What To See At Primaverasound 2015

Art & Culture

Somehow Primaverasound has reached the grand old age of 15 and, like every teen, they've got some serious celebrations in mind. We pick the top acts you need to see at this year's festival to make negotiating that HUGE line up a little easier. Plus, it'll give you more time to track down some sangria to fuel your day;

Hey Ladies

Starting with something for the riot grrrls out there, this year's bill is a real treat. First up, Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna is back with her current act The Julie Ruin. Then, for those who like their female-fronted rock a little heavier, the legendary Babes in Toyland will also be taking to the stage –  see you down the front for He's my thing! and to judge just how much of Kat Bjellands look Courtney Love stole. Let's not forget Sleater Kinney with a new album and fresh from a host of electric live shows, this is one you won't want to miss.

Just Because

Shellac, because Rambler Song, because Steve Albini was in Big Black and produced Nevermind and because Todd Trainer is possibly the greatest and most entertaining drummer ever. I'll stop there.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, everytime I hear something from them I'm amazed at how seamlessly they integrate different sounds and genres, the new album is ace too so expect a big turnout for this one.

Mac DeMarco, OK he's on every Urban Outfitter store's playlist but if you can find me a more fun live show I'll eat my sunhat. Watch him!


Speaking of fun there's some acts which put the C in celebration. Let's start with Har Mar Superstar, a man who has compensated for a lack of classical good looks with charisma in spades. He's rumoured to have slept with Kate Moss so that should give you some idea how good he is. For those times when you want pure noise and you want it now, Health have got you covered. Distorted sounds and a guaranteed energetic performance make for a mesmerising show. Jon Hopkins I'm also putting in this bracket as, while not an obvious choice, he seems to be finding his feet with bigger shows the last few years and his Field Day set last year was extra joyous thanks to giant light-up balloons he threw into the crowd.


There's something about the name of this genre I've always found annoying but given so many of my favourite acts fall under this umbrella it's getting it's own section. Also seems fitting with scene pioneers Ride on the bill this year too. The wonderful DIIV are another must see, having just heard a bunch of excellent new material at Desert Daze it's fingers crossed for more of the same here. Another act with some brilliant new songs are Cheatahs. Having spent most of this year holed up in the studio, they've recently dropped the Murasaki EP, inspired by Japanese writer Murasaki Shikibu. Taking her style of blending narratives, their dreamy layered soundscapes are the perfect translation and a fitting soundtrack for a sun drenched stage.

The Classics

The last decade has seen a resurgence in bands playing classic albums largely spearheaded by ATP. It's easy to get complacent but occasionally there's the chance to witness something really special. That's certainly the case with Patti Smith performing Horses, so get there, but go a bit late so I can get a good spot at the front first.

The Replacements, putting these guys in the punk box sometimes does a disservice to the fact that they've written some of the most romantic songs ever. Paul Westerburg's gruff exterior hides a poets soul and if you don't believe me listen to Androgynous and tell me I'm wrong.

OMD, famous for filling dance floors in the 1980's OMD's synth pop is addictive and makes for the perfect drunken singalong. YouTube Enola Gay and learn all the lyrics now.

The Slow Jams

Even at the best parties we all need a little time out so if you want to wind down we highly recommend checking out Sun Kil Moon for some folk-tinged rock, plus Mark Kozelek is always a little outspoken so you can find out if he's bored of insulting The War on Drugs or if he's found a new target. Other mellow acts include Jose Gonzalez  a man who can deliver a Kylie cover with the emotion of Jeff Buckley- no really! Zephyr Bones mellow psych-pop also makes them a great detour if you're searching for a more mellow set.

Big acts I won't bother to see but you might like

Belle and Sebastian, sorry folks twee Scottish indie-pop is just not for me, but lots of people seem to like them so if quaint melodies are your thing, worth a listen.

Albert Hammond Jr/ Julian Casablancas, probably doing them both a huge disservice here but my first thought was "Why not just play as the Strokes?" then "Oh wait they're playing too".

Finally, suncream and sweat mean those computer printouts of the lineup will be rendered useless on day one, save yourself some grief and download the Primaverasound app remember it's 2015 and technology is your friend.