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Barcelona, again.

Back at the start of the summer, I went back to Barcelona, for a second visit to the very wonderful Primavera Sound festival. I travelled with the rather pregnant Mrs S., and (Uncle) Danny came along for the latter half of the stay, and also joined us for the festival.

Barcelona is still a marvellous city, and Primavera is still my favourite rock festival. While we were out there, Barcelona FC won the champions league. I can't pretend that I have any sympathy, interest, or even understanding of football, but I really enjoyed the electric city-wide atmosphere on the day; silent, tense and concentrating, as countless viewers watched the televised match, suddenly punctuated by sighs and unison cheers as chances were missed, and goals won; culminating in the riot of celebration erupting from every door and window onto the streets when the final victory was realised.

The festival was another success. The personal highlight, for me was the chance to finally see Lightning Bolt, unusually for them, an on-stage performance, that was one of the most exhilarating live shows I have ever seen. Shellac, playing again on the same ATP stage as last year, as good value as always, another chance to see Oneida, and sample some of the "heritage" acts, giving it some legend, like Sonic Youth, Throwing Muses, and Neil Young. A suprisingly energetic Michael Nyman band set in the indoor auditori was an unexpected highlight, as were a couple of new-to-me performances from Andrew Bird, and Gang Gang Dance. I was amused by Sunn O))), but sadly unable to persuade either of my companions to stay and watch more than ten minutes of their set.

More disappointing were Marnie Stern, who I'd been looking forward to seeing again, seemed to be suffering from terrible sound and equipment problems, Deerhunter transforming a great album into a weak coldplay-lite live experience, an uninspired and frankly routine Art Brut performance, and a generically dull Jarvis set.


It turns out that I edited and uploaded my photos to flickr shortly after returning to the UK, but what with all the busying and rushing around re-organising and home renovating, I seem to have forgotten to switch the set to public, at least until now.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 20:51 in gigs, music, travels.
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