everyone is intent on going out on a high on the final day of Primavera Sound

Primavera Sound 2013 review

published: Tue 4th Jun 2013

around the festival site

Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th May 2013
Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain, Spain
3 day ticket 195 euros - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Fri 17th May 2013

It's the third and final day of Primavera (proper) and Parisian dream pop act Melody's Echo Chamber get us started on the Pitchfork stage.

I must admit that I wasn't really sold on their self-titled debut album when I heard it at the tail end of last year but decide to see if the music speaks to me a bit more in a live setting and, thankfully, it does.

Front woman Melody Prochet is every bit as enchanting as the music on stage with her delicate yet authoritative vocal performance standing out more than on record. The band delivers on all fronts with a kaleidoscopic multi-layered set which provides the perfect start to the final day.

Mac DeMarco and his band are next up on the same stage and their goofy nature makes them instantly likeable before a chord is even struck.

It's clear these guys are best buds and have progressed from jamming in garages to touring the world and they're buzzing off it. The set is full of feel good sun drenched vibes; as soon as the first strum of 'Cooking Something Good' is hit you know this is going to be a sweet set.

'The Stars Keep On Calling My Name', 'Rock N Roll Nightclub' and 'Ode to Viceroy' keep up the feel good vibes. The latter is an ode to cigarettes, a cavalcade of lighters and packets of viceroys are launched on stage from the crowd as band and crowd light up in unison.

He announces his bass player Pierce is going to be a Dad and the general friendly banter with the crowd really makes them stand out in a festival full of great if impersonal performances. It helps that the music kicks ass as well as they fire in a cover of Pearl Jams 'Forever in Blue Jeans' for good measure.

No Raekwon? No Method Man? Boo! Regardless the rest of the remaining Wu-Tang Clan did a fine job of bringing the party atmosphere to the Primavera stage.

'Bring Da Ruckus' doing just that with a lot of moshing, crowd baiting and shoving – all in good fun though. You can tell they've done this kind of gig a thousand times and know exactly how to make the crowd work.

RZA seems the Wu Tang general - patrolling the stage and taking the bulk of MIC duties on tracks like 'Wu Tang Aint Nathin to F**k With' while the rest of them amble about stage necking liquor and getting the crowd amped up.

As fun as Wu are it's time to cut our time short so we can get a prime spot for one of the final nights headliners at the Heineken Stage. As we wait a video flashes up on screen to say that Neutral Milk Hotel are the first name confirmed for Primavera 2014. Huzzah!

Not long after Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds take to the stage, almost dressed too dapperly for any festival they start with 'We Know Who U R' and 'Jubilee Street' two tracks from their most recent album 'Push The Sky Away'.

A pretty ballsy move to start with two new tracks at a festival but one they pull off with the latter of the two building to a chaotic crescendo as the Bad Seeds and Warren Ellis in particular looking like he is ready to combust as he destroys his bow against his violin.

They've won us over already with new tracks and NOW start onto the classics. Whether its sheer arrogance or confidence they have the large crowd eating out of their hand.

'The Weeping Song', 'Jack the Ripper' and 'Red Right Hand' are a few of the choice cuts as he strolls into the crowd to the fanfare usually reserved for high profile pop acts.

People are physically moved to tears as Cave straddles about like some kind of demigod, you get the impression if he wanted to he could crowd surf and stay standing the entire time.

His showmanship is part of what makes this performance so great and he dedicates 'Tupelo' to "The greatest of them all – Elvis Presley – who still shines in my heart." 'Stagger Lee' is another highlight as he loses himself in the moment and has a heated exchange with Warren Ellis who he tells to "suck his d**k." They finish with another new track, the minimalistic title track from their recent LP because it's Nick Cave and he doesn't have to finish with a classic if he doesn't want to.

There are a lot of good bands on around site but I get in a good position for the headliners and the main reason I've travelled to Primavera.

My Bloody Valentine have returned with their first new album in 20 years and it's a natural follow on from their seminal 'Loveless' album.

Renowned for their live shows it's fair to say I'm a little excited. They take to the stage and the energy is electric I can feel the hairs standing on the back of my neck. This is it!

What this was, however, was terrible. A combination of bad mixing, awful sound and their music generally getting lost in the open air made it all sound one big horrible muddled mess.

After half a set including classics like 'I Only Said' and 'When You Sleep' I decide I need to leave before my memory of MBV is furthered tarnished.

It's 4am, but it's the final night of the festival and everyone seems to be here for the long haul. Hot Chip have seemingly gained one of the crowds of the weekend at the Primavera stage and everyone is intent on going out on a high.

'I Was A Boy From School', 'One Night Stand' and (naturally) 'Over and Over' ensure any lingering annoyance about MBV disappears as we rave our way out of the 2013 edition of Primavera.

Other Notes:
· Pitchfork and Vice stages and to a lesser extent the ATP and Heineken stages were too close together.
· The queues for the special Auditori Delux gigs make it unworkable. The bands involved in those gigs should at least do a normal festival set for those unlucky to miss out.
· Primavera has so much more outside the main festival on offer including a week of gigs around Barcelona. Parquet Courts, Veronica Falls, Deerhunter and Jon Talabot were just some of the acts who played around the city this year.
· It's come in for some criticism for being a bit too hipster-y but year in and year out they deliver the most impressive line-up for music nerds and long may it continue.
· Until next year, adios Primavera!

review by: Paul Mullin

photos by: Lauren Mallett

Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th May 2013
Parc del Forum, Barcelona, Spain, Spain
3 day ticket 195 euros - SOLD OUT
daily capacity: 35000
last updated: Fri 17th May 2013


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