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Primavera Sound 2009: Day 2

1 Comment 06 June 2009

The Spanish sun and too much alcohol takes its toll and we don’t make the festival until Bat For Lashes is finishing what sounded like a decent set. We head over to the ATP stage for some Sleepy Sun, and the San Francisco band’s psych rock is perfect for a sunny billing. Expanding on the groove-laden sounds of their recordings, the band take brilliant tracks like New Age and Lord to dizzying heights. My first experience of this lot left a good impression and they’re earmarked as ‘follow up on them’ on my timetable.  [Joe]

From there it’s to RockDelux for some fittingly soul-lifting Spiritualized. Though Jason Pierce has returned to playing full electric shows after the recent Acoustic Mainlines tours, he’s retained the gospel choir and they sound fantastic mixed with the rest of the band. Highlights for me were an epic I Think I’m in Love and Ladies and Gentlemen[J & R]

Art Brut are a great festival band; Eddie Argos’s  auto-biographical rants are pure entertainment. The dialogue that runs through tracks like Modern Art and Rusted Guns of Milan wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of The Office, yet it fits perfectly with the punky din crafted by his bandmates.

“I doesn’t mean that I don’t love you, One more try with me above you… Don’t tell your friends! Don’t tell your friends!

At ATP, Chinese three-piece Carsick Cars are playing catchy, spiky indie rock in the vein of Sonic Youth. They’re an impressive band, but we need to head off after a few songs to secure  an auditorium seat for MBV… shame really.  [Ronan]

Sound quality was an issue for me at My Bloody Valentine, but no such problems second time around. The indoor Auditorium has a huge queue of fans eager to get in and the show is delayed as the venue packs out. The earplugs issued as standard as we enter come in handy, with the devil’s advocate in everyone daring them to take a plug out for a second to endure the sonic bludgeoning dished out. The quantity of decibels doesn’t diminish the quality of the show, and witnessing tracks from Loveless with the visuals seen at last year’s Electric Picnic in this intimate setting is something special.  [Joe]

After that we head back to the Pitchfork stage for The Mae Shi, who are bouncing energetically around onstage to pre-recorded backing samples and engaging in bizarre a cappella improves. It’s a bit trying at times, with long stretches of crowd interaction and self-amusement taking place between songs. When they do actually play though, it’s great stuff and numbers like Run To Your Grave are lapped up by an eager crowd.  [Joe]

As the clock strikes twelve, we head to ATP where The Drones are kicking up a loud, sinister storm. The Aussie band put on a fierey performance; bent double over battered guitars, they throw themselves around the stage. The unmistakeably snarly tones of frontman Gareth Lilliard sound perfectly at home here under the hot night sky, and it makes for my highlight of the day. Go see them on their imminent Irish tour if you can.  [Ronan]

We stay at Pitchfork for The Dan Deacon Ensemble, and while his live show has lost none of its zest with the introduction of the large live band, most of Deacon’s crowd participation is lost in translation and slows down the whole affair. When they do get around to playing songs, it’s nothing short of amazing to witness his Bromst compositions coming to life in all their eclectic glory. Even older numbers like the The Crystal Cat sound absolutely huge when played on live instruments.  [J & R]

It was with a large degree of trepidation that I approached Bloc Party on the Estrella Damm stage for my final band of the night. Regardless of the merits of ‘Silent Alarm,’ the Londoners diminishing returns have since left me cold. I need not have worried. Kele and co dish a blistering set, accompanied by dazzling visuals and even the inclusion of tracks from Intimacy doesn’t take away from a satisfying experience.  [Joe]

The late night/early morning party is in well underway at Mahjongg, who prove to be one of the best surprises of the festival. Their electronic sounds are driven home by impressive, tribal percussion that transforms manages to turn an inquisitive crowd into an ecstatic one.  [Ronan]

After Mahjongg, plans to go and see Michael Mayer got sidelined by some impressive tuneage drifting up from the ATP area, where Barry Hogan & Declan Allen are DJing an ‘ATP best of’; playing everything from At The Drive-In’s One Armed Scissor to LCD’s Losing My Edge. It’s plenty of fun and a great way to round off day number two.  [Ronan]

< Day #1 Review | Day #3 Review >


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  1. daniel says:

    good stuff, i can confirm that bat for lashes played an excellent set, one of the best of the weekend. and charlotte hatherley is a member of her touring band, much to my surprise.

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