The Second British Invasion Music Series — Brit Box Disc 1, Track 3 — “Primitive Painters,” by Felt

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image from Felt Fan Site

Today’s selection is the third track of disc 1 of the, “Brit Box.”  “Primitive Painters” is from the “Ignite the Seven Cannons (and Set Sail for the the Sun)” album, which was released in August, 1985.

Nice, ambient intro with the guitars and electronica for almost 90 seconds. The vocals sound like Ric Ocasek to me (or Ric Ocasek sounds like Lawrence.) I like the musical progressions and lyrical prettiness.  Featured vocalist Elizabeth Fraser (from Cocteau Twins) piping in on it gives it an enjoyable flair.  The up tempo of the music belies the existentialist fatalism of the lyrics.

Tidbits:

wikipedia says:

Felt were an English indie pop band, formed in 1979 in Water Orton, Warwickshire, and led by the mononymous Lawrence. They were active for ten years through the 1980s, releasing ten singles and ten albums. The band’s name was inspired by Tom Verlaine’s emphasis of the word “felt” in the Television song “Venus.”

Felt have been cited as an influence by Belle and Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch and Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, as well as by alternative rock bands Manic Street Preachers, Girls, and The Tyde.

Lawrence founded the band in 1979 with the release of the single “Index”, a self-published solo recording. A noisy effort unlike Felt’s subsequent records, it was later awarded single of the week by Dave McCullough in music newspaper Sounds.

With Lawrence initially on vocals and guitar, they formed properly in 1980 with the addition of schoolfriend Nick Gilbert on drums and local guitarist Maurice Deebank. Becoming co-writer with Lawrence, Deebank’s jangly, classical-influenced style of playing would provide the band’s signature sound in its early years.

The band performed as a trio before deciding that bass guitar was needed. Gilbert switched to bass and drummer Tony Race was added. He was replaced soon after by Gary Ainge who would remain the only constant member besides Lawrence throughout the rest of Felt’s existence, as well as the only member to play on all ten of their albums.

Primitive Painters

I just wish my life could be as strange as a conspiracy
I hold out but there’s no way of being what I want to be
Dragons blow fire angels fly spirits wither in the air
I’m just me I can’t deny I’m neither here, there nor anywhere

[Chorus]
Oh you should see my trail of disgrace,
It’s enough to scare the whole human race
Oh you should see my trail of disgrace,
It’s enough to scare the whole human race

I don’t care about this life, they say there’ll be another one
Defeatist attitude I know will you be sorry when I’ve gone
Primitive painters are ships floating on an empty sea
Gathering in galleries were stallions of imagery

[Chorus]

Writers: Maurice Deebank and Lawrence (Hayward)

Is this band or song familiar to you?  If so, what memories does it evoke?

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Aphoristical says:

    This is one of my all time favourites- more Liz Fraser too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yay! Glad you like it, Graham 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Aphoristical says:

        Yup, it’s a classic in my book. It’s a good set so far.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave says:

    wow, the tracks are getting more obscure. Don’t think I have heard of the band before, but I like the jangly sound.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dave, I think most of them will be obscure. I do too. Thanks for listening and commenting.

      Like

  3. memadtwo says:

    Never heard it before. I like the layered sound. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carol anne says:

    the song isnt familiar to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad to introduce you to it then. I think there will be a lot in this series that are new to most.

      Like

  5. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I do like the guitar sound in this….it’s right up my alley. I never heard of them before though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Glad you like it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Paul says:

    Ditto on never having heard of this – but I love when the guitar and keys come in. – the melody reminds me of another band I can’t place. To me the lead singers vocal style reminds me of Dylan – not the sound of his voice but the way he sings if that makes sense

    Liked by 1 person

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