NOS Primavera Sound 2018: printable timetables & playlist

It’s that time of the year again! The seventh edition of the Porto edition of the Primavera Sound festival brings along the seventh edition of our printable timetables you all know and love, and, with it, our seventh preview of the lineup.

Download the timetables (always subject to change; Liminal Soundbath was cancelled): Regular PDFMobile PDF / Customisable Excel file

Meanwhile, we have also published our usual headliner-free Primavera Spotify playlist (check the end of the post) so you can check out some of the smaller names on the lineup that deserve our seal of approval. We tried to achieve a balance between local artists, songwriters, indie pop/rock, electronica and stuff you cannot really fit in a single basket. Some have been around for a while (Shellac, Wolf Parade, The Twilight Sad…), others are quickly establishing themselves as household names on their genres (Waxahatchee, Thundercat, Amen Dunes…) while others are still giving their first steps on festival lineups (DJ Lycox, Jay Som, Fogo Fogo…). All aboard.

Thursday, June 7th

First day usually means people are not coming to the festival early because they’re either working or being a tourist in downtown Porto and we obviously cannot blame anyone who decides to do something else in the limited time they have in such a beautiful town you don’t see every day. But, as we will see, this year, some of the most interesting acts play fairly early, starting with Fogo Fogo (SEAT stage, 17:30) paying homage to Cape Verdean funaná, followed by the unique songwriting of Waxahatchee (NOS stage, 18:20) and the classic indie rock of the Scottish band The Twilight Sad (SEAT, 19:15). Later on, after headliners Father John Misty and Lorde, Lisbon dance outfit Moullinex (Super Bock stage, 23:20) opens the dance floor of a very energetic last third of the day.

Friday, June 8th

Again, there’s way too much stuff to see right from the start: local stoner mammoths Black Bombaim (Super Bock, 17:00) give way to one of the finest songwriters on the festival this year. Amen Dunes (SEAT, 18:00) is back with an unmissable new record, and while you’re still cherishing what you’ve just seen, Zeal & Ardor (Super Bock, 18:50) will provide a challenge even for those who thought they’ve seen it all. There’s nothing wrong with mixing gospel and blues with noisy metal. Then, even though the overlapping acts are strong, don’t even think about missing the reason why we all sign up for this, the annual celebration of SHELLAC OF NORTH AMERICA (Super Bock, 21:00). Then, as the night starts to cool off, you can be sure you won’t feel cold dancing to the sweet kuduro-ish tunes of DJ Lycox (Bits stage, 23:00) in the new electronic stage of the festival, before immersing yourself in the world of Thundercat (Pitchfork stage, 23:30), the coolest and grooviest bass guitar player around.

Saturday, June 9th

You don’t need to understand Portuguese to appreciate the pop melodies of Luís Severo (SEAT, 17:00). Then stick around for Aussie indie rockers (with a touch of twang) Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever (SEAT, 18:00), the nightmare of anyone that makes printable festival timetables and has to adjust column sizes to adapt to long band names. Young songwriters Vagabon (Pitchfork, 19:00) and Jay Som (Pitchfork, 22:00) also make their first appearance in Portugal and are not to be missed, but the latter has a mountain to climb, playing at the same time headliner Nick Cave takes the stage and at the same time Wolf Parade (SEAT, 21:45) finally play their debut show in the peninsula, thirteen years after the seminal Apologies to the Queen Mary. It’s a tough call, but we’re sorry, Nick. And good luck trying to choose between The War on Drugs and Nils Frahm later on. We’ll just leave you with a small playlist with a few songs you should listen to.


Vodafone Paredes de Coura 2016: welcome to our top ten


You and everyone you know already know you shouldn’t miss LCD Soundsystem, The Tallest Man on Earth, Sleaford Mods, and Thee Oh Sees, so we’ll skip the obvious parts of the programme and go straight to the fine print. 

MINOR VICTORIES (Wednesday 17): Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell and Mogwai’s Stuart Braithwaite – two old favorites of the Paredes de Coura crowd (Slowdive has played the festival last year; Mogwai were there in 1999 and 2011) are half of this so-called superband, along with the Lockey brothers (you might recognize Justin as Editors’ guitar player). Minor Victories’ self-titled debut album sounds exactly like you think it does: dark pop rock passing through a post-rock filter.


RYLEY WALKER (Thursday 18): Walker’s concert at Paredes de Coura is the last before Golden Sings That Have Been Sung, his third LP, finally sees the light of day. Playing his first Portugal show ever, the American guitarist closely follows the footsteps of Steve Gunn, who debuted in the country exactly in the second day of the last year’s edition of the festival. Here’s to hoping the weather will be great while he plays – his “contemplative” guitar work is an ode to the sun.

WHITNEY (Thursday 18): Rising from the ashes of late-00s indie darlings Smith Westerns, Whitney has just released their debut album, Light Upon the Lake, on Secretly Canadian, to almost universal acclaim. Right place at the right time for someone who fancies the record, something that’s not so usual for Portuguese fans.


JOANA SERRAT (Thursday 18): The Catalan singer-songwriter signed to Primavera Sound’s record label finally crosses the border to Portugal. Her newest album, Cross the Verge, was recorded at the mighty Hotel2Tango in Montréal, a name that instantly tickles the brain of any Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Vic Chesnutt, Basia Bulat, or Arcade Fire fan.

SUUNS (Thursday 18): It’s SUUNS’ fourth time in Portugal, after a delightful tour with Battles some five years ago, a clubshow alongside Jerusalem in My Heart in Lisbon and a more recent trip to the Azores islands at the Tremor festival this year. The synthy, psychedelic outfit will certainly have a blast where they seem to fit better: the after-hours stage, as that post-LCD Soundsystem balm not everyone wants because they still don’t know they need it.


KEVIN MORBY (Friday 19): The absolute champion of the Now everybody likes it label returns to Portugal for the third time, less than two years after his debut at a Bolachas-organized concert in Aveiro. Now playing for way more than the seventy lucky people who witnessed his first concert in the country, the LA-based singer-songwriter who was once half of The Babies and the bass player for Woods will present the songs off his third LP, Singing Saw, released earlier this week.

JACCO GARDNER (Friday 19): As a Portuguese living in the Netherlands, it’s not hard to understand why the Dutch songwriter (and master melody crafter) can usually be found enjoying the Portuguese summer every year. I don’t know who’s the luckiest, the ones who are able to witness his live shows or Jacco himself. Be sure to bring a sweater for the cold nights of Coura, though. It can be as cold as your typical summer day in Terschelling.


PSYCHIC ILLS (Friday 19): Their transformation from being a duo playing exploratory trippy niche music for 20 people in old basements ten years ago to a full grown six piece band that draws big crowds in festivals is one to behold. Carrying their latest album, Inner Journey Out, all around Europe since the beginning of this summer, this is the opportunity to see Psychic Ills in their prime.

SEAN RILEY & THE SLOWRIDERS (Friday 19): This summer was supposed to be one to celebrate for the Coimbra-based indie rock band, playing two of the biggest festivals in the country (NOS Alive and Vodafone Paredes de Coura) after the release of their third album in the beginning of April. But since tragedy struck the band with the disappearance of bassist Bruno Simões last June, it’s his life and legacy that will be celebrated instead. 


LUST FOR YOUTH (Saturday 20): The last band in the last night of the festival. Hannes Norrvide and his pals created some waves with International a couple of years ago, and they’re back in the country with a new album released in the spring. If you’re into Scandinavian danceable (but not euphoric) electronica, this is what you want to finish your Paredes de Coura experience.


NOS Primavera Sound 2016: 16 artists you shouldn’t miss

NOS Primavera Sound 2016 (NPS16) starts next Thursday, and who wouldn’t be excited to be there again? On top of that, just imagine you’ve moved from Portugal to a less sunny place. Of course you would be counting the hours. Now, practical stuff: have you printed the lovely timetables we made? Still having trouble deciding what to see? Our weekly Spotify playlist is entirely dedicated to NPS16. Check it out on the widget below, then read our festival preview.


Festival para Gente Sentada – the preview

The first thing you need to know about Festival Para Gente Sentada (FPGS) is the
meaning of this long name. It translates quite literally to “Festival For
Seated People” and this should be enough to make you understand how much
this festival values a comfortable and intimate music-listening experience over
the massive-crowd and wild-party experience offered by most live music events. Over
the past decade, this festival has prided itself on its carefully curated
line-up (including names like Bill Callahan, Sufjan Stevens or Low*) that
attracts festivalgoers for the music itself and not for some other gimmick.

This year the festival moved from Santa Maria da Feira
(a small town between Porto and Aveiro) to Braga. This move allowed the
festival to grow and evolve a little into its biggest and most ecletic edition
ever spreading all across Braga’s downtown. The main stage is the jawdropping Theatro
Circo (a century-old theatre in the heart of Braga) and it will accommodate the
biggest and most sounding names from the billboard. But that’s not all there is.
The small downtown stages, spread across the city, will feature a handful of
up-and-coming portuguese acts and the very hip and modern GNRation (an old
military headquarter recently turned into a culture hub) will surely make us
forget all about Theatro Circo’s comfy chairs and make us dance well into the
night in a sort of after-hours party.

Braga’s Theatro
Circo, easily one of the most beautiful venues in Portugal

Onto what really matters: looking at this year’s
line-up we can’t help but feel that the festival played it a bit safe – the
change of setting was probably a big enough risk already – and chose to somehow
“recycle” some of the names from NOS Primavera Sound. At first this  might sound like a flaw but, when you really
think about it, this might actually be great news because, the truth is, we
can’t get enough of Howe Gelb’s
bohemian-gentleman charm and, in this year’s NOS Primavera Sound, we actually
had to cut Yasmine Hamdan’s set
short to go see Giant Sand’s concert in full. This will be a great chance to see them both again and we’re pretty
sure both acts will benefit from moving into an indoors venue.

Sand’s Howe Gelb covered in kitties and Yasmine Hamdan covered in glittery tulle.
Who looks more adorable?

So there you have it, the first two things we wanted
to highlight for you: Giant Sand’s borderless
country songs and Yasmine’s
hypnotizing middle-eastern pop/folk. Throw in Bruno Pernadas – whose first album was a great critical hit last
year – into the mix and the main stage is set to have an incredible first day. Also,
make sure not to miss Mdou Moctar on
the GNRation stage – his touareg music
is bound to transport everyone into the shifting sands of a scorching desert.

Moving on to the second day’s headliners: have you heard
that Mercury Rev are releasing a new
record? It’s true they haven’t been the most active or relevant band for a
while so we can’t really say we’re hyped for it but we do know they can still
pull off great live shows (Optimus Primavera Sound’12 anyone?) and it’s hard
deny the greatness of songs like “Opus
40”. We’re cautious about our expectations towards their performance
but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t the least bit curious.

Speaking of new releases, FPGS also has some fresh talent worth checking out. We’re talking
about Sun Blossoms, the dreamy lo-fi
bedroom project of young Alexandre
Fernandes that has just released his first LP (check it out).
Also, even if they can’t really be considered new-comers on their own, we have
to mention Rui Carvalho’s (known as Filho da Mãe) new collaboration with Ricardo Martins (drummer from the
now-extinct experimental rock duo Lobster) for a really promising album set to
be released this year. The advance single from their joint-venture is called “Tormenta” and it totally sounds like a
clash of titans, really ominous and sort of distressing but also somewhat
exotic, making us want to hear more as soon as possible – this will be our

Rev’s Donahue and Grasshopper posing with fancy cocktails while Rui Carvalho
and Ricardo Martins toast to their new collaboration

We have absolutely no doubts that DJ Coco will throw one hell of a party, we just don’t really care
about his set or any of the other DJs. We love to party but partying all night
is not why we go to this festival. We go to this festival because of our love
for the singer-songwriters that mean something to us. We go to this festival
because (when we’re not busting dancefloors) we’re just a bunch of sappy fellas
and there’s nothing wrong with that. We understand that it’s nice to have an
after-party to really make the ticket price worth it for the festivalgoers and
we’re sure lots of people will love the chance to party late into the night but,
to us, that’s not really what Festival para Gente Sentada is all about.

Let’s check how everything plays out next weekend. See
you then.


* Also, Devendra Banhart. <- this was the mandatory
mention of Devendra Banhart on all pieces about Festival Para Gente Sentada


Indouro Festival 2015

Oh joy! Here’s to the Portuguese festival season, cause and consequence to our Summer vacations, fulfilled with concerts, camping/airbnb, after-hours and hangovers.

Usually, during its four years of existence, Optimus/NOS Primavera Sound would debut the yearly round of music festivals, not even waiting for the Summer season (as Primavera translates to Spring, dear non-Portuguese speaking readers). But guess what? A brand new urban festival, INDOURO FEST

obviously a pun between Indie and Douro, the river separating the cities of Porto and Gaia

is taking place next weekend (May 2nd-3rd) right across the river, at the Serra do Pilar, this steep hill overlooking Porto by the riverside. The place is also known for its ancient monastery, right next to the main stage.

Does it work? For a fact, Indouro won’t be the first festival at Serra do Pilar, the place used to host many concerts years earlier and that might help explain why it is such a brilliant scenery. While simple and plain, the monastery and the surroundings really work together at any time of the day, and it’s expected for many people to gaze around, although probably you should pay attention to what’s going on on the stage. Or stages.

Yes, there will be another stage at Jardim do Morro, a nice garden by the end of the hill, where a metro station can be found — in fact, the festival’s organization guarantees Indouro is the only festival with a metro station inside its area. But Guinness World Records aside, this stage, named FNAC Stage, will feature lots of up and coming or already established Portuguese acts, like local singer-songwriter The Weatherman, who closes the stage on Sunday. And all of this for free.



Back to the Main Stage, where you can make your euros worth (€32 for one day, €55 full pass), Indouro Fest presents us with a very modern, contemporary UK indie rock-based line-up, while at the same time featuring two strong headliners who have been around for some time – but not in Portuguese stages. The first being Clinic, revival rockers from Liverpool, provided with synths and dysphonic harmony, unscrewing the place by Saturday night. Also for the first day, we count on The Lucid Dream to keep with the British psychedelia, or João Vieira’s White Haus to bring the dancing electronica, while DJ Kitten (a.k.a. João Vieira once again) extends the night away, now on the turntables.


British Sea Power

Did I already mention the huge British influence in the line-up? Because Sunday, to the exception of Portuguese openers Malcontent, all the names come from the cultural relevant and influent London and its surrondings (well, Brighton isn’t far). Starting with Yuck, authors of the great shoegazing influenced self-titled Yuck LP from 2011, and although with new frontman and record from 2013, the quality isn’t shaken. Lola Colt, as the film which gives name to the band, really captures the spaghetti western feel, both starring leading females. And then Toy will be playing (worst pun ever), continuing this English conquest, now directly from Brighton. Their rock miscellany (post punk, Manchester’s music scene, shoegazing, all there) would be enough to satisfy us from the indubitably stronger day of the Fest, but Brighton isn’t done as British Sea Power ends headlining the final day in their melancholic but incessant indie rock, as well as presenting their last art-rock effort, Sea of Brass. How about that for a Sunday?


And how about that for a festival as well? If you’re a rock’n’roll vertebrate, you can’t miss this Indouro Fest. Let’s rock!