It’s 4pm, which in Primavera time is about 11am. Still shaking off the previous night’s hangover, it’s an absolute joy to be able to grace the site’s Auditori stage. A 3,000 capacity seated hall similar to the Barbican in London, it possesses wonderful acoustics and ridiculously cosy seating.
It’s the perfect atmosphere for Owen Pallett then, and he delivers a set consisting all of three of his LPs and a cover of recent Caribou album opener Odessa. His effortless perfection on the violin continues to amaze and the encore of The CN Tower Belongs To The Dead is an unexpected boost to our hungover heads.
The New Pornographers seem to be very popular in Spain but that doesn’t stop them sounding insufferably dull, while Scout Niblett, though breathtaking on record, sounds like a spoilt brat wailing this afternoon.
Some reassurance is found at Thee Oh Sees, a tight four-piece featuring former members of noise terrorists Coachwhips. They all play close together and facing each other, adding more intensity to a scuzzy lo-fi sound that’s similar to Times New Viking. Even if the band do appear more than a little tipsy (the banter ranges from the amusing to the unfathomable) it’s great fun all the same.
CocoRosie get sunset duties this evening and it suits them perfectly. Sierra’s incredible voice sends shivers down the spines of the heaving Ray Ban stage’s collective spine while a playful Hopscotch raises a few smiles too. Things take a slight dip towards the end with maybe a few too many new tracks; as good as Grey Oceans is, it’s not easy to digest. But Werewolf and K-Hole are both magnificent.
There’s absolutely no chance of getting near the ATP stage for Beach House, a damn shame given the surroundings, so one third of Animal Collective, Panda Bear, is next on the agenda over at Vice. Running near 20 minutes late, it’s obvious something is amiss and as Panda reaches to the microphone to inform us they’ll be no visuals this evening, disappointment is already looming in the air. The optical aspect of his sets is as much of a part as the music, and with Panda playing so much new material, minds wander off as quickly as feet.
Marc Almond is soon to stage a greatest hits tour across the UK. Unfortunately he doesn’t decide to kick it off tonight at Primavera, opting for a set of new material instead in the week of his new album Variet’s release. His voice is still superb, but the material just doesn’t hold, and the massive crowd that had initially gathered has all but evaporated by the time Tainted Love finally kicks some life into a disappointing set.
But no fear, as it’s Pixies time, and the biggest crowd of the day by some distance stretch their necks to try and catch a glimpse of Black Francis and co. Some have argued of late that the band have milked the cash cow as far as it can go, especially with no new material to speak of. But Tame, U-Mass, Bone Machine and Gouge Away all in the first 15 minutes still create an ecstatic party atmosphere. Kim Deal smiles; Francis just plays like he wants to finish as soon as possible. It matters little as people are still singing Gigantic long into the night.
If Pixies weren’t giving it their all then a lesson from Major Lazer may be what’s needed. Diplo and Switch‘s party record from last year shot to the top of several end of year lists but it’s in the live arena where they really shine. Dancers! Crowd surfing! Carnival! Ace Of Base! A set to define truly what 3 in the morning in Spain is all about.
Balaclava-clad Italian electro duo Bloody Beetroots are not massively known back at home but are clearly a huge hit here with their headline slot and sea of Spanish ravers giving it their all. The music would probably not hold up on record (there are mumbles of the word, gasp, Pendulum) but as a live spectacle it’s hard to argue with.
As the night draws to a close and the sun rears its head, Diplo returns to the Pitchfork stage for a DJ set. Given the lack of alternative options (ATP’s indie student disco isn’t quite cutting it for us) the stage is overwhelmingly busy, so much so it is making dancing difficult. So it’s time for bed at the end of day two.