After five straight years at the festival there’s a certain familiarity to the Primavera site; those far away stages where they house the majority of the larger acts (which shall for the purposed of this review, and reasons too long to explain, shall be known as the Earth Song Stages) are still as daunting a prospect as ever, especially when there’s exciting acts on the four stages that aren’t so far away; the confusion when chatting to bar staff is still there and the inevitability that you’ll bump into someone you hadn’t expected and miss someone you really wanted to see.
Still, me and Nick went along and had a good time by the sounds of it, bizarrely we never met, which might make this review all the more interesting.
For the purposes of this story I’m going to use the format as we did last year; with my comments in bold and Nick’s in regular type to differentiate, so, here goes…
My festival week began on the Wednesday evening (if you can call midnight the evening) at the Apollo; one of the amazing features of the festival is the packed schedule of shows all over the city on the days before, during and after the festival.
First up are Viet Cong, who I saw a few months totally tearing up Broadcast and tonight is no different.
Despite opening with a song I can only presume is new, Viet Cong play their self-titled album pretty much in its entirety; ‘Continental Shelf’, ‘Bunker Busker’ and ‘Silhouettes’ are all extremely well-received by the crowd and the massive ‘Death’ closes an awesome set by a band you strongly expect will continue to rise.
Next up is The Juan MacLean, who I was fairy unfamiliar with, but with an affinity with DFA records and LCD Soundsystem, it would appear “Juan” (aka John MacLean) has a something of a following.
Whilst The Juan MacLean tear up the Apollo with their disco/funk/electronic sound, it doesn’t quite strike a chord with me; I seem to be the only one though as the room is packed with dancing bodies until the early hours.
My Wednesday night, started a little earlier, and after soaking up pre festival vibes seeing friends that I haven’t seen in a few months and meeting a good few new ones, we make the trip to the festival site proper, for the first time in a few years on a Wednesday night, to have a cheeky wee dance to synth pop pioneers OMD.
It’s an immersive and fun experience and you certainly seem to recognise more songs that you’d expect, whether that’s because they have a more familiar back catalogue than you’d expect, or that a lot of their back catalogue sounds suspiciously similar to hit ‘Enola Gay’ is up for dispute; regardless it’s a nice wee way to spend Wednesday evening, before hitting the festival proper.