Friday 5 June 2015

Primavera Sound 2015 Day 3

Another glorious day begins with lots of sunshine and smoothies at the beach, followed by some wonderful tapas. There are no "must-see" acts to start off the day, so we can stroll around the festival site for a bit and just take a look at some of the bands kicking it off early.

Primavera Sound 2015 Day 3 May 30 2015

The H&M Pro stage is the smallest of all stages and hosts promising new bands or at least bands that are not very well known. There are many Spanish bands lined up here and Opatov is one of them. The young band look a bit timid on the stage where most people are hanging around on the concrete stand and stairs. Their garage rock music is quite catchy though and the boys look like they are having lots of fun. And in the end that rubs off on the people watching so in the end everyone wins.

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Holy Paul
We decide to stick around at the small stage to see Holy Paul. This Spanish band has been around for a few years but the members look quite experienced and professional. Their rock music reminds of Miles Kane, but less "in your face" and with more old style rock 'n roll influences. It still can't persuade many people to leave their spot in the sun and do a little dance but it does get them a lot of applause.

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The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger
The couple Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp Muhl started this band in 2008 which resulted in a few singles and albums that didn't get a lot of exposure. Their last album Midnight Sun is more widely available and was mostly positively received. Of course with such a famous last name it will draw plenty of people and so they are playing the big Primavera stage. But even without this famous reference the band prove to be worthy of the stage. Their seventies style psychedelic songs are well performed and sound wonderful. Lennon's voice is clear and he has gathered a fine group of musicians around him. There's no way ignoring the big legacy he's carrying with him of course and maybe the late The Beatles more psychedelic period has influenced him. Absolutely nothing wrong with that and I would love to see more of them, preferably in a dark club like Paradiso.

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Einsturzende Neubauten
This experimental German band has been around for many years and nothing really compares to them. Crazy self made instruments like big pvc pipes as drums, drills and a large bin full of big iron pins emptying are used to create their dark soundscapes. Singer Lixa Bargeld's voice reminds of Nick Cave sometimes but that is as close any comparison can get. It is a very interesting and intriguing performance and the fact that the large crowd is not leaving, shows a lot of people can appreciate this remarkable German collective.

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Days before the festival I saw Ruban Nielson and his band play many new songs off his great new album Multi-Love. Tonight he's playing in the dark at the Adidas Originals stage and we find him in a good mood. He has all the reason to be in a good mood, since there's a big turn up for their show and the crowd is also very enthusiastic. They sing along to the songs they know and the band is in great shape. The new songs are well received here as well and it underlines the rising star of this band. In the end this is one of their best performances I have seen of them.

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The Strokes
It's time for one of my most anticipated shows of the festival. I'm not alone in this since a huge crowd has gathered in front of the Primavera stage. I love this band and of course their first albums are iconic. We get a greatest hits set that has all the songs you can wish for. There doesn't seem to be a lot of chemistry between the band members on stage, nor do I see a lot of eye contact between them. Then again they always had this kind of healthy British arrogant attitude.

Julian Casablancas doesn't always sound great and doesn't seem to be in great shape. Sometimes it sounds as if he's running out of breath and the newer songs simply can't compete with the monumental older hits like 'Last Nite' and a furious 'Juicebox'. However those hit songs are simply too good to play badly, even an out of shape Casablancas or The Strokes can't screw that up. When you see a show like this, it is remarkable how many hit songs they wrote. It's not disappointing at all, but it's just not the same band as they were a few years ago. I really hope they can return to that super form and come up with brilliant new songs again and kill on stage.

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Sun God Replica
We return to the small H&M stage where Aussie heavy rockers Sun God Replica are playing. Their 70s style heavy rock sounds powerful and it is a lot of fun watching them sweat and rock through their set. It's the right time for such a solid rock band, late at night when the cervezas are starting to get the best of you and it feels like you're in a bar watching a rock band.

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Thee Oh Sees
You can never go wrong with the very productive garage rocker John Dwyer and his Thee Oh Sees. Of course there's a new album Mutilator Defeated At Last which sounds great again. This time he brought two drummers, which in my opinion isn't much useful when they play exactly the same drum parts like tonight. But it looks great on stage and does add even more energy to the never boring Thee Oh Sees songs. The new songs are in line with all the early material and the crowd is going completely mental. I still miss Brigid Dawson on stage though, since she adds a bit of subtlety and a female touch to the testosterone bomb on stage.

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We head to the other side of the site to the Adidas stage again, where Hookworms are playing. I was impressed with their album The Hum, where you can hear a mix of punkrock and psychedelic rock. Together with the sometimes hysterical singing and screaming of singer MJ and the frequent use of drones, it makes for a very interesting show, that is right at its place in the dark late at night. I'm looking forward to seeing them again at the Best Kept Secret festival in a few weeks.

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And so we end this night and the festival on an absolute high. This was definitely the best day and we enjoyed every minute of this wonderful festival and city. Primavera Sound celebrated its 15th anniversary in style with lots of sunshine, an appealing line-up and great memories. The day after we have a little treat with Jambinai and more The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger in the Parc de la Ciutadella, some more tapas and wine, but then we really have to leave lovely Barcelona and head home.

More Pictures

Primavera Sound Day 1
Primavera Sound Day 2

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