Last week I went to Summercase in Barcelona and here's my experiences.
After the routinely nonsense involving wristbands, tickets,security checks, we finally were let in the site and just in time to see one of the first major acts of the day : Ian Brown. Now admit i'm not a huge fan of Ian Brown's solo work, However I did know that he's been including Stone Roses songs in his sets and I was waiting for that. After being ten minutes late, Brown sauntered on staged, To be honest he looked worse for wear and was dressed in a pink and black tracksuit and burst into the turgid songs of his recent solo album. During these awful songs I kept wondering if this guy actually penned she bangs the drums and other songs which i listened to in my youth. Plus the crowd, consisting of English people yelling FOOKIN MAN FOOKIN CHESTAAAAA and FOOKIN' IAN BROOOOOOOOOOOOOON didn't really help.
then it happened.
Brown introduced his band and then Mani (ex Stone Roses bassist) came onstage and they burst into Waterfall, Made of Stone and I am the Resurrection. Every single person cheered jumped and clapped.Thankfully he ended his set with another of his better solo songs F.E.A.R and that was it. Started weakly but came out strong.
After brown departed, there was a 20 minute wait, then out of nowhere Jim Sclavunos, Martyn Casey and Warren Ellis all take their places and start and an almighty racket,in this mad rush, Nick Cave runs in an bursts into song. A great introduction to the Grinderman experience. To say my jaw dropped was an understatement. The man captivated the whole audience for his one hour slot and whether he played a vox insanely, wore a t-shirt as a skirt, screamed at the audience he kept everyone's attention. The man is a natural showman (and so is Warren Ellis for that fact), even when there's a technical fault he took it coolly and made it seem as part of the act. He also debuted (or so he said) a new track from the forthcoming second album (out late this year or early next) which was called Dream, which sounded like a sinister version of U2's 'One'. Obviously the highlight was 'No Pussy Blues', which started a violent bout of moshing. Personally this was my highlight of the day.
Due to hideous timetable clashes I had to miss out Blondie so instead I opted to stay at the main stage and watch Interpol. Now I have slagged this band a lot in the past due to the fact their last two albums did not reach the heights of their glorious debut. However once they opened the gig with 'Pioneer to the Falls' I got gooseflesh and everything single thing about them made a lot of sense. First of all the band's stage presence is amazing. Paul Banks has a stare which can kill at 50 miles and guitarist Daniel Kessler is the complete opposite, his goofball persona provides a great counterbalance to Banks steel stance and he was the only one who didn't freak out when technical difficulties occurred. Also their fans are dedicated and sang along to nearly all the songs in their set.
First the group started out with rockier numbers such as slow hands narc and so on but towards the middle of the set they played the lighthouse and wrecking Ball and then closed their set with more energetic numbers, last two songs being evil and obstacle 2.
in a word the gig was hypnotic and there was a heavy moshpit to boot.
After feeling quite high after Interpol we trundled down to the other side of the area to watch Cornelius On the whole, bar maybe five songs, I'm quite unfamliar with his work. In fact I thought it would be one guy and a laptop.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
When the dropcloth fell down (yes they played behind one for a couple of minutes) I saw a six piece band, a movie screen and lights all in sync with the group's trademark poppy noodling. It was an eye popping hour. The star of the show was not lead singer Keigo Oyamada but the awesome drummer that seemed to have total control over the band, in fact it was the only show I saw during those two days that did not have a technical difficulty and pleased both the eyes and the ears.
After Cornelius relaxed every bone in our body, we decided to bring up our energy levels again, so why not go over to the walkman stage and check out Primal Scream.
I have heard and read over the years about how the Scream are a thrilling live band and since i know their discography quite well, I was looking forward to the gig.
tha band started off with a ripping version of new single 'Don't go back' and equally eart quaking version of Miss. Lucifer and then a great rendition of sonic sister love. Bobby Gillespie was in his full lanky glory, dropping the mike prancing across the stage and looking cool.
then the decline happened.
for the rest of the gig, PS previewed four new tracks from their new album and they didnt sound good AT ALL, in fact they lulled the audience to sleep. Maybe they were still trying the stuff out and it will sound better in the future but here it created a lull.
finally they got the pace back up playing Swastika eyes, an ultra fast version of rocks and closing with a rousing version of 'Country Girl' A song i never really liked until now.
on the whole it was a good gig but I felt there was something lacking, anti climatic even. The mid gig lull affected me and I couldnt really get into the band, even when the strains of Swastika Eyes could be heard.
and thus ended the first day
Band of Day 1 - Grinderman
Worst band of Day 1 - Ian Brown
Nice Surprise of day 1 - Cornelius