig
  21. Toxic
  22. Long Screaming Slide

The others on the list (which didn't need a run through tonight)

  1. It Don't Feel Free
  2. Stream Of Life
  3. Blues At My Door
  4. American Road Trip
  5. Spiritual
  6. Justify
  7. Fertile Mind
  8. Hit The Peaks
  9. Primeval Call
And the ones that are still around the fringes

  1. DT Blues
  2. See That Skin
  3. Sinister Purpose
  4. The Band That Time Forgot
  5. Coming From The Hills
  6. Venus Discovered
  7. Nobody's City

Friday 21 September 2012

Running update

Update on French Dates

Lorient - Le Galion le 14 octobre
Rennes - La Paillotte le 15 octobre
Lille - L'Imposture le 16 Octobre
Paris - Les Combustibles le 17 octobre
Pau - Le Show Case le 18 octobre
Dolmayrac - Le Rad le 19 octobre
Toulouse - le Saint des Seins le 20 octobre

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Nobody's City

We ran through about 6 different arrangements for Nobody's City - from a country waltz to a straight rocker to a Creedence vibe ... great fun. 

Still a possibility of something when The Sonics are up in Edinburgh. 

French gigs firming up - looks like Le Dynamo in Toulouse is a go for the Friday we are there, but not 100% yet. Also looks like we might end up with a day in Paris without a gig. QUELLE DOMAGE!! 

Not long until we head off on the train to Paris - can't wait. Good vibe in the room tonight, even though our stalwart bassist was unwell and couldn't make it. Always fun to try different way of playing a new song. 

 Now - Co-op Sicilian Red and John Coltrane Live At The Village Vanguard 61. Bliss. 

Wednesday 5 September 2012


Poster for first confirmed gig of the tour in - Dolmayrac

Outline now is : 

Lorient - Le Galion le 14 octobre
Rennes - La Paillotte le 15 octobre
Paris - Les Combustibles le 17 octobre
Pau - Le Show Case le 18 octobre
Dolmayrac - Le Rad le 19 octobre
Toulouse tbc le 20 octobre

But that could change! 

Good rehearsal tonight - we worked through the core of the set for France and a handful of others 

While getting a coffee in the rehearsal room, a chap in rehearsing noticed John's Primevals T-shirt and asked me "Are you the actual Primevals?" - he told me he was a regular at gigs in the 80s and he and some old pals had been chatting about us last week at a get-together. Always nice to meet people who remember you! 

Tonight's playlist : 

it dont feel free
stream of life
blues at my door
american road trip
looking so clean
fire and clay
where the bones are buried
follow her down
rightful duty
fertile mind
hit the peaks
primeval call
way beyond tore up
high risk times
time has come today

see that skin
burden of the debt
china pig

Still some edges to be finessed but pretty good overall. 

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Rock Solid

A really good rehearsal, going through LOADS of tunes from the Long List for France. It was really refreshing to play some tunes that we don't know so well. All went pretty successfully, and we covered a huge range, including Where Are You (first single).

At the weekend I booked and paid for the tour travel. Michael presented with a brown envelope (on the amp in the photo) - I felt like Brian Clough!! 

Tonight's Tunes : 

Burden Of The Debt
Coming From The Hills
Defying Science
Fertile Mind
Fire & Clay
Follow Her Down
My Dying Embers
One Sweet Drink
Someone To Love
Where Are You
Where The Bones Are Buried
See That Skin
Lucky I'm Living
China Pig
Long Screaming Slide
Sinister Purpose (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover)

Now - Tempranillo, olives, and Sun Ra Solo Piano. A very good day

Sunday 19 August 2012

Wishaw - and onwards!

A hot day out in a tent in a fairground, a rocking set, great fun. The band on before us starred MJ, the niece of Jerry Lee Lewis - they rocked and they rolled.

Here's a local newspaper piece about how she ended up in Wishaw http://www.deadlinenews.co.uk/2009/02/10/jerry-lee-lewis-niece-in-wishaw-585/

After the Primevals set, MJ came over and with a big smile, she said "Darlin', that was great! " - marvellous! MJ's sister Anniwas smiling and bopping and enjoying the set. She's just been touring with her Mom, supporting Uncle Jerry in some venues. It's the family business! She came over to say Hi too. Lovely people. 

We had a chat afterwards to several old friends - as John noted, Wishaw has always been good to the Primevals. France, too. Wishaw and France. 

New guitars worked well - we did have one slightly unprepared moment mid-set when neither Martyn nor I had a slide : getting going onstage was all rushed, good backline all provided. when you are gigging more often, you don't make these kind of little mistakes. It was fine, though, set was well received, bunch of the new LP in the set.

Jazzmaster & Starfire

French date are firming up for October - could be a great week!!

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Good Work

A good, hard-working rehearsal tonight, fine-tuning some songs from the new album, and blasting through the set for Saturday twice. 

I tried out my new guitar - a Jazzmaster. It worked really well, good range of sounds, bit of twang, bit of roar - just what we need. 

This has been an emotional week - a friend passed away, a lovely, sweet, funny lady. Again, I always thought there would be time to catch up with her and her family again. Now there isn't. 

We ain't here long - make the most of it. Enjoy every sandwich.