Let´s swim in spring music
My Primavera Sound (PS) began when I stared deeply at Erlend Øye and he also saw me. In the Sala Apolo we were mere mortals eager to meet new people and live new experiences. We crossed some words and I recommended him to investigate Brazilian music. Later Wout and I went to hear the last song of the sweet Deradoorian and then we started shaking it with the masked RSS Boys. The next day Goat had a free show at Parc del Fórum. I have an LP of Goat and I was aware of their emotivdelic aesthetic, however it was unexpected to see how the Swedish band fulminated the stigma of being white and blonde by covering their identities with postmodern tribal suits.
Photos: To mask is a trend. The RSS Boys look like embroidered doggies and Goat tries to bring the audience to a magical tribal meditation
Grass, nature and being far away from the city are the first things you think when referring to a festival in Europe. If it occurs within a city, you walk around a circuit of nightlife clubs. However, thanks to the recent modernization of Barcelona, since twelve years there has been a public space for major events called Parc del Fórum. Despite the name Parc, the contact with nature is scarce, recalling brutalist architecture. The metro service was on strike during those days, hence it was difficult to reach the Fórum. We accepted that our lives without bikes were miserableand to ride a bike again was simply orgasmic.
Fotos: Brutalist aspect of Parc del Fórum. Impossibility of movement thanks to the metro strike
The festival lasts so many days and there are so many bands that the audience does not feel like being too drunk or drugged, but awake and cheerful. Silence accompanied most concerts, making ´moments´ possible, especially if the show was indoors in the huge Auditorium theater. We started our Thursday sitting there, hearing Andy Shauf, from who we did not know any song. Look how easy it is to follow him without knowing him.
The funniest musician: The singer of Beak>. He felt like known and unknown at the same time. The musician of Portishead spoke between songs, discussed with his bandmates "...but if we said that we were not going to play that song never agaaaain!" and they ended up playing it; he cursed a few times. If you ever cultured yourself listening to Can, for sure Beak> is going to trap you.
The open box with flying memories: Obviously Radiohead. You know all the songs and the ones you don´t know are "as if" you know them. It was a mellow show were many individuals travel together in and through space-time. The show was like you imagine it and it is lovely to see your predictions come true.
The tachycardia relief: After Radiohead, Animal Collective played with explorer lamps in their heads, decorative totems and pastel colors. It was perfect to watch from the stands. It was an experimental show, like if they played four songs for a pretty long time.
Photo: Totems of Animal Collective, by Marta Pérez
The failed experiment: Boredoms. I had high expectations with the Japanese. I thought they were a new band, but I met the singer at the airport and she said "we have 30 years playing, yeah yeah, I look younger thanks to the Japanese mystery that I am not going to explain you because it is 9 am".
The dance euphoria: LCD Soundsystem according to people, but for me it was the Turkish band Selda Bagcan & Boom Pam.
The most impressive lights: Sigur Rós.
Cutest: The overweight lady singing punk in Sheer Mag.
Who you want to be friend with: The Autolux drummer and singer.
Impeccable and elegant: Pj Harvey. Traditional English music from the future.
Band whose name fits perfectly with the music: Floating Points.
The worst to miss: All the early bird DJs like Todd Terje.
Unpredictable: Ty Segall. The singer took a man from the crowd and gave him the microphone. The man rolled on the floor singing. He sang, shook, laughed, thanked. A dream came true for all of us and he made us laugh out loud. The show ended with the singer saying "Ty Segall is playing in my house, my house".
EVEN MORE unpredictable: Black Lips. The singer invited a guy to the stage. The guy takes the mic and invites his girlfriend to the stage. When she arrives, he kneels down and gives her a ring. What a way!
The population of the festival: I thought I was going to feel "I am not 20 years old anymore" but it was not like that. In my opinion the average age was 34 years. Many people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, even babies and children were there. The music brought us together. There were no people particularly picturesque or disguised, as I usually see in other European festivals. It was plain and simple.
"The bread arrived": When Pantha du Prince finished his show, the festival came to an end. Then a flood of people went to the chill out area. You had to cross a bridge and queue. The crowd was so compressed that from the bottom of my soul came a cry saying "the bread arrived", remembering the current situation in Venezuela. No one around understood my joke. In the chill out we keep pretty tight in tune with DJ Disco Finale.
Meanwhile, in Venezuela: Black Lips threw 10 rolls of toilet paper to the public, in order to give a visual effect to show. It was impossible not to remember people in Venezuela.
The top of joy: It was not during a known or expected band, but quite the opposite. I have heard something of Pantha du Prince and I did not like it; but when he made his show everything was in its right place. That is why you see live shows, to recognize.
When I was EVEN happier: As a Venezuelan my unconscious believes that the best way to end a party is on the beach. At 8 am I bathed with some Irish girls in the sea. We were about to leave but we saw some people that started to cluster together. Thanks to Mo, a guy from Dubai passionated about music, people started dancing around a home sound system. His friends living in London enlivened the party and sang songs. At the spot were the Chilean guys of Tunacola, a band that played at the same time of Radiohead. To their surprise, they had an audience. Yes yes, there were people who did not see Radiohead.
The insolation of the year: During the after party, Mike said that his entire body was going to be like a bloody tomato, but not this arm. He put so much sunscreen on his right arm that it looked like body painting. He made me understand that if you want to have a sense of humor, you need to fill your life with humorous experiences.
Photos: Picturesque people. Details of Barcelona and the Fórum
On Sunday I biked around Barcelona. Every time I saw someone with a haggard face I raised my fist in the air and said "primaveeerraaa". During this trip I found that speaking only Spanish is exhausting. Of course I shared with Venezuelans and enjoyed with Spanish people; but also Dutch, Norwegians, Irish, Australians, Americans and English. My official language is no longer Spanish, but Papiamento. I am pleased to arrive home (Vienna) and know that I participated in a well-curated and organized festival, where it is obvious the commercial relationship between Barcelona and England.
Photo: After the after party of the PS
I dedicate this writing to Luz Cortazar