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Saturday, May 12, 2012

May is the month of music!

I haven't been posting that much lately due to work and, more pleasantly... several activities, the majority of them including music. Because May is the month of the music! With the Primavera Sound Festival (a post on the dramatic timetable is imminent, once I figure out what to do with the overlaps) about the arriving in less than three weeks, Barcelona celebrates spring with several free gigs throughout the city centre.
Promo poster.
Lemons not included.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed

Steven Munar & The Miracle Band
Sifó Bar, Barcelona, May 10th 

Among the most remarkable parallel activities that Primavera Sound offers there's the San Miguel Primavera als Bars, basically a series of free shows, from May 8th to the 26th, at several pubs around the city centre. Basically a nice way to warm the atmosphere before PS arrives, and also an attractive way to discover new bands and new places to enjoy live music while having a drink.

Steven Munar & Band at Sigó Bar.
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
In our first Primavera als Bars gig we listened Steven Munar & The Miracle Band, a local band with a curious combination of folk and pop, sometimes sounding like a less metaphoric Leonard Cohen, others like a very restful version of The Go-Betweens. They started the gig in an acoustic format, opening with a version of "Where the Wild Roses Grow" from Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, another name that easily comes to mind when you hear Munar and Co.

Although pleasant, the acoustic songs started to look a bit repetitive. But luckily, Munar welcomed his full band to the pub stage and the gig evolved into something more rewarding. Echoes from a Mediterranian Dylan or The Byrds without Rickenbackers, with the very nice addition of the saxophone and some great guitar parts. Still a bit too folkie if compared with their album sound ("Break the Rules" is pretty recommendable), they aren't groundbreaking, but definitely an enjoyable band, with a solid performance live.

Manos de Topo. Festival Plaça Odissea, Barcelona, May 11th

Branca, in-between "howlings".
Photo: Bloodbuzzed
And yesterday night, we headed to the Maremagnum, the Barcelona Port area, where the shopping and leisure mall celebrates the 6th edition of its free and open-air (next to the sea) music festival. An oddity in principle, if you consider the equation of good indie bands and a shopping mall, but a surprisingly positive reality.

After the dispensable The Last Dandies, a photocopy of many many photocopies pretending to sound like the The Strokes (yes, still in 2012), it was time for Manos de Topo. "If you hear this song in reverse, you'll hear instructions to drop 300 bombs into an European Central Bank meeting, but if you play then in a normal way, it is just a love song" said a more-bearded-than-ever Miguel Ángel Branca (making him look even crazier than usual). They are that sort of band: love them or hate them. We choose the first option, of course.

Because despite the sound wasn't spectacular, in particular affecting his vocal performance (too much noise) they are not only an eccentric/funny band, with a very peculiar lead voice (euphemism to define the singer)  looks and lyrics. They are an eccentric band with a very peculiar lead vocal, looks and lyrics with amazing songs, like "Mentirosa", "Tus Siete Diferencias", "Haz Tu Magia", or the immense "Es Feo". And live, the number of songs that excels increases, like "Lógico que Salga Mal" or "Tragedia en el Servicio de Señoras". That's why we love them.

More music tonight!

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