Wu-Tang Clan at Primavera Sound 2013

Wu-Tang Clan... Ruckus well and truly brought

Round-Up: Primavera Sound 2013, Saturday

Published on May 27th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams and Nick Cole-Hamilton

Before we begin, Rocksucker would like to extend our apologies to the following acts on the Saturday bill of Primavera Sound 2013: Adam Green & Binki Shapiro, Melody’s Echo Chamber, Apparat, Dexys, Thee Oh Sees, Camera Obscura, Meat Puppets, Dan Deacon, Crystal Castles, The Suicide of Western Culture. We’d like to have seen you all perform, but there’s simply too much ace stuff going on at this most judiciously curated of festivals to catch it all.

Study that lineup: not a Mumford in sight. Take note, Glastonbury.

We were still feeling the burn from the previous two days’ worth of wall-to-wall headline-worthy acts – hey, read our round-up of Thursday and our round-up of Friday, why not? – when we rocked up some twenty minutes late for Mount Eerie’s 18:20 set at the ATP stage.

Mount Eerie at Primavera Sound

Our tiredness was in danger of being exacerbated by the sleepy sounds we arrived at, but Phil Elverum and co. summoned their death-metal-ier side to send us, re-energised, on our way for a wee wander around in the glorious sunshine, the forecast of rain inviting anxious glances at the dark clouds on the horizon. Though it would get colder, we were fortunate enough to avoid a soaking.

That’s *a* gong, not the Franco-British progressive/psychedelic rock band formed by Australian musician Daevid Allen.

Next up, at 19:40 and also on the ATP stage: jazzy, psych-y, jangly Chicago wonders The Sea and Cake.

Of course, that ‘joke’ is contingent on knowing that the front man of The Sea and Cake is named Sam Prekop. We’d had a beer or two by this point, mind, hence the slightly odd tweeting…

Er, you see, La Mer y La Torta is Spanish for The Sea and Cake, which blew our slightly sozzled and sun-addled mind on account of its sounding a bit like The Hare and The Tortoise, and The Sea and Cake’s bassist being Douglas McCombs of Tortoise. We’ve since learned that you might well be more likely to hear a Spaniard refer to un pastel or una tarta, but shut up.

The Sea and Cake was a strange experience: they were note-perfect, energetic and tight as anything, but they looked deeply displeased about something. It’s easy to play the body language expert once you’ve projected your own notions onto a situation – heck, maybe they were just tired – so we’ll refrain from any further unfounded speculation.

The Sea and Cake at Primavera Sound 2013

This was pretty much the extent of the stage banter…

Big wheel at Primavera Sound 2013

Lack of smiles aside, their set went down a treat, not least the numbers from their gleaming Runner LP of last year. Then, this…

That says all it needs to, unlike this…

Hmm.

It was starting to get a bit nippy so we went off in search of the warmth attendant with live music and a crowd of people, stumbling upon the Middle Eastern neoclassicism of Dead Can Dance on the Ray-Ban stage…

…and then…then

Wu-Tang Clan are that rare kind of supergroup: one that’s been a supergroup from the very beginning. If Ghostface Killah, RZA, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man and co. had just stood there in silence, it would still have been a must see, so it’s frankly a bonus that these titans of hip-hop are still capable of whipping up a frenzy.

Wu-Tang Clan at Primavera Sound 2013

Dropping in “Come Together” felt a bit ‘Jay-Z at Glastonbury’ but that barely even constitutes a gripe. They should be at every festival for the rest of time, because everyone needs to jump up and down shouting “bring da muthafuckin’ ruckus” once in a while.

Onto Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Heineken stage, where yer man had happily left the children’s choir behind and was prowling the front of the stage in his inimitable, impossibly commanding fashion. At this point, we’ll cut to Rocksucker’s resident Cave-ologist Nick Cole-Hamilton for a few thoughts on the set…

Nice to hear old tunes like ‘The Mercy Seat’ and ‘Jack the Ripper’…strange to end on ‘Push the Sky Away’ as it’s such a subdued track…felt a bit tired, like they weren’t giving 100%…but, being a fan of the old material, it was nice to get a good solid whack of classic Bad Seeds, albeit kind of sad because their lineup’s changed so much.

Thank you, Nick. Handy that he’s sat next to us as we’re writing this.

Yes, sometimes we like to use the royal we.

There was time enough before My Bloody Valentine’s arrival to nip to the Pitchfork stage for Liars, whose WIXIW album of last year was amongst the finest. “Trust me, they’ll be worth it” yours truly insisted, only to be let down with an oddly flat-sounding round of fairly standard electro-clash. Sound issues? Fatigue? Whatever it was, we’d left before they had the chance to win us over with the brilliantly barmy shuffle of “A Ring on Every Finger”, or the kind of laterally conceived sludge-rock avalanches that appeared on their previous LP Sisterworld. Sorry, Liars.

So, time for the makeshift tissue earplugs…

My Bloody Valentine played old songs, which were fantastic, and some songs off their new album, also fantastic. In fact, they get better each time we hear them, not least the astonishing liftoff undertaken by “Only Tomorrow” when Bilinda Butcher sends her still-beguiling voice soaring up towards the cosmos. Having seen them at Hammersmith Apollo in March, this was the second time this writer had been exposed to their ten-minute noise flare-up known as “the holocaust section”, and as such the second time we’d enjoyed the spectacle of folk fleeing the area with their hands over their ears.

My Bloody Valentine at Primavera Sound 2013

By this point, we were so knackered that we barely remember anything of Hot Chip. Suffice it to say, we didn’t make it to The Suicide of Western Culture on the Vice stage at 04:30, but we’d recommend you check them out if you happen to be a fan of enraptured synths and clickety clackety beats.

Thus concludes our three-part essay for teacher entitled What We Did in Barcelona. See you there next year? We’ll be the ones tweeting something vaguely incoherent on the outskirts of a mosh pit.

Primavera Sound 2013, you’ve been a revelation.

For more photos from Saturday at Primavera Sound 2013, check out this gallery from Rocksucker’s resident photographer Lucas Sinclair.

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About the Authors

Editor of Rocksucker and the website's founder, Jonny is passionate about the music he listens to, both good and bad, as well as interviewing his favourite musicians.


Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter for Fromageonauts, Nick is a man of fine taste: Nick Cave, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and others of that ilk. Visit Nick's very own You Better Run Records on Soundcloud.