Fugaç pas pel Primavera Sound 2017

Malgrat tenir l’abonament des de feia mesos, circumstàncies ‘x’ van fer que el cedís. Això implicava que, o bé m’acreditaven, o bé no hi anava. Malauradament, s’ha complert la segona possibilitat. És per això que aquest any, el meu primer i últim dia pel PS d’enguany es va produir ahir, malgrat haver-me preparat a consciència l’horari distribuït per dies.

Qui hagués anat a veure? A més de Cigarettes After Sex dimarts (que per sort tornen el novembre a l’Apolo), doncs avui, sens dubte, Nikki Lane, Jens Lekman, Broken Social Scene i Bon Iver, i amb una mica de son, Aphex Twin. Demà, havent de treballar a la tarda fins tard, hauria anat a veure només The XX, Jamie xx i Flying Lotus. Dissabte, per acabar de morir, hauria anat a veure Weyes Blood, Angel Olsen i Weval. Em fa molt de mal perdre’m Jens Lekman, Broken Social Scene i Weyes Blood, perquè m’hi jugo el que vulguis que no tornaran pas. Bon Iver el vaig veure ja com a Vulcano Choir, així que què hi farem, i The xx és com anar a escoltar un disc en viu, ja que tampoc és que ofereixin massa sobre l’escenari, així que… qui no es consola és perquè no vol (o el meu autoengany és de campionat, més aviat).

Però com que la realitat és la que és, ara em limitaré a comentar breument els dos concerts que vaig presenciar ahir, durant la sessió inaugural gratuïta: Gordi i Local Natives. No ens enganyem, vaig anar a veure Gordi per agafar bon lloc per a Local Natives, i així va ser: de segona vaig passar a primera fila per als americans de Los Angeles. Gordi no va estar malament, tot i que només reaccionava vers el públic que realment era fan d’ella (llegeixi’s aquells que seguien les seves cançons i es feien notar pujats a les espatlles del voluntari de torn). Un festival és sovint una finestra a possibles nous fans. Si només els fas cas als que ja tens a la butxaca, estàs perdent una oportunitat d’or per guanyar-te’n uns quants més. D’altra banda, la broma “my name means ‘fat baby’” és prou fàcil com per no haver-la de repetir com a única mostra de complicitat amb el públic, guapi. Una altra cosa criticable, i ja em perdonarà la fatty australiana, és el fet que sí, que et dius com et dius, però gran pes de la teva actuació el portava el noi de la percussió, de qui no en sabem el nom perquè, ei, ‘I’m Gordi’,  y a los demás, que les den.

Una opinió totalment oposada és la que em mereix Local Natives, als qui he de confessar que vaig descobrir preparant-me el fracassat horari del PS d’enguany. Quan els escoltava a casa em feia la sensació d’estar escoltant un Brandon Flowers amb tocs de The Killers, però la realitat és que em vaig trobar amb no un frontman (Taylor Rice), sinó també un segon quasi-frontman (Kelcey Ayer), perfectament coordinats, cohesionats amb la resta del grup (ull amb el cos dels cors!) i que, amb no sé quants anys a l’esquena, van poder comparar públics i apreciar que la present experiència poc tenia a veure amb la tronada que van tenir al Razz 7 anys enrere.

Local Natives, que no només presentaven disc nou, sinó que van fer un repàs maco dels seus treballs anteriors i es van atrevir fins i tot amb un nou tema i una versió de Kanye West, van demostrar el que és ser una banda de rock on totes les peces funcionen i on malgrat estar en un festival, no van escatimar els deu segons de comiat del públic després d’una actuació gaudida tants per aquells que es trobaven sobre l’escenari com pels que, des del terra de l’espai Vueling, veien com l’afany de protagonisme no té lloc en un grup com el de Los Angeles. Indubtablement, van guanyar-se una nova admiradora.

Galeria d’imatges

Fuzzville!!! #3 Line-Up Announcement

A couple of days ago I was asked by the Hipstefuzzville-3rian Circus contents staff to write about the announcement of a festival that I had no idea about: the Fuzzville!!! #3. As pieces on announcements like this one should be published asap and I had taken a couple of days off, I wasn’t able to get deep into the contents before the news was published. Therefore, I basically rewrote the press release and transformed it into an article-like kind of text adding some religious puns, as the fest takes place during Easter.

What I’d like to highlight of this piece is my own choice of contents. The original press release included what I considered a blatantly obvious amount of advertising on record labels that, imo, were of little (if none) interest for the general reader, so I decided to overlook anything related to it straight away. Here’s the final result.

The Best Concerts 2016 Gave Me

According to my records, I’ve attended 73 concerts this year, including those in festivals. As I always say, if I ever go to a concert, it’s to be thrilled, to be moved, to feel something. Mind that I haven’t written about all of these 73 and some of them I have, but elsewhere. So… what follows is nothing but the list of those concerts that have meant something to me on that day, for whatever reason. There I go, and in chronological order…

1. Florence + The Machine – 17/4/16, Palacio Vistalegre, Madrid 

That concert meant meeting Mané López for the first time (it seems as if it had happened so long ago!)  and not having to write about it for any mag, unlike what I did for the same gig in Barcelona. Though I did write about it anyway. It was too good to let it escape. I had a  whale of a time despite the fact that the concert was pretty much the same as the one in Barcelona. Oh well…

2. Marlango – 24/4/16, Sala BARTS, Barcelona

marlango

When I grow up, I just wanna be like Leonor Watling. Period. And this.

3. The Lazy Lies & Indigos – 21/5/16, Sala BeGood, Barcelona

Indigos-Lazy

That eve was pretty emotional, as for the first time, I met Malou Bustos, former TLL manager, with whom I had been talking now and then for ages on Twitter. I also met Iván Gil, the photographer who invited me to a Coke before the gig (I still owe you!) to get to know each other and later on became my friend. Way.to.go. It all made me enjoy the concerts in a very special mood. As for the gigs, I was gladly surprised about the quality of both bands, them being rather unknown. Who would’ve thought as well that would be the starting point for so many connections. It’s a small world, indeed. And yes, I also wrote about both performances.

4. Queen + Adam Lambert – 22/5/16, Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona

queen + adam lambert

Yeah, Adam Lambert is not Freddie Mercury. But I arrived late at the party. Better late than never, though. (more)

5. Coldplay – 26/5/16, Estadi Olímpic de Barcelona

A helluva show. Something like this.

6. Daughter- 2/6/16, Parc del Fòrum, Primavera Sound 

daughter (4)

If someone makes you cry with the beauty of their performance, what else can you ask for?

7. PJ Harvey – 4/6/16, Parc del Fòrum, Primavera Sound

PJ Harvey (47)

Having no idea what she’s in for and ending up totally mesmerized. That’s the PJ Harvey effect.

8. Mika – 11/6/16, Poble Espanyol, Barcelona 

P1100544

Nothing but fun. And joy. And friendship. And bliss. And this.

9. Ramon Mirabet & Alabama Shakes, Cruïlla, Parc del Fòrum 

CruÏlla 2016 collage

I would’ve liked to add Damien Rice too but he moved me more at PS2015. In any case, from Cruïlla 2016, the highlights were: Alabama Shakes, who were outstanding, and Ramon Mirabet, undoubtedly a promise of the present Catalan music scene.

10. Whitney – 23/10/16, Sala Apolo, Barcelona

2016-whitney

If their album is one of my faves this year, their performance did nothing but confirm that they are great.

11. Placebo – 19/11/16, Sportpaleis, Antwerp

If one of your fave bands isn’t coming to town, you gotta go after them to celebrate their 20th anniversary comme il faut.

Bring it on for more concerts, 2017!

Entrades relacionades:

PS 2017 Programme Per Days

primaverasound2017por_dias

A couple of weeks ago, the people at Hipsterian Circus HQ asked me what festivals I was planning to go to next year. I told them that, for sure, Primavera Sound, Cruïlla and Vida Festival, as I already have the tickets for them. Attending those festivals, and potentially covering them, means giving updates on them too, as announcements see the light. This is the case of this little piece I wrote last Wednesday on the presentation of the programme per day of the Primavera Sound 2017. I could already see that I’ll most probably be miss Cigarettes After Sex unless they play from 9pm on and that Friday, which is my worst day regarding working hours, is packed with big names such as Flying Lotus, Frank Ocean and The xx. I just now pray to God for all of them to play after 10:30pm… and with no overlaps!
[to be continued…]

Covering the Jardins de Pedralbes Festival Partially

jardins pedralbes m83 jose

Having written the announcement of this year’s series of concerts of the Jardins de Pedralbes Festival, Hipsterian Circus requested two press passes I asked for the concerts I felt like going. Once again, on this occasion, I wish I could’ve gone accompanied by a photographer. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Only press passes were granted this time. Hence the shameful quality of the shots I could take from the distance, as it wasn’t allowed to approach the stage.

My choice was that of M83 and José González. I wish I could’ve also seen Milky Chance (again, yes), but I had to work till late at night that day. I would’ve also liked to go and see Tom Jones, but I thought that requesting so many press passes was too much, so I stuck to just two. My choice wasn’t perhaps the best one, as M83 didn’t meet my expectations. They did have good moments, but the bland ones were more numerous than the ones worth highlighting, as I explain in my review of their gig. As for José González, to be honest, I expected much more too. While the atmosphere was perfect for his kind of music, that many slow tunes in a row were too much so we were all craving for some more upbeat melodies after a while. Besides, the almost non-existent moments where either he or any of his band members interacted with the audience made of this concert a very cold experience overall. The good (?!) thing is that it only lasted 1h15′. Here’s my review too.

 

 

Cruïlla 2016: No Sleep for Me This Time!

After having ended up knackered at last year’s Cruïlla, this year I had to give the best of me there, as I was attending the fest as a press member. This meant no sleep for me this time, at least not at the Forum. Nope!

cruilla-2016I started covering the Cruïlla event on Hipsterian Circus a bit “late”, as compared to some websites’ coverage, as I first had to finish the probation period, then suggest the topic, get the approval and then get down to it. Covering a festival, both the pre- and the while- is no easy task, as there are many goings-on related to it: new confirmations, playlists announcements, changes in the schedule… That also includes, of course, choosing the bands you think you are going to enjoy the most or you are most interested in – and if you are not, then make the effort to get to know them and go see them with an open mind. Finally, the fest itself, which means hours and hours of music and fun but also loads of energy spent to be attentive and getting the essence of what will end up being the backbone of the different gigs.

So here’s my coverage of the Cruïlla festival for Hipsterian Circus. First of all, the schedule announcement. As opposed to Primavera’s – and there being fewer stages -, I was happy to see that there were hardly any overlaps involving the bands that I was most excited to see. Of couse, you cannot say this in an article meant to be impartial or, rather, ‘general(isable)’, so I kept that to myself and wrote about how cool it is that Cruïlla offers a wide variety of styles and that their line-up has so many different ingredients that you can decide on your own menu depending on the mood you have on such or such other day. That is precisely what I ended up doing: my mental schedule kept on changing as the nights were advancing.

After this article, I realized that the fest was publishing a series of playlists in their social networks made either by the organization or by the very artists performing in the fest. In order to make up for my delay in the coverage of the fest, I summarized whatever lists they had published up to that day in this article. I kind of felt proud to have taken the initiative to write about something that, apparently uninteresting, could also offer some food for thought as to whether the platform used for such purpose was the most convenient one regarding collaboration/interaction from punters.

Then I wrote the item of news on the Cruïlla covers competition. Even though the news wasn’t that extraordinary, I believed I could give it a humorous touch that I myself would appreciate as a reader. Several other competitions were set up by the festival organizer, about which I wrote in this article.

Finally, the fest review, which appeared as a featured news item that week! As encouraged by my ‘bosses’ at Hipsterian, I did say what I thought from the bottom of my heart and so I included some humor and pseudoirrelevant comments to leave my personal mark in the article, unlike what you might find in reviews of regular newspapers. This being a festival review, I also covered logistics aspects, such as toilets, food trucks or stages location.

The thing is that, on the fest days, I ended up going to fewer gigs than I had planned in my mind but it was a very enjoyable experience anyway that I lived along with several friends. The gigs I enjoyed the most were, undoubtedly, Damien Rice, Alabama Shakes and Vetusta Morla (* fan girling mode on for this one *), which I believe shows in my review. Also, I wish I had had the energy to stay for Skunk Anansie, but it was too late at night. I must be getting old…

CruÏlla 2016 collage

I also took pictures of the performances with my compact camera, as we weren’t granted a photo pass. That means the quality of the pics is just acceptable. If only I could’ve got in with at least my hybrid cam. In spite of that, I’m a bit proud of some of the pics I took of Brittany Howard from Alabama Shakes and of Pucho from Vetusta Morla. Oh my, those beautiful human beings!

See you next year, Cruïlla!

FIB 2016 Line-Up per Stages

fib-2016-cartelAh, the irony! Having to write a piece on the final distribution of acts of one of the coolest line-ups of the summer in Spain and not being able to go. FIB is one of those festivals that always has that particular act that you wish you could see and that is always missing at Primavera Sound or any other fest close to Bcn. This year, in particular, I’d be so happy to see The Soft Moon, Massive Attack, La Femme, The Vaccines (again, why not) and, above all, Jamie XX, whose latest album is gold. Oh well, you can’t have it all, and certainly, this is further evidence.