This wasn’t planned
I don’t want to let too much daylight in on the magic here at Loud And Quiet, but our coverage of Primavera Sound is fairly well planned: gigs are divvied up between our writers in advance according to taste and knowledge, research is undertaken, and then out we scuttle into the field, our press cards tucked into our hat-bands, Moleskines and fountain pens poised ready to jot down all the news that’s fit to print. Something like that.
When not assigned to bring you the latest breaking stories, though, each of us bimble around the festival like any old punter, drink in one hand and clashfinder in the other, hoping to stumble over something that reminds us that, as the old unattributable maxim goes, writing about music is like dancing about architecture, and that the reason we all got into this ultimately fairly pointless game in the first place is not because we hope that if we write something witty it might be retweeted by Geoff Barrow, but because there’s something irreplaceable and inescapably life-affirming about sharing a musical event with a gaggle of strangers, spending an hour with people you’ll never talk to, look at, or probably ever see again, but who are all simultaneously forming their own individual and often indelible memories to the same sonic backdrop as you. Those transportative times, when the phrase “300 words by 11am tomorrow please” doesn’t loom large over your participation, when the person singing, for you, in person, on a stage, right now, makes you forget for a moment that you might have left the gas on before you went away, when the endless throbbing Guardian push alerts about the Tory leadership race are dwarfed by a pulsing electronic beat – those times – those are when the bliss happens.
All of which is a roundabout way to say, in case you haven’t already twigged, I went to see Robyn headline Primavera, because why not – I was there, and so was she – and it was, to slip into the vernacular for a moment, fucking perfect. I don’t know masses about Robyn beyond really liking her last two albums. I didn’t do any preparatory research. While watching, I didn’t take any notes or make an effort to commit anything to memory, because I had no plans to write about it until my editor suggested I have a go just now. Instead, I just stood there, and danced there, and stared and listened and sang there, and marvelled at the unalloyed wonder unfolding in front of me, both in the crowd and on the stage, as the crushingly familiar, near-unbearable, overwhelming, electrifying and incurably addictive adrenaline rush of falling in love was translated, again and again, into heartwrenchingly poignant pop music.