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Super Quick Primavera Roundup

Posted: June 7th, 2007, by Ollie

Chris S appears to have the proper-review-with-photos-and-everything side of things covered for last weekend’s Primavera Sound, which quite tidily leaves me a small window for a few thoughts (which at present is the best I can muster).

Arrive on Thursday, am reminded just how excellent Dirty Three are after many years of completely neglecting them. Warren Ellis has turned into an old man since last I saw them. Run off to catch Melvins play Houdini, which is absolutely joyous. Impossibly loud rhythm section. By the time they get to Going Blind, I am taking a severe pummeling to the kidneys from an assortment of idiots behind me, and slink down to catch the start of Slint. Third time I’ve seen them, just as great, and just as wrong as ever. Leave after Washer and miss the new song (?!) to catch Comets on Fire. They have started playing and roughly ten people are watching. By the end of The Bee and the Crackin’ Egg it is packed and they are melting eyeballs left right and centre. Various technical difficulties do not stop me having a one-man boogie against the barrier (oo-er). Completely miss Smashing Pumpkins who I was kind of looking forward to seeing, but do catch Mike Patton and Christian Fennesz being weird and loud and great. By this point I have drunk my body weight in Estrella Damm and am absolutely steaming. See the White Stripes play Hotel Yorba and Jolene and it is excellent. Get down the front for Justice, take one look at their stage setup and am reduced to a squealing adolescent. They provide bangers the likes of which I have never before known, and Girl Talk, and in fact the next 36 hours slides past me in a haze of broken sofa beds and apocalyptic headaches.

Forward to Saturday, when I am fully refreshed and generally feeling like a new man. Roll down early on the advice of my friend Barney to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, who are totally great. Always someone I’ve managed to overlook, but this is totally joyous, uplifting, classic indie rock with a Daft Punk cover, in the sun, with the ocean a few metres away and I am made up. See a bit of the Long Blondes but they’re not up to much. Likewise The Durutti Column. The sun goes down and Pelican are pretty good and play the first song from Australasia as I am hanging over a wall watching boats and things go past. Straight after them is Isis, who are somewhat surprisingly one of the best bands of the weekend. Or maybe even ever. The rubbish songs off the rubbish new album sound great, The Beginning and the End is so heavy I fear my eyes are about to get sucked out of my head, and my neck and shoulders are extremely painful for the next two days. Third time seeing Sonic Youth, absolute gash as always. Go and have a bit of a dance at the Vice stage to R Kelly and things. Is amazing. Thanks to a few one euro Jagermeisters I am once again completely buckled and am forced to have a bit of a sit down. Go to see Grizzly Bear, fall asleep on the grass at the side of the stage within 23 seconds of them starting. Wake up freezing but not needing to vomit nearly as much. Grizzly Bear have finished. Hang around and watch a bit of Mum who always seem to pop up at exactly the right time. Go and watch Battles who are boss. Dance to Atlas on my own at the back like a massive chump. Go and lie on some grass. See the start of Erol Alkan‘s set, and decide that the new stage layout, coupled with the fact that he appears to be exclusively playing extremely bland house, make the likelihood of a recreation of his slot last year seem impossible. Go get the metro.

A very excellent time indeed. Justice were worth the air fare alone. As if all this weren’t enough, I then spent a few rather massive days in the lovely, if stinky, city of Barcelona.

Had really forgotten just how dismal England is.


Ollie lives in Cambridge and puts on gigs as part of Crushing Death and Grief.


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