This article was written by Cameron Poole (Superorganism, Jorja Smith, Charlotte Gainsbourg) & George King (Haim)
With the eighteenth Primavera Sound Festival in full swing, Day 2 was just as exciting as the first.
Here is our round-up of the day’s best acts.
The hive mind known as Superorganism produce electronic, bubblegum-pop tunes. If you had to sum them up in two words, ‘f**cking crazy’ might come to mind – and their set at Primavera Sound Festival was just that (in the best possible way).
With an eccentric, genius, wacky, and completely out-there lightshow that could rival even Bjork’s, Superorganism had the audience in the palm of their collective hand from the get-go at the Bacardi Stage.
Playing songs from their eponymous debut album which was released this year, lead vocalist Orono Noguchi oozed pure showmanship, just by simply being herself. It was lovely to see no persona being donned for the stage – just an eighteen year-old having fun and putting on a fantastic show.
“I fucking love it, you guys are so nice, what the fuck. You guys are hot as fuck, hot, hot, hot!” passionately claimed Orono before blasting through ‘Nobody Cares’.
Later on, the crowd went equally as wild for the group’s standout song, ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’.
Orono may be the lead vocalist, but there is no star of the show here. Like their namesake, the whole group shined throughout the gig as one superorganism.
Whether it was Ruby and the other backing vocalists singing and dancing along, or the drum and synth members going crazy, there was always someone to be amazed by and drawn to on stage.
With an utterly bonkers and capitvating set like that, the people of Barcelona and Primavera Sound Festival will not forget Supeorganism’s performance in a hurry.
“This is my first time performing in Barcelona,” said Jorja Smith during her first show in the Spanish city. But you wouldn’t believe it given the sheer size of the crowd she pulled in at the Bacardi stage.
Originating from the West Midlands, the R&B, soul-artist, first released her debut track ‘Blue Lights’ in 2016. Ever since then, the hotly-tipped artist has gone from strength to strength.
Thanks to the power of the internet, the soon to be mega-star, Jorja Smith, has collaborated with Drake on his album More Life, won the BRITS Critic’s Choice Award and featured on the Black Panther soundtrack.
It’s safe to say then that there is a lot of hype surrounding the young 20 year-old singer, but Jorja Smith’s flawless set at Primavera Sound lived up to it.
Everything was executed perfectly. From the glamorous, backdrop visual which displayed her name in big gold letters on-top of a red curtain, to the purity of her opening vocals.
Included in the set were various tracks from previous EPs, singles, and new, currently unreleased songs, such as ‘Where Did I Go?’, ‘Feb 3rd’ and hip-hop inspired new track ‘Lifeboat’.
Yet the biggest eruption from the crowd came when Jorja performed break-out single ‘Blue Lights’ and a surprise cover of TLC’s ‘No Scrubs’.
Apart from asking the Primavera Sound audience, ”how is everyone doing?!”, and stating that her forthcoming debut album is “out this time, next week,” Jorja Smith let her unrelenting talent do the talking.
Vocally, you could strike-up a comparison of Jorja sounding like a young Amy Winehouse. Both share a bluesy and soulful voice, which is powerful and raw with emotion.
By the ending of closing song ‘On My Mind’, it became clear that the Primavera Sound audience had just witnessed something truly special. For a first time performance in Barcelona by Jorja Smith, you can tell that this future global star, will be back here performing soon enough – but likely on the mainstage.
French actress and renowned musician, Charlotte Gainsbourg, set the Apple Music stage alight last night with her repertoire of synth-driven, genre-merging, R&B styled hits.
Gainsbourg’s latest album Rest was prominently on display, with raving and obscure performances of ‘Les Crocodiles’, ‘Rest’ and Deadly Valentine’.
Visually and sonically, the whole set was a triumphant success and with huge rectangle strobe lights, flickering and mimicking the pulsating drumbeats, Gainsbourg’s set was a masterclass on how to put on a show.
Over on the Mango Stage came the festival’s best performance so far.
Californian-trio Haim conquered their headline show with all the triumphant, cocksure swagger of true rockstars finally embracing their icon status. They even bookended their set with two lengthy drum solos that only they could get away with.
Appearing from a dramatic, stage-engulfing glowing red mist, front-woman Danielle theatrically eyed-up the audience, like a wrestler sniffing out an opponent just before performing the finishing move.
A barrage of tribal beats ensued, before bassist Este and guitarist Alana finally joined their sibling onstage for an awe-inspiring, synchronised display of true musicianship.
This eventually gave way to the Fleetwood Mac-inspired, echoing chorus of pop hit ‘Falling’ – its vocal outro of ”never look back, never give up” resulted in the first mass sing-along of the night.
Second track ‘Don’t Save Me’, taken from their chart-topping debut Days Are Gone, was preceded by the go-to festival call to arms of ”I wanna see you guys get fucking crazy”, whilst the disjointed, R&B strut of ‘My Song Five’, lead by Este, was delivered with an appropriate air of attitude and defiance.
A glorious purple hue provided the backdrop for the acoustic-driven plea of ‘Want You Back’, before Daniele took centre stage, and quite literally the spotlight, to unleash an emotive and harsh guitar solo.
Set-closer ‘Right Now’, the lead track from their second album Something To Tell You, burned slowly, and the audience became seemingly disengaged because of it. The reprised and impressive three-way drum outro, however, reinstated the crowd’s attention and made for a truly emphatic, if not abrupt, ending.
Words: Cameron Poole (Superorganism, Jorja Smith, Charlotte Gainsbourg) & George King (Haim)
Featured Images: Alba Ruperez (Superorganism), Dani Canto (Jorja Smith), Gabrinel Rizar (Charlotte Gainsbourg) , and Sergio Albert (Haim)