It's 6am and I'm oot ma nut on a beach telling myself I'm climbing an invisible spider monkey. This is one of the hazier memories that springs to mind when I think about my first visit to the fair city of Barcelona last summer. My friends and I decided to go on a wee trip last summer and picked Spain's finest as our destination. We did all the usual touristy stuff, taking in the city and ALL it had to offer; needless to say we had an amazing time. Some things we remember, some things we don't and some things come back in flashbacks that give me the fear. One of my lasting memories is being on the cable cars that tower over the city and looking down the beach and seeing the Forum Esplanade, remembering it from a video about Primavera Sound Festival. I looked out at it thinking how much I'd love to play the festival and our music in Barcelona at some point. I was soon awoken from my day dream by Brendan, who plays keys with the band, trying to rock the car to make me sick. There are many reasons I'm looking forward to playing Primavera this year, but here are the five heavyweight reasons:
The Line Up
To me Primavera is one of the most prestigious festivals in the world and to be invited to play not only once but twice (we might play Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters in full on the Saturday) over the whole weekend is a real privilege. I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing our name on the same bill as bands such as Arcade Fire, The National, NIN, Pixies and Television. It's as if the promoters had a look at my record collection when selecting the line up this year. I can't wait to play but I'm just as excited to be in the audience watching some of my favourite bands. Watching Pixies play Where is my Mind next to the beach where I nearly lost mine a year ago is bound to be a highlight.
Our Own Performance
I'm genuinely excited about playing. We'll have just finished our new record (it's being mixed as I write this) so we'll be playing a few songs from that in our main performance on the Friday night. I suppose it might be seen as a risk to play new songs at a festival but we're not a band to shy away from pushing ourselves. I suppose it shows how excited we are about our new songs that we can't wait to play them. The Friday night performance will be a mixture of all four of our records but we are seriously considering playing our debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters in full for our show on the Saturday in the city centre. All in all we are thrilled to be bringing our drunken Scottish miserable music to one of Europe's finest cities and festivals.
The City Itself
I'm not an art lover, in fact I remember coming away with the profound statement whilst talking to my friend Joe in Barcelona last year that "art is shite". Of course I don't mean that entirely. Whilst I might not appreciate some art I do appreciate when a city is as architecturally beautiful as Barcelona. I really think it is has it's own personality and a very individual character and feel about it. We walked/drunkenly stumbled the length and breadth of the city last year. We went to the market for lunch most days and, whilst not a Spanish delicacy, I did discover a Kinder chocolate ice cream which blew my mind. We didn't get a chance to visit the famous Nou Camp stadium and as big football fans we were pretty disappointed, so I think I'll remedy that this time.
Ok so we are Scottish, we don't react that well to hot, sunny weather. If you see a bunch of guys that are pale but red in places hiding in the shade it will probably be us. I'm glad the festival is at night, I don't think we could take the heat to be honest. Although I think our Saturday show is in the afternoon, so we'll be stocking up on factor 50 sun block for that. Joking aside it will be really nice to be in the sunshine for a few days as we don't see much of it here in Glasgow.
Enjoying the Festival with Family and Friends
Once we were confirmed to play Primavera a few of us in the band and some of our good friends decided we'd fly over to Barcelona a few days before the festival for a wee holiday. It's going to be a good opportunity to catch up with people. CHVRCHES and Mogwai are playing and we've been good friends for a long time so Primavera has a bit of a Scottish invasion on its hands this year. Martin from CHVRCHES is one of my best friends and he's had an amazing year but we haven't had a lot of time to hang out so we're sharing an apartment with some other pals. Grant from Frightened Rabbit is coming along as well, so it's going to get messy. I've got family coming over too as I didn't want them to miss it.
So, all in all, I think you can tell I'm pretty excited about our first ever performance in Spain and for it to be at such an amazing festival makes it even more special.