Primavera Sound – festival preview

Primavera Sound

It’s almost that time of year again and as a warm up to this years Primavera Sound, we take a look at another incredible line up from one of our favourite festivals!

There is no better way to kick off festival season than Primavera Sound, set on the Barcelona sea front often accompanied by beautiful weather and exquisite views of the sea. You really cannot go wrong and that is just the festival site, if you couple that with one of the most diverse and exciting line ups anywhere on the globe you really cannot fault it. Every year the line up grows and improves as well as diversifying, last year saw a new and rather wonderful beach club open alongside the festival. This year that is back with an even bigger line up.

As for the main line up it is once again out of this world, with a plethora of amazing headline acts supported by some of the finest up and coming acts the world has to offer. However, there is one element that Primavera Sound truly excel at and that is collating some of the finest and perhaps more obscure bands from across the globe, bands who are often seldom seen in Europe and tend to only play short runs or not at all in some cases.

Broken Social Scene are lining up to release their first album in some seven years, from what we’ve heard already it is set to be their best yet. They will undoubtedly bring the party atmosphere to Thursday night with their upbeat brand of indie rock, that will no doubt get everyone in the mood for the coming three days of the festival. Latest single Halfway Home will certainly get a huge reception with its exceptionally catchy chorus.

The Magnetic Fields bring their fifty song memoir tour to this year’s festival, occupying a two-day residency in the rather grandiose Auditori Rockdelux. Stephen Merritt and his band will play the entirety of the wonderful fifty song memoir, for many festivals this style of set would be out of reach. Primavera always seem to make room for these incredibly special festival experiences, this is sure to be one of the highlights of this year’s festival!

Following on from an acclaimed evening This Is Not This Heat will bring their expanded renditions of This Heat’s tracks to this years Primavera Sound. With previous shows seeing the band being joined by a host of special guests including Alexis Taylor and Thurston Moore, half of the excitement boils down to who will be with them for this particularly special set at this year’s festival. Without a doubt this is one of the most eagerly anticipated elements of the festival.

Having produced one of the great albums The Zombies will play Odyssey & Oracle in it’s entirety at this years festival, as part of the albums fiftieth birthday tour. With so many notable tracks coming from this very special album, it is certainly going to be one where the crowd will be in full voice alongside the band. Particularly tracks like Time Of The Season and Care Of Cell 44, this album is steeped in such amazing history, to hear it played in such a beautiful setting will be a real treat.

Last year Teenage Fanclub brought out one of the albums of the year, their spritely indie pop never failing to hit the spot. Yet they’re a band again steeped in a very rich history with such a brilliant back catalogue, any set from them is always going to inspire a lot of nostalgia and excitement. They’re a band who can be relied upon to put on a brilliant show every time, and with such an exceptional new album we’re certain they won’t disappoint.

The Afghan Whigs have just released the rather excellent In Spades, which sees Greg Dulli on top form, the darkness protruding from each track and his haunting vocals never better. Dulli’s dark swagger is sure to make for an intense performance at this year’s festival, with such a rich back catalogue and such brooding new material. They will certainly provide one of the highlights of this years festival.

With a new album of old unrehearsed live track ready and waiting, one of the sleaziest bands are set to return with a bang as Royal Trux take to the stage at this years festival. Their first album in 17 years is eagerly anticipated and rightfully so, whilst it may not be new material there’s no doubt that it’ll be great to hear and see them live again. Their powerful set will kick off Saturdays proceedings with a bang and provide everyone with that much needed energy for the last day of the festival.

After having to cancel their performance six years ago under very difficult circumstances Sleep return to this years festival. With such a rich sonic tapestry behind them, and they’re lauded among their peers. Dopesmoker has long been one of the best tracks of its kind, in amongst all of the hustle and bustle of the festival Sleep will surely provide a much needed break from crazy rock and roll and allow us some time to just chill out.

Swans are currently still on their final tour and whilst unlike many of these other bands, they’ve been quite active. They’re part of a select few bands who return to the festival year on year, whether they play outside or inside Swans always seem to put on a phenomenal show. Michael Gira and his band never fail to enthral with their undulating set played at a deafening volume, even outside they seem to grab hold of you with that intense power that is unlike any other.

One final band for this preview has to be the almighty Shellac, one of the only bands who you can count on being on the Primavera line up every year. Whilst they may not play a huge number of dates in Europe, they’re ever present at the festival and they’re without doubt one of the highlights every year. There is often no need for the band to be promoting anything and that is part of the beauty of the festival, they book who they like and not what is popular at the moment. Hence the brilliance of Shellac gets to be repeated every year.

In this preview we’ve merely scratched the surface of the line up, but it is still an undeniably exceptional list of bands. There is strength and depth in this small selection alone, next time we’ll be exploring some of the newer bands on this years line up and there isn’t a shortage of great new talent at this years festival.

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For more information about Primavera Sound check out their website here.

All words by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee at his Louder Than War author’s archive, he also tweets as @Napzap.

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