The Postal Service

Ben Gibbard... Becoming a silhouette

Round-Up: Primavera Sound 2013, Thursday

Published on May 24th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams

Primavera Sound in Barcelona is flippin’ marvellous: it’s by the sea, you don’t have to camp and there are so many great acts on its lineup that it could almost be as definable by what you miss as what you actually see. Rocksucker had some difficult decisions to make in this regard last night, so take our hand and let us guide you back through the night like some kind of Ghost of Primavera Past. (No, Seinfeld fans, not primavera pasta.)

This writer’s original idea was to start with local lads Cut Your Hair on account of their delightful recent single “Mad Love”, although their 19:30 slot on the Salón Smint Myspace stage was complicated by the respective presences of Neko Case on the Primavera stage at 19:20 and White Fence on the ATP stage at 19:15. In the end, we plumped for Brooklyn folk rock trio Woods (Vice Stage, 19:15) on the recommendation of a friend, and we’re glad we did.

Primavera Sound 2013, Thursday

That’s not the Vice Stage at 19:15, that’s just a cool picture of the festival taken by Rocksucker’s resident photographer Lucas Sinclair. By the way, did we mention we were tweeting throughout the evening’s entertainment?

Little bit of idiomatic humour for you, there. Anyway, in case you were wondering what Woods sound like…

Tame Impala were ace when we saw them at Benicàssim the other year, so we were in for something of un doble Impalaístico. On the way, though…

We saw, and were very impressed by, Savages at Leeds last year so we didn’t feel too bad about missing them, for all that they are hot property at the moment. It was a shame to miss Fred i Son (“un grupo de jangle pop barcelonés”; thanks, Wiki) as we’d listened to them before and liked what we heard, but you just don’t miss an act like Tame Impala. It’s just not done.

It really does. You could say similar of Deerhunter, but they and legendary noisemakers Dinosaur Jr. sadly fell foul of clashing schedules and our need to catch a breather. The big-ass tunes and psychedelic backdrop of Tame Impala can take their tolls on body and mind, y’know; have a look for yourself…

Tame Impala

(Incidentally, Rocksucker sung along to every damn word of that first track off Innerspeaker without being able to remember for the life of us what its title is. How’s that for a product of these “iPod sitting in pocket” times? We’ve now checked, it’s called “It’s Not Meant to Be”. Oh yeah.)

Anyway, on with the shows, the next of which arguably constituted the evening’s centrepiece: Benjamin Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello, aka The Postal Service. This year marks the ten-year anniversary of their much-loved Give Up album, so it was with no little poignancy that they worked the crowd up into a lather with Gibbard’s still-elating lyrical flourishes and Tamborello’s buzzing, chiming, skittering electronics. We were even treated to some new material, albeit its presence on the Give Up reissue means a new LP is not necessarily forthcoming.

The Postal Service

True story. Fortunately it was closer to ‘dregs’ than full pint. If you happen to read this, lady in question: I really am very sorry and mortified about it. Perhaps the tiredness creeping in might work as an excuse…

Had we ventured into the Bear pit, we may never have been witness to Simian Mobile Disco spreading rapture across the Ray-Ban stage. We still miss the original Simian but it’d be churlish to argue with their current incarnation after a set like that. Those guys sure know how to work a crowd.

Simian Mobile Disco

Besides, the sound quality at the Primavera stage was so good that our choice to observe Grizzly Bear from a seated distance didn’t really impact upon the impression they gave of also being on great form…

See? As an observational aside, the sight of people rising to their weary feet in recognition of the opening chimes of “Two Weeks” brought on the following thought…

Let’s catch up with some more missed acts that we’d ideally have seen: Bob Mould, Death Grips, Phoenix, Fuck Buttons. Four Tet was a shoe-in, we’d agreed, but we were on such a high from Simian Mobile Disco that what we arrived at felt strangely subdued…

Oh well, because…

That’s because they bathe the front of the crowd in light. We’d seen it before from a distance and considered how it’d have been better to be up front, and this time we were. So, you know, that’s verified.

Animal Collective

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

Now, bring on Friday!

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About the Author

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.