acb: (wayne kerr)
On day two of Primavera:

  • Getting into the venue was a lot quicker; I suspect the bulk of the ticket exchange queues yesterday were people with festival passes.

  • The first band I saw was Ghostdigital. They're from Iceland and consist of a guy ranting/monologuing about existential crises/struggles with inner demons over wonky electro beats and choppy guitars provided by the other two guys (who look a bit younger and were both wearing sunglasses). The frontman reminded me a bit of Flacco from D✭A☭A✝S Kapital, not so much because of his appearance but because of his monologues and their delivery.

  • After a bit of that, I adjourned to the next stage to catch a bit of Kurt Vile; it was pure Americana for indiekids; a bit of Springsteen/Mellencamp-style rock, and a cigarettes-and-whiskey alt.country drawl. (Btw, is alt.country still A Thing, btw? Because if it did, it has outlived USENET, from which it got the orthography of its name, being A Thing by about a decade and a half.)

  • After that, I serendipitously chances across a Spanish indiepop band named Wild Balbina, who were playing in one of the smaller branded spaces next to the main thoroughfares. They were fronted by a female bass player in a polkadot dress, played a sort of jangly/skronky indiepop and reminded me a bit of Bidston Moss (I'm showing my age here...) or a skronkier Seapony. I ended up picking up their 7"; unsurprisingly, they're on Spanish indiepop label Elefant.

  • I didn't see Daniel Johnston, who was playing in the Auditori Rockdelux next to the venues proper, because separate tickets were required and the queue was literally a kilometre or so long, and because I'm seeing him at the Barbican soon.

  • Next, I chanced across a brilliant Portuguese band named PAUS; they had two drummers, driving guitars/bass and synths, and an amazing sense of energy, a bit like Battles crossed with Mogwai at their most intense, and then turned up to 11. I ended up getting their CD.

  • After that, I had something to eat and then waited for half an hour near the stage for the Jesus and Mary Chain. They were great; at first, they played mostly songs from their latter albums (I'm guessing; I didn't recognise any but Sidewalking), but then they played a few from Darklands and Psychocandy; when they did Just Like Honey, Bilinda Butcher came out to do guest vocals.


I went home after that, on account of having an earlyish flight the following day. I wouldn't mind having seen Glass Candy (whom I saw at ATP a few years ago) and Swans, though probably wouldn't have bothered with Blur.
acb: (indie rock)
Yesterday was the first day of Primavera. I saw:


  • The last 30 seconds or so of Wild Nothing; I arrived at the venue a good 15 minutes before they were due to start, but hadn't factored in the ticket exchange queue. They were OK from what I could tell.

  • about half of Savages set. They were doing the post-Joy Division dark-cathartic-post-punk thing, only with more danceable grooves. Is it time for another Goth micro-revival in the hipster hotspots yet?

  • About half of the Tame Impala set, from some distance from the stage. Not to worry; the visuals on the big screens were pretty trippy. I imagine they'd have been even better to see whilst on psychedelic drugs, or at least not surrounded by the ever-present hipster social chatter.

  • Do Make Say Think, from right near the stage. They were pretty good, being part of the post-rock generation of a decade or so ago, alongside GY!BE, Explosions In The Sky and such.

  • A bit of the Dinosaur Jr. set; I wasn't really into them the first time around (my dislike of grunge and its aesthetic of shittiness sort of left large areas of 90s alternative underexplored for a while; I never got into Pavement either). I recognised one song they did (it seems to have been a GenX slacker anthem of sorts), and then they went into their cover of The Cure's Just Like Heaven. They must have made a lot of early-middle-aged people wistfully happy.

  • Part of The Postal Service, who were better than I expected. Their material works better with live drums, guitars and such added; one song (This Place Is A Prison) sounded like, if you only added 2-3 minutes to the end, it'd be a Cure song; another one (a new one perhaps, seemingly about tagging things on social media) sounded a bit like New Order minus Hooky (or perhaps The Other Two plus Barney). They, of course, did all the crowd-pleasing romantic-comedy-for-robots songs they're loved for. Is the female vocalist in the duet Zooey Deschanel, by the way?

  • Computer Magic; a female singer playing keyboards (or one keyboard; the other one, the big synth with lots of knobs, seemed to be controlled by the MacBook, though she tweaked the knobs from time to time), along with a drummer. They were fairly decent, though not life-changing; I seem to recall their material having more rough edges a few years ago, but here it was polished electropop.

  • A few songs by Dead Skeletons. A new Icelandic band, sort of like a gothier Singapore Sling.


And also a bit of Deerhunter, Grizzly Bear, Fucked Up, Four Tet (who sounded more housy and less noodly than I remember) and Simian Mobile Disco. I left before Fuck Buttons and Animal Collective, though.

September 2015

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