Primitive Calculators proved they will always be relevant when they took over the Tote

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Primitive Calculators proved they will always be relevant when they took over the Tote


Primitive Calculators were always ahead of their time.  While pop music discovered synthesisers, Primitive Calculators explored the nascent computer age, 32K computers with the aesthetic appeal of a Besser block spitting out weird and wonderful sonic statements.  Taking inspiration from the Fluxus Movement, Primitive Calculators synthesised artist performance and political statement. Like the consumer products of the capitalist economy, art must be disposable – the so-called ‘little band scene’ reduced groups to transitory events in time. 

So when Primitive Calculators took to the Tote stage, were they still relevant? Primitive Calculators had recalibrated, but it was still the irrepressible Stuart Grant out front. It’s sound as noise, shards of punk guitar impaled against a warped funk beat. In the time it took for Primitive Calculators to hit their stride, the Internet had seen 50 different fads and incidents of outrage. In a social media-obsessed world, attention is ephemeral.  Grant writhed in tempo with each song.  There were a couple of new members, one twiddling knobs at the rear, the other complementing Grant’s jagged riffs with reverbed backup vocals. 

They left the stage, and then returned, Grant expatiating, the rest of the group firing three-part harmonies.  Nothing happens, we all repeat, year after year.  Primitive Calculators deconstruct the rhetoric of progress and expose the moribund reality of existence.  Primitive Calculators will always be relevant.

Highlight: Ugly Pumping Muscle.

Lowlight: Nothing.

Crowd Favourite: Stuart Grant’s political discourse.