The summer has finally arrived and, as always, Primavera Sound has creeped up pretty fast. Now in its 16th year, the festival has sold out thanks to a stellar lineup that includes the likes of Radiohead and The Avalanches amongst the headliners. Primavera is always a chance to discover something new or to rediscover an old gem that you just never got around to listening to. Here are a couple of recommendations to help you sieve your way through the hundreds of bands set to play this year.
To get things started, Algiers will be playing the Heineken stage at a fairly reasonable hour for anybody planning to leg it down to the Fòrum after work. This experimental band from Atlanta, Georgia featured on the line-up of last year’s Primavera Club, and it looks like the Primavera crowd just can’t get enough of their soulful protest music, burdened with the weight of history’s wrongs. With songs about slavery and oppression, they will bring you back to the foot-stomping American South of old. Don’t be put off by the mournful subject matter of their songs, the power of their live performances is incredible.
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Tame Impala. H&M. 11.30pm-1am.
For the latecomers, ease yourself in with a cold beer and some easy-going sounds from Tame Impala. See how the Perth natives do psychedelic rock, mixing the best of the old style with some contemporary pop sounds.
Bradford Cox. Bowers and Wilkins Sound System. 6pm.
If it’s possible to ever have your fill of this guy’s music, this weekend will be the proof. Performing alone on both Friday and Sunday, along with Saturday’s performance as the frontman of Deerhunter, Bradford Cox is making his presence known at this year’s festival. On Friday, Cox will be DJing on the new stage, located in Parc de la Pau in Sant Adrià del Besòs, followed by his partners in crime, The Black Lips. So consider staying put for a couple of hours.
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The Last Shadow Puppets
The Last Shadow Puppets. H&M. 12.25-1.55am.
This is the latest project of Arctic Monkey’s frontman Alex Turner, who has teamed up with former Little Flames and The Rascals member, Miles Kane. Eight years since the release of their first album, Age of the Understatement (2008), they are back with a new album, Everything You’ve Come to Expect (2016). Although Turner’s voice will always cast our minds back to the Arctic Monkeys, the sound of The Last Shadow Puppets is quite different. The latest album shows a maturity in Turner through the use of strings and arrangements, adding a cinematic element to the album, something almost unimaginable with the Arctic Monkeys. As often is the case with multi-project musicians, it’s best not to overly compare their projects, just check them out on Friday and decide for yourself.
Former Longpigs and Pulp guitarist, Richard Hawley, will be presenting his latest album, Hollow Meadows (2015), written while Hawley was bedridden after slipping in his very shiny leather shoes. Thankfully, Hawley has now recovered and the product of the unfortunate event is a quality new album filled with sultry love songs. His suave, deep voice will carry you away and maybe bring bit of romance to your Primavera this year.
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Islam Chipsy and EEK
Pusha T. Pitchfork. 10-11pm.
Heading up the hip-hop element of the festival is New York-born artist Pusha T. His career started as a member of hip-hop duo Clipse in the early Nineties and, since then, Pusha T has been pushing his way to the top, not only as an artist, but also as president of G.O.O.D.—the music label founded by Kanye West. Working with artists such as West, Pharrell Williams and Timbaland, Pusha T has carved a comfortable niche for himself on the hip-hop scene, dubbed the ‘last rap superhero’. His latest album Darkest before Dawn: The Prelude (2015) was described by Pusha T himself as “dark and scathing”.
Islam Chipsy and EEK. Adidas Originals. 3.50-5
For those who make it through to Sunday morning, these Egyptian electro legends come highly recommended. Chipsy’s style is classed as ‘New wave Chaabi’—Chaabi being an Egyptian urban style of music, which has transitioned into electro and hit the music scene with a bang. Whatever you want to call it, it’s consuming and different from any other music around. Chipsy is renowned in Egypt for his incredible skills on the keyboard, mixing traditional Egyptian sounds with electro and rhythmic percussion.