Saturday, June 27, 2009

Live action round up: Silversun Pickups, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart & The Horrors in Athens

June has been the busiest month of the year for live music in Athens. Actually, this is an understatement as I really can't remember any other month in recent history with so many festivals and gigs taking place in and around the city. We have already written about Synch Festival and next week we'll talk about Ejekt and Rockwave. Today's subject, though, is the three gigs that took place at the Gagarin 205 club this month, giving us the opportunity to see up close and personal three of the best new bands around at the moment, who presented us their excellent recent albums: Silversun Pickups, The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and The Horrors.

Silversun Pickups - Live @ Gagarin 205 (June 24)

The Los Angeles band that made its debut in 2005 with the EP "Pikul", is on the road to promote its second full length, "Swoon". The album, boasting a Smashing Pumpkins-sized rock sound, made it into the Billboard Top 10 and now it's Europe's turn to discover them. This discovery hasn't happened just yet, but judging by the powerful 90-minute set that we've witnessed here, it could happen soon. And it would be well deserved.

The most striking element of their performance is Brian Aubert's guitar sound. Listening to the album I thought it wouldn't be easy to recreate this buzzing guitar storm on stage with just one guitar, but Brian proved me wrong. Of course, he gets plenty of help from his band mates in recreating the album's big, spectacular soundscapes. Chris Guanlao is certainly one of the most impressive drummers I've ever seen and together with stylish (check out that red dress!) bass player Nikki Monninger they make up a killer rhythm section. Birthday boy Joe Lester (there was a small celebration at the stroke of midnight) put the finishing touches with his keyboards to the elaborate sonic construction that left the small but enthusiastic audience thoroughly pleased. Highlights included "There's no secrets this year", "Panic switch" (video below) and "Lazy eye" (their breakthrough single from debut LP "Carnavas"). Check out the night's setlist here.





Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch, Live@Gagarin 205 (June 24, 2009)

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Live @ Gagarin 205 (June 15)

This was the New York band's live debut in Athens, but it was the second time I was watching them in action in a little over two weeks, as I also had the chance to catch their fiery half-hour set in Primavera Sound's second day recently. The excitement of the band to be able to play a city that may be rich in ancient history but is so far out of the usual rock tour's beaten path, was evident from the start. Their enthusiasm grew as the sizeable audience responded enthusiastically to their vintage indie-pop sound, clapping and dancing along from start to finish. The result was a storming performance, superior to the one I saw in Barcelona, lasting a little over 50 minutes (with two encores) and taking in the majority of their stunning debut album as well as a couple of brand new tracks ("103" and "Higher than the stars"). Other highlights of this memorable night that the band declared as the best of their tour (and I have no reason to doubt them) were "This love is fucking right", "Everything with you" and new single "Young adult friction" (video below). For the setlist, click here.




The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Young Adult Friction Live@Gagarin 205 (June 15, 2009)

The Horrors - Live @ Gagarin 205 (June 10)

The Horrors, with the help of Portishead's Geoff Barrow, have taken their sound to new dimensions with their second album "Primary Colours". The gothic garage punk of "Strange House" is still present, but their sonic palette has expanded to include krautrock rhythms, psychedelic melodies, early '80s dark, new wave atmospherics and '90s shoegaze guitar soundscapes. It's obvious that they feel they have outgrown their older material as the whole of their main set comprised of 8 out of the 10 "Primary Colours" tracks, with "New ice age", new single "Who can say" (video below) and epic closer "Sea within a sea" being the most impressive. They closed their hour-long explosive performance with a three song encore made up of "Strange House" singles "Count in fives", "Sheena is a parasite" and "Gloves". The complete setlist can be found in my mixgrill review (it may be all greek to you, but the song list is written in perfect english!).





The Horrors - Who Can Say, Live@Gagarin 205 (June 10, 2009)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Best of Synch Festival 2009 (12-14/06/09)

Among the various mini music festivals taking place in and around Athens in the summertime, Synch Festival offered, for another year, the most adventurous line-up and certainly the best bet to discover new music and see some acts that you wouldn't expect to be playing here as they are virtually unknown to most. But thanks to the good reputation that the festival has created these past 6 years among the more open minded music fans, it is able to attract a crowd even when there are no big commercial names in the line-up - I mean, Rockwave has The Killers, Placebo and Moby, Ejekt offered The Pixies, Echo & The Bunnymen and Jarvis Cocker (more on this festival soon), while the Synch 2009 line-up comprised of Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics, Tortoise, Fujiya & Miyagi, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Junior Boys, The Teenagers, Squarepusher, The Bug, Ebony Bones, A Mountain Of One, The Matthew Herbert Big Band (those are the acts that I managed to watch during the first two days of the festival that I attended) and several others even more marginal and experimental (YOU, Egotrya, Cluster, Fennesz, Family Battle Snake - you get the drift).

The eclectic festival took place in the same unusual venues as last year, the former gas factory that is now the industrial museum Technopolis and Benaki Museum, in the heart of the city, near the Acropolis. The most popular act among the festival-goers turned out to be Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics with their heady fusion of African rhythms and jazz (popularized here thanks to the soundtrack of the excellent Jim Jarmusch film "Broken Flowers"), while my favorite performances came from the krautrocking electropopsters Fujiya & Miyagi, the fast rising, alternative pop diva Florence Welch and her Machine (debut album "Lungs" coming in July) and Junior Boys with their own special brand of electropop.

Here's a selection of photos and videos from some of the best acts of Synch 2009:

Fujiya & Miyagi

Florence and the Machine

Junior Boys

Friendly Fires

The Teenagers with their female fans

Ebony Bones

The Matthew Herbert Big Band

Squarepusher



Live@Synch 2009: Fujiya & Miyagi, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, Junior Boys and Mulatu Astatke & The Heliocentrics (video footage thanks to alegra and dipanos)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Listening Habits 05.2009

After blowing us away with a magnificent performance at Primavera Sound '09, Sonic Youth return with one of their best albums in this decade that seems to have a lot in common with their early '90s work. Opening tracks "Sacred trickster" and "Anti-orgasm" seem to hail straight from the "Goo" or "Dirty" recording sessions and set the tone for their first album on an independent label (Matador) in twenty years. The mellower, melodic side of the group's more recent work soon makes an appearance with tracks like "Antenna" or "Walkin blue", but the album's momentum never stops building thanks to the never ending guitar maelstrom that rages at the heart of each song. It's difficult to single out tracks from such a uniformly strong work, but "What we know", "Poison arrow" and the aforementioned "Sacred trickster" seem to be the jewels of this crown.

Other excellent albums released in the last couple of months include the adventurous, romantic rock opera "The hazards of love" by The Decemberists, the Sub Pop compilation of The Vaselines entire '80s, brilliant, indie-pop output, the psychedelic garage-krautrock meltdown of the second Wooden Shjips LP, the latest folk rock epic by the ever-prolific Conor Oberst and his new band and the second collaboration between P.J. Harvey and John Parish that has produced one of the singles of the year, the amazing "Black hearted love". Also notable is the sophomore work of The Horrors who have reinvented their sound with the help of Portishead's Geoff Barrow who handled the production duties and the return of Magik Markers with a weird but very intriguing noise-rock construction.

Top 15 Albums

1. The Eternal - SONIC YOUTH
2. The Hazards Of Love - THE DECEMBERISTS
3. Enter The Vaselines - THE VASELINES
4. Dos - WOODEN SHJIPS
5. Outer South - CONOR OBERST AND THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND
6. A Woman A Man Walked By - P.J. HARVEY & JOHN PARISH
7. Balf Quarry - MAGIK MARKERS
8. Primary Colours - THE HORRORS
9. Now We Can See - THE THERMALS
10. I Feel Cream - PEACHES
11. Kingdom Of Rust - DOVES
12. My Maudlin Career - CAMERA OBSCURA
13. Art Brut vs. Satan - ART BRUT
14. Tentacles - CRYSTAL ANTLERS
15. The Golden Hour - FIREWATER

Top 15 Tracks

1. Black hearted love - P.J. HARVEY & JOHN PARISH
2. Pearl’s dream - BAT FOR LASHES
3. You think you’re a man - THE VASELINES
4. What we know - SONIC YOUTH
5. Don't talk in your sleep - MAGIK MARKERS
6. The rake's song - THE DECEMBERISTS
7. French navy - CAMERA OBSCURA
8. Roosevelt room - CONOR OBERST AND THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND
9. Aquarian time - WOODEN SHJIPS
10. Sea with a sea - THE HORRORS
11. Rainwater cassette exchange - DEERHUNTER
12. Compulsion - DOVES
13. More - PEACHES
14. Mysterious bruises - ART BRUT
15. Now we can see - THE THERMALS


Black hearted love - P.J. HARVEY & JOHN PARISH

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Green Man Festival: The search for amazing talent is on!

Green Man Festival, the independent event which takes place in Glanusk Park, in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, boasts one of the best line-ups you'll find this summer featuring the likes of Animal Collective, Jarvis Cocker, Wilco, Bon Iver, Roky Erickson, British Sea Power, Dirty Three, Grizzly Bear, Andrew Bird, Four Tet, Vetiver, Camera Obscura, Wooden Shjips, Gang Gang Dance, The Aliens, Emmy The Great, Joe Gideon & The Shark, Broken Records, Euros Childs and many more. The festival, now in its seventh year, has recently started a worldwide search for a talented, signed or unsigned, band to open Green Man 2009, playing in front of thousands of people on the main stage on Friday August 21st!

Any act can enter this competition, called Green Poll, as long as they register before June 29 on the Green Poll microsite and upload a YouTube or MySpace video of a song performance. Then the Green Man public, meaning you, me and anyone who registers on the site to vote (and a chance to win tickets), decides the Top 6 acts who'll go through to a live Battle of the Bands final at The Camden Monarch, in London, on July 23rd, where the lucky winner will be decided by a panel of top music industry boffins. To recap, the Green Poll competition stages are the following:

Round 1 - Voting closes at midnight on June 28 and the top 20 bands with the most votes go through to…

Round 2 - Voting closes at midnight on July 12 and the top 6 bands with the most votes go through to…

Grand Final - A live Battle Of The Bands contest in London on July 23rd to find one lucky winner to open Green Man 2009 judged by a panel of music industry boffins.

Good luck to all those who'll get involved. I'm sure that the final winners will be the music fans who'll get to attend the festival between August 21 and 23. More info here. Here's Drive By Truckers from last year's festival:



Monday, June 08, 2009

Primavera Sound ’09: Day Three Review (May 30, 2009)

The third day of the Primavera Sound ’09 festival was the day of Youth & Young - Sonic Youth and Neil Young, that is - who gathered the largest crowd of the three days at the main stage.

We started the day by attending parts of the performances of Chad Vangaalen (he was well suited to this day as there are influences by both Neil Young and Sonic Youth to his electric folk), Shearwater, Jesu and the promising Plants And Animals. But the best performance of the afternoon, in my opinion, was that of the reunited Th’ Faith Healers, the early ’90s cult British band who, in their heyday, went against the grain of fashionable Brit-pop to deliver some of the most inspirational noisy krautrock of that era. Tom Cullinan’s guitar playing remains explosive, while Roxanne Stephen was in fine voice, enjoying herself and even taking some photos of the audience. They played "This time" early on and then proceeded to remind us why we loved them in the first place, with "Reptile smile" being one of my highlights of the entire festival.

Th' Faith Healers live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 30, 2009)

And then it was time for Neil Young at the main stage. As I was informed, Young hadn’t played Barcelona in more than two decades and so, in honor of his return, all other stages of the festival closed down for the duration of most of his performance. Since I had never seen him live before I didn’t particularly mind this decision, although I thought it was a bit unusual not to have any alternative choices. As you can understand, the crowd at the main stage was the largest of the three days and the Godfather of Grunge proceeded with a rocking (in the free world) set including classics like "Hey hey, my my (into the black)", "Cinnamon girl", "Cortez the killer", "Heart of gold". I’ve learned that he closed with a cover of The Beatles "A day in the life" but by that time I was checking out Oneida who had started their set with a long, noisy and repetitive jam. After seeing them play the same track for 15 minutes without changing their tune, I decided it was time for some food and rest.

With energy levels partly replenished, we watched the promising start of the Liars set (who thanked Neil Young for opening for them and Sonic Youth for closing!), but having seen them live twice in the past we decided to proceed to the nearby Rockdelux stage to see Deerhunter for the first time. The rising experimental noise-pop band seemed happy to be playing to such a large crowd, but my feeling was that their sound needed a roof above its head for better results. "Nothing ever happened" was the highlight for me and I guess that with more tracks like this, they could easily find themselves headlining festivals soon enough.

Gang Gang Dance live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 30, 2009)

As the time approached 1:00 am I had to face the most difficult dilemma of the festival. Gang Gang Dance were playing at the ATP stage at the exact same time that Sonic Youth were scheduled to start their set at the main stage. As I had never seen Gang Gang Dance live before, my decision was to catch at least the beginning of their set. A set which started impressively with the tribal drumming of LZA (Liz Bougatsos) laying the foundation for an exquisite mix of oriental melodies and idiosyncratic dance-punk rhythms. As the final notes of the third track (either "House Jam" or "First Communion" - I cannot remember, but feel free to correct me) still lingered in the air, I took the difficult decision to leave for the main stage, where a large crowd was already grooving to the Sonic Youth guitar maelstrom. First track I got to hear was "Sprawl", followed by its "Daydream Nation" companion "’Cross the breeze". Given that, in my book, "Daydream Nation" is simply the best rock album of all time, you can easily understand that I instantly forgot all about my G.G.D. dilemma and I felt the need to apologize to the Youth for even considering being unfaithful to them. What followed was the greatest 70 minutes of Primavera for me, even though it was difficult to get close to the stage where I felt that I should be. The new tracks off "The Eternal", like "Anti-orgasm" or "What we know", held their own against the old favorites like "Bull in the heather", "Tom Violence" (another festival highlight next to the "Daydream Nation" tracks) and the closing "Expressway to yr. skull”. An excellent set, with Mark Ibold from Pavement handling admirably his bass duties.

Sonic Youth live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 30, 2009)

After the guitar apotheosis of Sonic Youth it was time for the beats and the rhymes; the beats of Simian Mobile Disco's set on the Rockdelux stage, which we attended for a while ("It’s the beat" as they say), and then the unstoppable rhymes & rhythms of Def Jux head honcho El-P, one of the best underground hip-hopers of this decade, who blasted tracks off his 2007 LP "I’ll sleep when you’re dead" into the early hours of the morning.

El-P live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 30, 2009)

We left exhausted but thoroughly satisfied, thinking that we should do this all over again some other time.

Video highlights from day three of Primavera Sound '09: Sonic Youth ("Bull in the heather"), Th' Faith Healers ("Reptile Smile") and Gang Gang Dance:



Listen to the mind-blowing Sonic Youth set from Primavera here (the link comes from this thread of the Sonic Youth forum, while you can see the complete set list here).

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Primavera Sound ’09: Day Two Review (May 29, 2009)

The second day of the Primavera Sound ’09 festival turned out to be my favorite. There was no big name headliner (surely Bloc Party are big enough but they certainly don’t have the status of My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth) but there were plenty of great performances from both older, legendary acts like Throwing Muses or Shellac as well as from brand new names (The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Vivian Girls etc) .

Some of the hottest bands of the current Brooklyn scene were playing together at the Pitchfork stage, starting with Crystal Stilts and their mix of ’60s garage and mid ’80s, C86-style, indie pop. The band gave props to the Barcelona festival for the perfect weather and its location by the Mediterranean seaside and proceeded with tracks from their fine debut album “Alight of Night”, including recent single and personal favorite “Departure”. It’s certainly not easy being psychedelic this early in the afternoon but the band made a good effort.

Crystal Stilts live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 29, 2009)

The second performance we saw on Friday was certainly one of the highlights of the festival. Taking a break from the Brooklyn party at the Pitchfork stage, we headed to the nearby main stage where Bat For Lashes was the opening act. Natasha Khan and her band, featuring ex-Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, were in top form, playing most of the brilliant “Two Suns” plus highlights from debut album “Fur and Gold” (“What’s a girl to do”, “Prescilla”, “Sarah”). Bat For Lashes were able to recreate beautifully the unique mix of ethereal and upbeat pop of the two albums and Natasha’s voice was simply amazing. Dressed in zebra colors, dancing round the stage or playing keys and other unusual instruments, she was certainly one of the stars of Primavera.

Bat For Lashes live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 29, 2009)

The enchanting Bat For Lashes performance kept us at the main stage until its very last song (“Daniel”, one of the singles of the year), so we missed most of The Vivian Girls set back at the Pitchfork stage. From the 15 minutes that we did get to see, I have to say that I was duly impressed. The lo-fi production of their noisy Shop Assistants-meets-The Ramones self-titled debut mini LP didn’t prepare us for this dynamic performance which ended with the three girls swapping instruments as they were playing, taking photos of the audience and jamming in a Sonic Youth style. On this evidence, I’m looking forward for “Everything goes wrong”, their second album scheduled for a September release.

Vivian Girls live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 29, 2009)

After a bit of relaxation at the stands of the sun-drenched Rockdelux stage watching Spiritualized, we returned to the Brooklyn party to catch the 30-minute fired-up performance of up and coming newcomers The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Their set may have been brief but they managed to play, in a breathless manner, all the highlights from their recent self-titled debut, bringing the indie pop sound of the mid ’80s-early ’90s back to the limelight.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 29, 2009)

Back on the main stage, Art Brut were presenting their new material from “Art Brut vs. Satan” as well as the older hits in their usual, entertaining style, preaching the gospel according to Eddie Argos and urging their audience to form a band. Crystal Antlers raised the decibel levels at the Pitchfork stage with their psych-rock, but now it was time for us to move on to the Rockdelux stage for the performance of one of our all-time favorite bands, Throwing Muses. When Kristin Hersh reunited the band for the first time in this decade, for the 2003 self-titled album and the subsequent tour, I traveled all the way to the other side of Europe (from Athens to Dublin) to see them play. So, this was my second Throwing Muses close encounter but the experience was just as exciting as the first time. Why this band never got to be as popular as The Pixies, The Breeders or at least Tanya Donelly’s Belly is beyond me - songs like “Bright yellow gun” or set-opener “Shark” sound like massive hits to my ears but the world wouldn’t listen. Maybe they’ll get luckier this time around. Other highlights of the powerful hour-long set (which you can download by going here) included the astonishing “Vicky’s box” from the 1986 debut album, a fiery rendition of “Bea” and the set’s grand finale with “Mania”, both from 1989’s “Hunkpapa”.

Throwing Muses' Kristin Hersh live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 29, 2009)

Midnight of Primavera’s Day Two found us sitting at the stands of the ATP stage, catching our breath after all the Throwing Muses excitement, and checking out Australia’s noisemakers The Drones before moving on to the Ray-Ban Vice stage for the hardcore punk explosion of Canada’s Fucked Up. Front man Pink Eyes spent most of the set among the audience or climbing the speakers while the band played super fast and super hard. Exactly what we needed to warm up for the next highlight of Day Two; Shellac’s performance back at the ATP stage. The trio of Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer is one of the tightest punk rock units in existence and the material they have recorded in the last 16 years includes some of the most incendiary, hard-hitting songs you’ll ever hear. Their amazing set included tracks from all their years together, from the classic “Crow” off 1994’s debut “At Action Park” to “Steady as she goes” and the spectacular “The end of radio” from 2007’s “Excellent Italian Greyhound”. The speed at which they dismantled their equipment while still playing the final notes of their last song was also impressive.

Shellac live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 29, 2009)

For the end of the festival’s second day we got to listen to a few tracks from Joy Division contemporaries A Certain Ratio (including the pioneering dance punk anthem “Shack up”) before moving on to the main stage for the finale of Bloc Party’s set. “Like eating glass” was the track that stood out for me in the twenty minutes of their set that we managed to attend, but hopefully we’ll have the chance to see them again soon as they are scheduled to play in Athens on July 1st.


Live action from Primavera Sound '09 - Day Two (May 29): Bat For Lashes ("What's A Girl To Do"), The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart ("Everything With You") and Crystal Stilts ("Departure")

Watch this space for our complete report from the third and final day of the festival.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Primavera Sound ’09: Day One Review (May 28, 2009)

Without a doubt, Barcelona was the happiest city in the world for the last few days of May. On Wednesday there was the all-night celebration for the Champions League victory of the city’s most popular football team and for the next three days and nights there was Primavera Sound ’09, one of the best festivals in the indie-world. C.M.C. was there, sending you brief, postcard-sized reports and now it’s time to bring you the whole story - or, at least, the part of the story that we’ve actually witnessed, as it is humanly impossible to watch around 150 bands playing on 6 different stages in just three days.

Magik Markers' Elisa Ambrogio live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 28, 2009)

The first day of the festival started for us with Magik Markers who kicked off proceedings at the ATP stage early in the afternoon. The sun was still hot and the band seemed to be in sound check mode at first. They picked up the pace with new tracks “Psychosomatic” and “Don’t talk in your sleep” while the highlight for me was “Taste”, one of the best tracks from their previous, Lee Ranaldo produced, album “Boss”. A little before the end of their charmingly shambolic performance, we left in a hurry to catch a little bit of The Bats who were playing at the nearby Ray-Ban Vice stage. The recently reformed New Zealand legends gave us a taste of their heavenly pop hits (to borrow the title of a famous Chills track), produced down under in the '80s and early '90s. This was the first of several reunited bands from that era playing at Primavera, giving the festival the feel of an '80s-'90s class reunion. And I have to say that, in many instances, the old school gave a lesson or two to the young guns who were also present at the event.

Dashing to the main stage (the one sponsored by Estrella Damm), we got to see the end of Spectrum’s set, another representative of the '80s-'90s scene. Sonic Boom’s music was buzzing, making its usual lift off towards space and the final landing came with a track dedicated to Alan Vega.

The Vaselines live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 28, 2009)

Having seen three bands in less than 90 minutes, it was time to concentrate our attention to The Vaselines, one of Kurt Cobain’s favorite bands. Eugene Kelly and Frances McKee have joined forces once again, touring in support of the recently released compilation “Enter The Vaselines”(on Sub Pop), featuring remastered versions of all their recorded material, demos and live recordings. The band was in high spirits, taking requests from the enthusiastic audience with the prerequisite that you removed an article of clothing to have your favorite song played. There was really no need to do that as they played all their classic '80s pop tunes, including "Son of a gun", "Molly's lips", "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam", "You think you're a man" (their disco cover) and "Dum Dum". A fun lesson in indie-pop history from a highly influential band who gave us ample evidence that a bright future may still lie ahead for them.

After taking a brief noise hit courtesy of Lightning Bolt at the ATP stage, we went back to the main stage for 20 minutes of Yo La Tengo (during which they played one of their best songs ever, “Autumn sweater”) and then on to the Pitchfork stage to check out the folk melodies of Bowerbirds.

The Jesus Lizard live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 28, 2009)

But, as the time approached 10:30, I realized that this wasn’t really a good moment to be listening to folk. This was the time to run back at the ATP stage for the return of The Jesus Lizard. One of the most memorable gigs I’ve ever been to was by this band, sometime around 1993, at The Garage in London. David Yow spent more time close to the venue’s ceiling than on the stage, climbing speakers and stage-diving like a madman. Could he pull a performance like that now, after all these years? The answer was a resounding “Hell, yes”! Of course, what makes all this madness work, is one of the finest, most finely tuned punk rock machines ever - the super-tight trio of David Wm. Sims, Duane Denison and Mac McNeilly. The Jesus Lizard are back in action, as wild as ever and hungry for more mayhem.

My Bloody Valentine live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 28, 2009)

After all this excitement, it was time for some pop relaxation with Phoenix before the next shock to the system, which came a little after midnight. The extra earplugs provided to those close to the stage could not really do anything to stop the noise onslaught that My Bloody Valentine had in store for us. The music coming from the speakers seemed to aim more at our bones than our ears, being experienced more as a vibration of the body than a sound wave. What really stood out from this levelling wall of noise that hit us, were the final three tracks - three of the songs that have defined the legacy of My Bloody Valentine: "Soon", "Feed me with your kiss" and an extended version of "You made me realise" which turned into a feedback orgy.

The night ended with a little bit of the beat frenzy of Aphex Twin and a lot of the psychedelic freak-out of San Francisco’s The Wooden Shjips, who presented us their fine new album “Dos”, as well as highlights from their self-titled debut, including my favorite “We ask you to ride”.

The Wooden Shjips live@Primavera Sound '09 (May 28, 2009)




Live action from Primavera Sound '09 - Day One (May 28): Magik Markers ("Taste"), The Vaselines ("You Think You're A Man") and The Jesus Lizard ("Destroy Before Reading")


Our complete report from the second and third day of the festival coming soon..