JOSH ROUSE – “I love you… would you marry me?”
There is no doubt about Antony’s gig being the great gig at this festival. But Josh Rouse’s one should be recognized as the hidden little jewel on Primavera Sound 2005. Maybe 7 PM was not the best hour to enjoy Rouse’s happy hymns: too much hot and the sun striking on audience faces… However, Josh Rouse has his loyal audience: an audience crowded in front of the stage, sweating, singing and, above all, creating the perfect ambient between personal intimacy and collective celebration.
He doesn’t need to be a sex-symbol or to carry a youngsters band showing their chests: it was pure maturity. The band was composed by adult and peculiar characters (especially the bass) who knew how to make Rouse’s songs shine. And I repeat: Josh Rouse didn’t need to appeal to sexuality or topics to seduce the audience. His simple and clear charisma lead everybody to everywhere he pleased.
Euphoria contained into his songs has made of them a bunch of perfect compositions to be cheered by masses. Due to this feedback between he and his audience, Rouse happy hymns did shine with special light amplified by a wise selection. Just when he arrived, Rouse shot down the audience with new fire: coming from his last album, “It’s the nightime” and, above all, “Winter in the Hamptons” and “Our love has gone” heated the ambient with sincere smiles and pleasant swaying. It was the beginning of a positive magic only achieved by a few artists. Little by little, Josh Rouse was catching prisoners; and, by the gig’s end, he held his better weapon: he wanted audience to remember his gig by music injuries.: “Love vibration” at first and “Slaveship” then closed an unforgetable gig. I know lyrics are easy, but it’s so funny to see the audience becoming teen-agers singing: “I told you a thousand times. I told you a thousand lines. I love you… would you marry me?”
DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS – “I’ve learnt that indecission only brings no joy”
Their album shows off Dogs Dies in Hot Car’s likings, and their live brings them nearer from XTC and Bryan Ferry. Upon the stage, they abandoned their album’s pop sound, hardening guitars and intensifying voices. It was a fail decission on Micah P. Hinson’s gig, but Dogs Die in Hot Cars did succeed: their songs were improved by this new hardness.
It’s true that they have a short repertoire (one album), but it’s enough to cheer up the audience without effort. Every song had its duty into the gig’s planning: “Godhopping” brought up people just when the show was beginning; “Paul Newman’s Eyes” was a sweet and peaceful backwater between sound explosions… and during “I love you ‘cause I have to” the audience and the band were floating all together a few feets over the ground.
It’s true they are beginning. It’s also true that Roxy Music and XTC are flying around Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ songs … But, in spite of all of that, Dogs Die in Hot Cars deserve to be closely observed, especially with this powerful live.
ASTRUD – “Todo da lo mismo… nada depende de ninguna decisión”
It was the second song played by Astrud when I started to feel some kind of going back sensation: I couldn’t avoid to remember the first time I saw them live. Among the audience there weren’t more of 20 people while Genís and Manolo performed their intellectual “boutade”. There were nothing more on Astrud’s beginning. But on Primavera Sound 2005, seeing them with such a band, so many musicians, so much light and fake glamour… I couldn’t help but disappoint. It’s true that Genís is still funny by his own existance (woman dress and hair-cut were amazing), but it’s also true that what made their music special was not about having a drum, three guitars and the kayboards. Nope: their songs are special because they are a celebration of that kind of intelligentsia separated from stupidity by a blurred line of play on words. In this gig, the first songs drowned under the heavy weight of a conventional show.
The only thing that reminded of their very start was the show performed by original members: Manolo still seems aloof and detached (an attitude lost when they performed “La boda” and “Europa” on their previous tour) and Genís… Well, Genís is Genís. He can be proud of having the funniest speech between song and song in the whole festival, referring to stupid modern trends.
There was no other option than melancholy. At least until gig’s second part was opened: Genís announced a “ballad section” when level improved due to “Cambio de forma” performance: that “ballad” didn’t need too many musicians, so it was a return to joke ambient with intellectual alibi. From that moment, they achieved to mantain this feeling until the end: “La boda”, “Somos lo peor”, “Todo nos parece una mierda” and “Hay un hombre que lo hace todo en España”, played consecutive, was like a machine-gun burst. All the audience danced and enjoyed as we did a long time ago. As the perfect ending point, “Todo da lo mismo”. If we lived on 90’s, this song would be a pop hymn. But, well, if we still lived on 90’s, Astrud still would be a “boutade”.
OUT HUD – “Dear Mr. Bush: There are over 100 words for shit and only one for music. Fuck you”
Mea culpa. Last year I couldn’t see !!!’s live on 2004 Primavera Sound, neiter on their Apolo’s gig. So I have to admit that I was waiting this gig as a “compensation”. For a start, Out Hud’s album is too far away from “Louden up now” perfection. But it’s not reason enough to expect what Out Hud did upon the stage.
The band had a great time. And, apparently, audience did so. But there were a lot of things that didn’t worked out. At first I was surprissed by the audience behaving as if they were on a The Chemical Brothers gig: cheering up and shouting on the “high” moments. At the end, the sourprising point was that even the band were provoking this kind of behaviour: they didn’t pay attention to subtleties, leading their live to easy music. However, the show neither take off: rythm explosions were unsuccessful. When their songs finished, there were some kind of sensation as “it could have been bigger”.
Anyhow, I can’t deny taht Out Hud play their best: sound had an impressive quality (altough they decided to lead this sound to easy rythm), enriched with uncommon instruments. At the end, there was this uncomfortable feeling as if you were at the middle of the way. From that point, Out Hud should decide: they can make music to fill stadiums or they can make their way towards sound minimalism. And, well, they can stay where they are or, even better, they could improve the two first possibilities, ending up nexto to “the big ones” as LCD Soundsystem or their twins, !!!.
THE GO! TEAM – “The power is on”
The Go! Team’s case is so similar to a lot of bands performing on this festival: their set was not so complete, so it meant a loss of energy on their music. Maybe The Go! Team would have enough with more voices: the only singer couldn’t express all the explosive energy contained on their studio recordings, although she defended herself very well.
Not counting the voice, it is impossible to raise objections to The Go! Team’s live: they knew how to cummunicate great amounts of that eighties-like disco-funk vitality that defines them so very well. They were not pretending much more than making the audience dance in a crazy way: they wanted us to sweat, not giving us any time for clean up our forehead. And they succeed. But I must repeat it: a little more of voice support should have made the show stronger. Because, ¿do I am the only one thinking of a choir of hysterical cheer-leaders when listening to their album?
ERLEND ØYE – “Feel my heartbeat”
Thursday and friday nights were closed in an amazing way. Erlend Øye couldn’t be less amazing, so his record’s case was full of pop hits bound to compose a sweet session saying good-bye to the festival (for this year). Pop is like this: it has a sad spot that makes it perfect for good-byes.
But it shouldn’t be any mistake: maybe Øye prefers pop, but the fact is that he gave away a selection of SONGS, in capital letters, from bands as The Cure. I must do it because I liked specially: my moment on Øye’s session was when Annie’s sweet “Heartbeat” (produced by Royksopp) invaded the dawn near the sea.
Maybe Dyre Straits were not the best option for the closure, but that fact didn’t got worse a master session where Erlend Øye prove again that he has an incredible taste selecting themes. There’s no doubt about it: it was the best selection to say good-bye until next year. The set sounded as sweet and metaphorical tears.