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Primavera Sound 2015: The top 10

The big names, the heavy hitters, the super famous. These are our picks for the top of the tops playing this year at Primavera Sound, Barcelona's humungous music festival.

Written by
Marta Salicrú

Is your favourite headliner among our selection of the big 10?

Patti Smith

1. Patti Smith

Seeing the US singer and rocker live is always an experience: the charisma and energy she exhibits on stage have to be seen to be believed. Here she’ll perform her iconic debut album 'Horses' in its entirety 40 years after its release, which will only add to the experience. If you prefer the New Yorker’s poetic side, on Saturday 30, Smith will offer an acoustic and spoken word recital (4pm). Friday 29, 8pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Tori Amos, Strand of Oaks


2. OMD

Some musicians deserve the ‘one-hit wonder’ tag, but others are baptised as such through pure ignorance. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) are mainly known for ‘Enola Gay’, but during the almost 20 years they were together, the group accumulated such a collection of anthems, the notion of associating them with just one is laughable. They’ll perform classics, but also champion their latest album, 'English Electric' (2013). Wednesday 27, 10.25pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Baxter Dury, Caribou

©Brigitte Sire

3. Sleater-Kinney

A key group in the alternative rock scene during the ’90s and up till their 2005 split, the female trio returns to the stage this year. They bring with them 'No Cities to Love' (2015), an album destined for many a ‘best of the year’ list. Filled with riffs both catchy and strong, and replete with heartbreaking lyrics, seeing it played live will be like the good kind of kick to the pit of your stomach. Friday 29, 10.20pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: The Julie Ruin, Babes in Toyland, Mourn, Les Sueques
Belle & Sebastian

4. Belle & Sebastian

The arrival of the Scottish group on the mid-'90s indie scene generated floods of imitators, and their delicate but dark chamber pop won over legions of sensitive souls. But nine years later, boredom led the band to reinvent itself (without totally abandoning its iconic sound) with 'Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance' (2015), embracing Euro disco, Balkans dance music and Brazilian percussion. Friday 29, 9.30pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: The New Pornographers, Foxygen
The Replacements

5. The Replacements

Considered among the fathers of alt-rock, if you associate them with punk, have a listen to their 1984 'Let It Be' album. It starts with ‘I Will Dare’, a jangle pop gem that's more The Go-Betweens than The Clash, light-years from the hardcore they also cultivated and symbolic of their wide-ranging back catalogue. Dissolved in 1991 and reformed in 2012, the group playing here includes original members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson. Thursday 28, 9.10pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Fucked Up, Las Ruinas
Ariel Pink

6. Ariel Pink

Pink’s psychedelic, infectious and mutant pop made him a star in the indie universe after he emerged from the ‘iunderground’. His performance at Primavera Club 2012, which saw the LA native wander the stage like a maniac, was magnetic. He’s the most prominent of those US musicians who revisit ’60s genres with an uninhibited lack of loyalty. Friday 29, 12.10am, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Mac DeMarco, Mikal Cronin
Antony and the Johnsons
© Mark Seliger

7. Antony and the Johnsons

He may not be the most prolific of musicians – and has a certain tendency to recycle – but Antony Hegarty is, above all, a performer, a singer capable of delving into your soul. Here he may give us a taste of what will be his first album since Swanlights (2010), and he's described it as ‘an electronic disc with its teeth sharpened’. Thursday 28, 10.20pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Perfume Genius, James Blake, Tobias Tesso Jr.

8. Underworld

Their song ‘Born Slippy. NUXX’ helped open the eyes and minds of ’90s indie kids, plunging them in to dance-floor hedonism. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of 'Dubnobasswithmyheadman' (1994), the album that saw them discover their distinctive sound. And It’s this that brings them to Primavera. Prepare for a long, dark session. Saturday 30, 1.30am, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Richie Hawtin, Jon Hopkins, Caribou

9. Ride

Along with My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive, this British foursome was one of the flag-bearers of shoegaze, the guitar-based adorned pop that flourished in the UK during the second half of the ’80s and start of the ’90s. Ride broke up in 1996 then reformed in 2014, and their performance at Primavera Sound 2015 will be the only opportunity to see them in Spain this year. Friday 29, 11.45pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: Spiritualized, Los Punsetes
The Strokes

10. The Strokes

They were the first group confirmed for this 15th anniversary edition of Primavera Sound, proclaimed with an ad that covered a building. This over-the-top move was justified by the fact that the quintet released their celebrated debut album Is This It' in 2001, the same year the festival began. The Strokes don’t bring any new material with them, but they do have their 2013 album, 'Comedown Machine', which signalled a return to the sounds of their earliest days. Saturday 30, 11.45pm, Parc del Fòrum.
You might also like: The Black Keys, Interpol, Julian Casablancas+The Voidz, Albert Hammond, Jr.

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