John D McGonagle
OPENING his band's second appearance at Primavera Sound in four years, Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite heaped praise upon the organisers, saying there were few other events at which he could stumble upon both Godspeed You! Black Emperor and The Buzzcocks prior to your own stage time.
Mogwai's Rave Tapes album, their eighth, was released in January and several tracks were given stirring renditions, with Remurdered in particular becoming a complex and propulsive highlight. As the song reached its thrilling crescendo multi-instrumentalist Barry Burns shot a broad smile across to his bandmates and it was clear they enjoyed the performance as much as the audience. For every new track there were venerable classics such as Mogwai Fear Satan and I'm Jim Morrison, I'm Dead.
Fellow Scots Chvrches had just one album to choose their setlist from, so there were fewer potential surprises for those at the Pitchfork Stage on the first night. It faces the sea and organisers must have wondered if fans would wade into the water to get a look at the international "buzz band" of 2013. The strong line-up saved the day as Chvrches played in opposition to Queens Of The Stone Age, so attendance was huge rather than dangerous. The Bones of What You Believe was played, catchy synthpop songs whose melodies were sung back to singer Lauren Mayberry in an enthusiastic Spanish accent.
Primavera Sound's eclecticism also opened the door for The Twilight Sad, surely the first band from Kilsyth to play the festival. The set opened with a stately Cold Days From The Birdhouse and any queries about the band's right to be on the bill evaporated. By the time vocalist James Graham performed a scorching I Became A Prostitute, the stage seemed too small for their power. The Twilight Sad's fourth album arrives due in October.