As Primavera turns fifteen, they’ve put together one of their finest line ups. Yet with such an incredible gathering of acts it was always going to cause some heartbreaking clashes, as we cast our eye over the schedule these clashes become ever more apparent but you have to commend the phenomenal quality of the festival.
For many Primavera Sound has become an annual pilgrimage to Barcelona, for me 2015 will be my fourth trip to Parc Del Forum. It is one of those places that really has to be experienced to be believed, every year the festival grows and develops so much more. With an ever-expanding presence it comes as no surprise that the line up varies and morphs to match this every year.
This year being no different with the run up to the festival having already started in both Barcelona and Madrid it’s no wonder that the excitement is already building. With an incredible line up it’s hard not to be excited; yet there is so much that happens around the festival. From the ‘In-Edit’ film program to the Primavera als Bars which sees a variety of local acts playing in the coming weeks.
Yet the festival properly begins on the Monday before as the beautiful Sala Apollo opens its doors for two nights of music, the first featuring the incomparable Iceage and Umberto and Antonio Maiovvi. The second features Barcelona band the Boreals and two XL signings in Ibeyi and Ratking, both nights are packed with top quality and this is before the festival proper has opened its gates.
One Wednesday the site opens to the public not just ticket holders with an interstellar line up featuring OMD, Albert Hammond Jr. and the ever-present David Gedge with Cinerama. There is also a record fair within the grounds of the festival, but the merchandise area is home to something else not seen at every festival.
The American Poster Institute, which is sponsored by the wonderful Awesome Merchandise, run Flatstock. This year’s event will see artists from all over the globe convening at Primavera to display and sell their wares. For someone who collects posters it’s a must see event, having bought numerous posters from all over the world it allows you to meet the people and pick up things you wouldn’t normally get chance to.
Even if your not going to Primavera I’d urge you to check out the likes of Sean Mort, Adam Pobiak and the phenomenal John Howard who is travelling all the way from San Francisco. Similar to previous years there will be posters relating directly to the sets of some of the bands playing throughout the festival. Flatstock adds a real sheen and gives the festival a slight edge as it’s something that’s not normally present at European festivals.
Moving on though to this year’s behemoth of a line up, being their fifteenth year Primavera have spared no expense in creating one of its most diverse yet. With insane quality littering the bill, the only problem is deciding which acts to favour for me there are a few stand out bands that I cannot miss. The first of those being Sleater Kinney having just finished off a mammoth tour, they come to Primavera in the best form of their lives.
An incredible new album in No Cities To Love, has been received with critical acclaim and rightly so. Arguably my favourite album of the year but I am biased as this band changed my life and musical outlook many moons ago. Another band who I hold very dear who’ve been recently announced to play the rather cloak and dagger hidden stage are Battles.
Having been hooked since the second I heard Atlas, the rest is history and to see them announced at such a late stage has made this years Primavera even better. The only issue with this is it adds them into a hellish mix of clashes, with the set times now out Battles fall into a slot with Sun Kill Moon, Thurston Moore and The Replacements. I doubt very few festivals could boast such an impressive set of clashes.
That said this is a recurring theme but in the same moment you remember there is never a time where there’s nothing you don’t want to see. Also appearing on Thursday is Mikal Cronin with an exceptional third album aptly titled MCIII, arriving at the festival having received excellent reviews he’s sure to be one of the highlights.
As is the incomprehensibly brilliant Tyler The Creator, not your average Hip Hop artist, not your average guy though. With a new solo album out and as part of a massive European tour, having played witness to his live show before it’s sure to be an electric atmosphere once he gets on stage.
Friday sees yet another abundance of clashes with the likes The New Pornographers up against Patti Smith and the latter part of Patti’s set will coincide The Julie Ruin. Who for me are one of the bands I’m incredibly excited to see, having cancelled last years tour it’s only whet my appetite for this year.
Friday is fast turning into a feast for the ears as Ex Hex, Sleater Kinney and another band I thought I’d never see in Death From Above 1979. They take to the brilliant Ray-Ban stage following the release of The Physical World. They’re still riding high, so it’ll be an electrifying set that I’m sure will light up the festival site in the early hours of the morning.
If all this wasn’t enough there is still another day of incredible acts and Saturday is set to not disappoint. Mac Demarco will undoubtedly provide a number of stand out moments in his usual manner. Yet there is one act who are sure to eclipse all expectations as always and that is Nottingham’s finest Sleaford Mods.
They’re sure to provide one of stand out sets of the festival as they always do, the only minor issue here though is their set coincides with unparalleled Einsturzende Neubauten. Making for a very tough decision indeed but that seems to be the recurrent theme due to the exceptional amount of talent at Primavera. The festival will also close out on inconceivable high, with four of the hottest bands around.
First up festival stalwarts Shellac and Thee Oh Sees, John Dwyer and his band release their new album Mutilator Defeated At Last just a few days before the festival. As their new tracks are already setting speakers alight, I cannot wait to hear them live and with such prolific output it’ll surely be a set that takes from across their career.
However, rounding out the night is one final clash, with Leeds finest Hookworms pitted against Dan Snaith’s Caribou. It wouldn’t be Primavera without one more difficult decision but both bands promise to put on an incredible show to close out what I’m sure will be yet another phenomenal instalment of Primavera. Yet this preview, despite its length has only just scraped the surface of the festival, in the week running up to the festival we shall be delving even deeper into the line up to highlight some of the smaller acts.