Category Archives: Festivals

The muses of La Musa: Katie Melua

Her tender and wistful singing  will create an incomparable atmosphere on the 13th  July.  At the age of only eight years old, the artist moved to Northern Ireland, and a few years later settled in London where she was discovered by Mike Batt, the producer and composer known for creatingThe Wombles, who introduced her to the British music scene.  This singer from Georgia rediscovered her traditional, sensitive and delicately passionate style;  elegant pop  with hints of jazz and blues which will leave no one unmoved. Tonight at Festival Jardins de Pedralbes.

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Festival Cruïlla 2018

The eclectic Cruïlla music festival is a favourite for locals in the Barcelona summer festival season, and it celebrates its ninth year running on July 12, 13 and 14 in the Parc del Fòrum with a line-up of some 40 performances featuring all kinds of musical styles, and featuring veterans as well as up-and-comers.

One of the headliners is the great David Byrne, who not only was the frontman for the legendary Talking Heads but has also enjoyed an extensive and fruitful solo career and is one of the first English-speaking stars to open up his sound to include Latin and African rhythms. Fans of rock rooted in Americana are excited about the addition of Jack White to the line-up, with his third solo album, ‘Boarding House Reach’ (2018), and of bluesman Seasick Steve. For fans of rap and urban music, don’t miss The RootsN*E*R*D (Pharrell Williams among them), Prophets of Rage (the supergroup made up of members of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Chuck D and DJ Lord Public Enemy, plus B-Real from Cypress Hill), and British outfit Bugzy Malone, showing off the harder side of hip hop.

Electronic music fans won’t be disappointed either with the French duo Justice, British duo Orbital, drum & bass duo Chase & Status, and Norwegian producer Kygo.

Look forward to roots music from Brazil’s Gilberto GilFatoumata Diawara from Mali, and American reggae band Soja. In addition to Diawara, Cruïlla’s other important female voices are English singer-songwriter Jessie Ware, and French musician Camille, who’s comfortable with both pop and the avant-garde and whatever lies between.

Reggae heir Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley is back at the festival after his 2015 performance, and now he presents his latest album, ‘Stony Hill’ (2017); Colombian duo Bomba Estéreo, one of the most internationally well-known groups on the new wave of alternative Latin American pop also takes to the stage.

More locally, Spanish and Catalan performers include Núria GrahamThe New RaemonMi CapitánBelakoLa PegatinaEls CatarresLa M.O.D.A., the Always Drinking Marching BandLori MeyersElefantesBlaumutRamon Mirabet and Joan Dausà, Madrid’s Izal with their epic pop, and from nearby Vic Joana Serrat.

Completing the line-up are LP, the alias of American singer-songwriter Laura Pergolizzi; English singer-songwriter Ben Howard; New York rock band The Last Internationale; and Peruvian folk-pop group We the Lion; as well as Fura dels Baus and Aquelarre de Cervera, who add a stage-performance ingredient to the festival cocktail.

Local Bands: Mourn

Mourn began their career in 2014 and, after the release of their self-titled debut, they became one of the sensations of the season inside and outside the national borders. With a brazen and powerful guitar rock influenced by the sound of the 90s, the Cabrils-based youth quartet returned last year with a new EP titled Over The Wall (Captured Tracks, 2017). Tonight at Vida Festtival.

Vida Festival 2018

The Vida festival has become one of the musts on the Catalan summer music festival calendar in record time, and it celebrates its fifth anniversary this year with a line-up that’s got us all ready to get to the Masia d’en Cabanyes just down the coast in Vilanova i la Geltrú from June 28 to July 1.

St. Vincent is one of the headliners this year, as she presents ‘Masseduction’ (2017), the latest album from the American singer-songwriter and guitarist also known as Annie Clark; Scottish band Franz Ferdinand also present their new effort, ‘Always Ascending’ (2018); and Of Montreal, American indie artist Kevin Barnes’s project, also debut tracks from their album ‘White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood’ (2018); English singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey presents his second solo work, ‘Wake Up Now’ (2017); and the legendary band out of Arizona Calexico, led by Joey Burns and John Convertino, take to the stages once again with their ninth album, ‘The Thread That Keeps Us’ (2018). Other international acts to check out include singer-songwriters Elvis PerkinsBart Davenportand Josh Rouse; noise from Hookworms; krautdisco from DBFC; and guitar pop from newcomers out of Norway, Great News.

More local acts include Los Planetas, one of the biggest bands on the Spanish music scene, who come along with their ninth album, ‘Zona temporalmente autónoma’ (2017), under their arm as well; El Petit de Cal Eril, the band led by Joan Pons, bring their metaphysical pop and the psychedelia of their live shows to the festival with their own ninth album, dubbed ‘Δ’ (2018); the six-piece Oso Leone from Mallorca also present a new, and much-anticipated, album, which is released this year and shows off their more electronic and R&B sides; and the mathrock duo ZA! also have new music to show off.

You can also check out fast and powerful pop from young Valencian band La Plata; the mix of krautrock, metal and pscyhedelia that Medalla have for you; punk from Galician outfit Novedades Carminha; and from Murcia it’s Perro, among others.

Sónar 2018 #Saturday Night

El Sónar diu adéu a la seva 25a edició amb una jornada nocturna que farà desfilar per la Fira Gran Via noms com els del grup novaiorquès LCD Soundsytem, ​​projecte liderat per James Murphy, que estarà presentant un espectacle en exclusiva en el qual interpretaran tant els temes del seu disc ‘American dream’ (2017), com els seus grans hits; Thom Yorke, líder de Radiohead, repassarà tota la seva trajectòria al costat del productor Nigel Godrich i l’artista multidisciplinari Tarik Barri; Richie Hawtin arribarà al festival amb el seu multipremiat xou ‘Close’, la posada en escena del qual presenta una configuració audiovisual avançada i íntima plena de càmeres d’infrarojos que es projecten sobre un complex dispositiu de pantalles; l’MC de Washington GoldLink, un dels artistes hip-hop més dotats del sempre poblat panorama nord-americà; John Talabot, un dels productors espanyols més admirats i reconeguts internacionalment conduirà una de les sessions de 6 hores que proposa SonarCar; el costat més emocional i humà del house de l’artista transgènere Octo Octa o la productora de Los Angeles TOKiMONSTA presentant el seu nou xou audiovisual en directe.

Sónar 2018 #Saturday Day

La tercera i última jornada del Sónar de Dia 2018 proposa cites imprescindibles com la nova experiència visual i sensorial del reverenciat artista japonès Cornelius, que presentarà el seu nou disc, ‘Mellow waves’ (2017), marcat per l’emotivitat de les seves composicions i el perfecte equilibri entre melodies, veus i ritmes sintètics; veurem també als germans belgues 2manydjs, que després de posar punt i final a tres dies d’experiència DESPACIO al costat de James Murphy tancaran el Sónar de Dia amb una de les seves festives sessions; el llegendari bateria i col·laborador de Fela Kuti Tony Allen actuarà al costat d’Amp Fiddler, pilar del funk de Detroit; Nathy Peluso i el seu trap i soul contemporani; l’MC i productor mallorquí Rels B, un dels últims renovadors del hip hop estatal; Steve Lean, productor clau en el nou so urbà i el trap a Espanya, responsable del so de PXXR GVNG i productor de l’últim mixtape de Yung Beef o el restaurador del trance Lorenzo Senni.

Sónar 2018 #Friday Day

La segona jornada del Sónar de Dia veurà l’estrena de la esperada nova proposta més d’una de les artistes més importants del moment, Rosalía, que després de triomfar al costat de Refree -que també actua en solitari avui al festival- presenta ‘El mal querer’ (2018), el seu esperat nou disc, del qual en coneixem només un potent tema, ‘Malamente’ i on promet nou format en directe i nou so més enllà del flamenc amb producció de El Guincho; un altre dels plats forts de divendres serà ‘Diplo presents’, on el DJ i productor nord-americà reunirà en viu als seus artistes africans emergents favorits –Distruction Boyz (Sud-àfrica), Mr EAZI (Nigèria) i Kampire (Uganda) en un showcase que ell mateix tancarà; la experiència audiovisual que serà el concert de la productora, compositora i DJ anglesa SOPHIE, que ha desafiat i redefinit les idees de la cultura pop amb una música tant dura com adictivament pop; el nou espectacle de so i llum de l’alemany Carsten Niolai, més conegut com Alva Noto; l’enigmàtic artista napolità Liberato, nou rei de la música urbana a Itàlia; la sempre imprescindible Laurel Halo; el nou talent britànic de la DJ Jamz Supernova o l’islandès Ólafur Arnalds, que tornarà a Sónar per presentar un disc nou, en plena fase de gestació amb un ensemble d’instrumentistes reunits especialment per acompanyar-lo en aquesta renovada fase de la seva carrera.