Live Review

Primavera Club, Barcelona, Saturday 26th November 2011

iI’s dancing that’s on everyone’s mind.

Waking to yet another perfect, cloudless Iberian sky, and still walking on air following Friday’s blissful dip in indie-pop, DIY had Saturday Night Fever. What’s that? Saturday night’s alright for fighting? Maybe in provincial Nowheresville but here, and judging by the line up, it’s dancing that’s on everyone’s mind. Having selected some suitable disco footwear, closer inspection of the timetable once again left us dumbfounded and depressed in equal measure. John Maus, author of one of the most intriguing yet beguiling albums of 2011, was stuck with an early shift in one of the more inaccessible venues, leaving us with a hard choice. He lost – damn you scheduling Gods! – although press room gossip later hinted that we’d dodged a bullet and a somewhat underwhelming, lacklustre set. Still, it would have been nice to make up our own minds, if only to see what all the fuss was about.

Instead, we started off with Mazes, the UK four piece sounding bright and jaunty in all their fuzz-pop glory. With a quick-fire set drawn almost exclusively from debut LP ‘A Thousand Heys’, singer Jack Cooper only paused to proclaim how warm the welcome has been and later, to lead an impromptu chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ in honour of (a visibly chuffed) drummer Neil Robinson. Either side of that, ‘Go-Betweens’ and ‘Summer Hits’ both sounded fantastic, as did the driving grunge of ‘Wait Anyway’. Best of all was the sunny sentiment of ‘Surf & Turf’ which saw sporadic attempts at dancing and some very earnest nodding down the front.

Buoyed by such heady delights, we shuffled off to catch heavily lauded and current media darlings Factory Floor. We shouldn’t have bothered. Arriving just in time to overhear a heated “debate” about what time they could or couldn’t start and finish – including the choice morsel “But Tim Burgess is with us, he won’t mind starting late!” – their dark moods probably weren’t helped by the lack of working microphones and Nic Colk’s guitar refusing to play ball. Once they eventually got going, their dark, twisted post-industrial soundscapes did sound vaguely impressive, and Gabriel Gurnsey’s live drumming is truly something to behold, but it was all about two hours to early. Guess we can’t expect the hype machine to get it right every time.

Still in the mood for trying to get down and dirty, we found ourselves once again in the main ballroom with Com Truise for company. He wasn’t alone – what is it with live drummers these days? – but even so, one man pushing buttons isn’t particularly interesting. Just as well everyone was busy getting too fucked to care, so if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right? Drinks duly purchased, we pushed our way in amongst the sweating, heaving masses, and strutted our stuff. James Lavelle, and the aforementioned Mr. Burgess took us on to stupid o’clock, and much worse indiscretions, but that’s a whole other blog. Like I said, it’s a tough job…

Tags: Mazes, Features

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