Day 2 of Festival Para Gente Sentada (FPGS) and it was a sunny day in Braga. The conditions for an easy afternoon listening to the lovely music of Peixe, Sun Blossoms and Time for T were perfect. Unfortunately life had other plans for us and, by the time we got to Braga, we’d missed all three of those shows. Or so we thought.
© Hugo Lima
First of all I have to say I’m sorry for the delay in publishing this. But a week camping under extreme weather conditions surely chew some bone and I’ve been sick this whole week. Expect my personal opinion in the next days, starting with…
So another year went by, and it’s my 6th Paredes de Coura in a row. The 20th edition was blessed by rain. Or unblessed. Anyway, before it started everybody was quite apprehensive of how it would go, every single person was full of doubts. “The lineup isn’t good enough for this special edition”, ”how come Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are going to play in the secondary stage”, “the audience is so much awkward this year*”; these statements were heard all over the place.
*(Paredes de Coura is known to have a special kind of public, which is also acknowledged by most of the bands.)
Despite some problems, Ritmos, as always proved us no wrong. They surely are the best festival producers in Portugal and they sure care for their public.
BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTT. If you’re reading this, I hope you carry the following thought in your mind until next year:
Please do something about the secondary stage. If the main stage is probably the best site to watch shows, the secondary stage position (flat ground only allows the taller people to enjoy the concerts. Plus, check the schedules. Bands like Japandroids, S. Malkmus and the Jicks should never ever be played at the second stage.
First night happened exclusively on the already famous secondary stage. All bands were Portuguese. Brass Wires Orchestra had the responsibility/pleasure of opening the stage but I wasn’t expecting much. Just another nobody-cares band like Salto or League, but, guess what? Brass Wires Orchestra was a must.
Brass Wires Orchestra © Hugo Lima
If you’re a fan of Beirut and Mumford & Sons I’m pretty sure you’ll dig these guys. With classical indie-folk instrumentation, what really pointed their sound were the brass instruments (hence the band name). Besides playing some of their originals, there was also time for covers of bands such as the Typhoons and Mumford and Sons. They saved love to end when one of their elements stated that “the last one was meant to spread the love”. And guess what name it had? “Love someone”.
Rain started to fall when Salto were almost in the middle of their show and I was getting soaking wet. Truth is, they didn’t do much to dry me up.
After a psychadelic bore by League, everybody was expecting B Fachada. Rain kept falling when he jumped into stage. Named by some as the guy who gave portuguese music confidence and usually a guy with a more intimist set, he surprised everyone when he played almost completely his new album, Criolo, which is known for using sounds not so usual to Fachada’s last records. Starting with “Quem Quer Fumar com B Fachada?” (Who wants to smoke with B Fachada?) and ending with “Deus, Pátria e Família” (God, Country, Family – a catchphrase used by our last beloved dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar) B Fachada show was more likely stolen from a tiny village ball. And that’s a good thing.
B Fachada © Hugo Lima
Portuguese’s favorite fatty Quim Albergaria was the chosen knight to close the day 0. Former The Vicious Five vocals and PAUS drummer he also has fun touching the turntable (no pun intended). His motto “I play too much Beyonce and don’t play The Smiths” somehow worked. With beats to shake even the most paraplegic of bootys, Albergaria was the perfect guy to close the stage. But c’mon, you could have played just ONE Smiths song. Moz is sad now. Ok, not just now.
Our favorite The Smiths fan © João Ruivo
Can’t say the fans didn’t try.
My personal favorite festival Paredes de Coura is just ahead and we’re here to welcome it. Almost a landmark in Portugal, Paredes de Coura is turning twenty this year. And what a big boy it has become. From the likes of Sonic Youth, Arcade Fire, Dinosaur Jr., Queens of the Stone Age, Yo La Tengo, Mogwai, PJ Harvey, Pixies, Death from Above 1979, Morrissey, Bauhaus, The Cramps (and we could keep going), the shores of river Tabuão (that sets the perfect idyllic scenery) have seen it all. More than you probably will in your whole life.