We've raved on repeatedly about Barcelona's annual Primavera Sound Festival, and its unique status among music festivals as an echo of WFMU's own musical worldview. Here I'll focus on their total willingness to offer their seaside stages to not just the now & sexy reverb-drenched PYTs and long-canonized lions, but also to -- well, to guys like Gary Numan and Marc Almond.
When I first learned the line-up for this year's festival, I made no secret of my delirious happiness at Gary Numan's inclusion. I've still got the 45 of "Cars" (b/w "I Die:You Die") that I bought as a 10-year old kid, one of the first records I ever bought, and I still listen to it. From there I looked backward to Tubeway Army, and also bought the next couple solo records - but I didn't stay with him. Don't know why.
Marc Almond's a different story. He was always Tainted Love and Sex Dwarf guy, and that was it. The teenage Marc Almond fans I knew did not hang bandannas off their torn & faded Levis with the self-penned ZOSO runes, or drink Boone's Farm strawberry wine with older girls, so clearly nor was he our people. Of course, I never knew about this; and I never knew how effectively he would later fill my head as one of the lasting images of those days.
These were two of the most anticipated performers at the fest, and turned out to be two of the most surprising. WFMU was thrilled to air both their sets live from Barcelona, and we're doubly thrilled to share the sets with you now, via sexy streaming audio.
Over: some youtube I took, along with my general impressions of each set.
Gary Numan's performance was the strangest thing I saw all weekend, though I suppose it was par for the course to any fan who has stuck with Him, Assassin over the years. Here is what most of us don't know: Gary Numan has picked up not where he left off, nor developed his pop-Kraftwerk ideas; rather he's making good on the promise of Type O-Negative and Nine Inch Nails. Maybe even a little bit of Tool. Shocked was I ere I saw Numan! Ominous synth pads accompanied tight dry 2-note power guitar riffs, while Gary caterwauled in a fashion more Peter Steele than teenage alien. His set was also plagued with technical problems. A dead stage monitor delayed his set by 40 minutes, which led to the indignity of a stagehand telling him "2 more", onstage. Gary gamely trooped on, even as 80% of the (very packed) audience left after the 3rd song. Do I need to tell you what song that was?