WFMU recently returned from Barcelona's annual Primavera Sound Festival with a briefcase full of blues, beats, rocks, and yes, punky reggae. While it was a joy to share so much of this very 'FMU-friendly festival over the airwaves, we were sadly forbidden by federal language restrictions from airing much of the amazing set by the UK class of '76 all-stars, The Slits. Happily, words like "poom poom" still manage to travel unmolested in blogolandia, so it is here that we thrill to share their entire set with you, full blessing of the band in tow.
The Slits were formed in 1976 by mainstay Ari Up and future Raincoat Palmolive. Guitarist Viv Albertine and bassist Tessa Pollitt joined shortly after; soon enough, they were on the road with The Clash and gaining the attention of John Peel, but it wasn't until 1979 that their first record was released. Cut, produced by Dennis Bovell, introduced the long-lasting prominence of reggae to the Slits mix. The trio of Ari, Tessa and Viv remained more or less intact until 1982, when the band called it a day.
In 2006, Ari and Tessa reformed the band. The current lineup includes German drummer Anna Schulte, American singer Michelle Hill, and guitarist Hollie Cook (daughter of Sex Pistol Paul, as a matter of fact). By 2009, they'd released a new album, the far more dub-heavy Trapped Animal, on Narnack Records.
The Slits' set at Primavera Sound was a freewheeling and crowd-pleasing mix of old faves like "Typical Girls" and "Shoplifting" and new tracks like "Babylon" and "Lazy Slam", plus some nuggets from Ari Up's solo career. Ari's charisma, onstage costume changes, audience come-ons and dreadlocks-as-dance-partner defined the vibe of their enchanting Saturday evening set.
World of Grown Ups
Heard It Through The Grapevine
Partner From Hell
Lets Do The Split