Sunday, August 16, 2009

Primavera 2009

I had a great time. The quality of the acts was superb and they all played great sets. The venue is one of the best I have seen. Maybe a liitle too much concrete but its better than the Gold Coast Parklands dustbowl. The Spanish smoke more than I could have imagined possible and on Friday night it actually made Debbie and I ill enough to leave early.

My only real complaint was the sound, mainly at the ATP stage but also Vice. The bass sound was overwhelming sometimes. It made Jesu almost unlistenable. I could see a guy playing guitar but could barely hear him. I could however feel the bass and the backing track in my chest. The mix for the Drones meant you could barely hear Gareth's guitar [when it worked] and you could hear every note the bass played. Same with Jay Reatard at Vice and to a lesser extent Oneida. The Rockdelux and Pitchfork stages were OK. Didn't see enough on the Main Stage to make much comment but it seemed alright.

On the Primavera Forums when I mentioned it few had similar comments. Some mentioned sweet spots but really you should be able to get listenable sound anywhere except close to the speakers and maybe right down the front depending on what is coming off the stage. We have sound guys in Australia who think their mission in life is to let everyone hear the drums, I mean really hear the drums, but this was ridiculous.

Anyway I saw

The Vaselines
Jesus Lizard
The Bats
Jay Reatard
Sleepy Sun
Carsick Cars
The Drones

and at the Joan Miro Park on Saturday
Sleepy Sun again

The park show was magic. 150 people maybe under the palm trees in the early afternoon with a couple of beers.

All of those I recorded except SunnO))) for battery reasons and The Bats where I don't know what happened really, the first 4 minutes are fine then it just disappears. Pity, cause they wee excellent.

Debbie [my wife] saw Shearwater, and Daisy Kitty & Lewis and thought they were great.
I saw most of Lions Constellation from a ticket line so i didn't record them but they were pretty good.

We went to see Bat For Lashes but just didn't find it interesting enough to stay. Magnolia Electric Company was the same. The set started off quite slow and did not grab me at all and in any case I have a set from Splendour a couple of years ago which is quite good.

Tried to see Neil Young and MBV and Sonic Youth but the crowds were terrible. As in large. Young and Sonic Youth I have seen before but MBV would have been good.

I am beginning to think I would be no good at the larger festivals like Roskilde or Rock Wetcher. Or the US shows like Coachella.

I will return for Primavera as soon as I figure which rich aunt is least likely to be missed.


Anonymous said...

Maybe I could get the Ponytail set to post on my blog? Ponytail is a big hometown favorite in Baltimore, and it's good to see them being taped elsewhere. Feel free to contact me at



Anonymous said...

Excellent recording! Fantastic set by Ponytail.