A quick glance at the highly eclectic and alarmingly extensive Primavera Sound line-up suggests a festival for the baby boom generation, with Neil Young, My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth headlining the event. However, not all acts’ discographies occupy an entire shelf (or iPod Nano): among the 150 or so bands, there’s a handful of real newcomers—so new they might not even be of legal drinking age in some countries.
The best-known of the lot are Kitty Daisy & Lewis, three sisters from London aged 16 to 21 who play lively swing and blues, dress in pretty Fifties dresses and, ironically, will support Coldplay on their US tour. Bowerbirds, with their rhythmic nu-folk, would have looked like a more obvious choice for that job—yet the only band that this ensemble from North Carolina have supported so far are The Mountain Goats. Their lyrics may have been too flower-power idealistic for Chris Martin anyway.
Bowerbirds haven’t yet made it past their debut album, just like Wavves, alias Nathan Williams, a 22-year-old musician from San Diego who could easily be their musical and philosophical antonym, with his speaker-blowing noise-punk spiked with nihilistic lyrics. Only people in possession of good health insurance should attend this concert. The same goes for Crystal Antlers, a psych-punk band from California that, like many US indie formations, owe their fame (and possibly their first album) to a stellar review of their self-released EP by the music website Pitchfork. The band from Long Beach, California, dominates at least as many styles as it has members (six), and it’s that switch between wild screams and slow instrumental interludes that has turned their live acts into such crowd pleasers.
Vivian Girls, an all-girl New York City band founded in 2007, also owe some of their international fame to a Pitchfork ‘Best New Music’ stamp on their debut album. Despite their common punk heritage they’re much more big-city subculture than Antlers, and the slight reminiscences of Nirvana are fitting for what is, essentially, a college band that cite the Wipers as one of their main influences.
So it’s clear that with this edition of the Primavera Sound festival, organisers Sinnamon have tried to appeal to as many generations as musical tastes. Parents, you may bring your children.
-- Kati Krause
Primavera Sound ‘09
May 28th to 30th
Parc del Fòrum
Full three-day passes cost €155 plus a distribution fee. They’re available through Tick Tack Ticket, CD Drome and RIFT shops, PayPal and entradas.com. One-day passes are €70 (plus the distribution fee) and on sale from Tick Tack Ticket, CD Drome and RIFT.
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