Primavera shows Irish festival goers an alluring glimpse of ankle

The Barcelona festival is an excellent primer for what’s coming to Ireland this summer and beyond. Here’s what we caught and where you can track them down


Body and Soul, June 17-19

The act that made the most surprising impact over the weekend. Sam Shepherd has put musical muscle on to his Floating Points project and unlocked the terrific potential of his record Eleania with a full band and a more spectacular sound. He has taken the intricate, jazzy house framework of his records and added post-rock heft to live proceedings and is not afraid to let the band loose with their own improvisations. A phenomenal set.

Royal Hospital Kilmainham, June 26th

Sigur Rós had more lights, lasers and LEDs than most of the other bands combined at Primavera. Their show was spectacular and made the most of the enormous stage they had to play with. Fans of the Icelandic act will no doubt be in chilly raptures when they bring their show to Dublin. And yet: innovations are few and far between on planet Sigur. Their last release stretched their sonic template somewhat (after the departure of founding member Kjartan Sveinsson) but what we saw of them in Barcelona all had a very familiar, reverb-heavy ring to it.

Electric Picnic, September 2nd-4th

Speaking of familiar friends, expect LCD to be hugged close to Irish fans’ hearts when they land in Stradbally for their return tour. All the evidence here is that the band are whip-tight and tour-fit after making an unimpeachable argument for their return with utter professionalism.

And yet, their return does not come with a new record, so there is no new material. The hits come relentlessly during the Primavera show, opening with Us vs Them and ripping into Daft Punk Is Playing at My House, before bouncing the arena all through Tribulations, Movement and the brittle electro power of Losing My Edge. As they wind their way through final tracks Dance Yrself Clean and (of course) All My Friends, there is a sense, for those who were there first time round, that this is a bit predictable. But that could all be an analysis too far: expect Electric Picnic to be ablaze with excitement.

Electric Picnic, September 2nd-4th

Few frontwomen tackled the centre stage with the power and style of Nao Jessica Joshua (right). During her between-song banter she seemed all smiley, coy charm, but once the tracks started, the performance gloves came off to brilliant effect. Her sound is a joyous electro soul, drenched in purple shades of Prince, with more than a hint of London cool. Her debut album is due in July. Expect to hear a lot more about her in the coming months.

Longitude, July 15th

If you haven’t seen Action Bronson’s cookery show, Fuck, That’s Delicious, treat yourself. The man made in Queens is called Arian Asllani by his mum, and has perhaps the biggest presence of anyone at Primavera. In addition to peerless rapping chops, he’s not afraid to show a little emotion, and telling his mum this hip-hop lark is all for his family on Actin’ Crazy. And anyone who spits lines over consecutive samples from Sledgehammer and two Phil Collins tracks, while still seeming like the slickest act in town, deserves our respect.

Electric Picnic, September 2nd-4th

We only managed to catch a few tracks of Pantha du Prince, thanks to scheduling clashes. Reviews of his first solo record in six years have been positive to mixed, with many praising it for bringing techno into fresh emotional territory. Live it certainly has impact, with a huge crowd packing into Primavera’s most atmospheric stage to soak up its bells and whistles. This is well worth taking a chance on at Electric Picnic; here’s hoping it gets an after-dark slot.

Vicar Street, November 19th

In a rare scheduling misstep, Julia Holter’s gorgeous sounds were given a late-night slot at Primavera. Amid the more electro fare on offer, it perhaps wasn’t the best home for it. That said, it was a satisfying set of music that seemed to sharpen the stranger aspects of her sound and made for a charming break in proceeding.

These acts didn’t feature at Primavera but we have caught them in fine form in recent months. Jack Garratt put in a powerhouse performance at this year’s Other Voices, and we heard the Olympia show was no slouch either. Expect a fine shift of work from him at Electric Picnic. Another Other Voices alumnus heading to Stradbally is Little Simz, who proves nuclear power can come in tiny, terrifying packages. And look out for BadBadNotGood at Body and Soul.

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