MEMOIRS OF A BOOTLEGGER #1 // Lightning Bolt @ Primavera Sound, 2009

For many years I’ve filmed live bands as a hobby, hoping to contribute to the greater good with bootlegs that are slightly better than what most can be bothered to make. I did it so much that it’s basically what first landed me the role of Video Guy here at Fecking Bahamas (although that may have also been due to the sheer number of videos).

As someone noteworthy probably once said, “behind every video there is a story“, so I shall attempt to provide some context and flavour to the footage over the course of this new series. The quality of the video and/or text may vary…

Waaay back in 2009 I was still living in Lisbon, Portugal and my brother Miguel landed a gig doing video coverage of Primavera Sound (Barcelona) for the website he worked for, so he brought me along.

I was so excited. I had our game plan all sorted with an itinerary – there were so many awesome bands to check out! This was as close to something like Arctangent as I could dream of at that time. We had to film a bunch of it, do interviews and whatnot, but we chose a few bands to make sure we didn’t miss.

The awesomest, most extreme band was Lightning Bolt, obviously.

Normally these two play on the floor, amongst the crowd, but at a festival like this I don’t think it was allowed, so they just played as close to the edge of the stage as they could. Brian Chippendale – constantly fidgeting with his kit and knobs, shouting into his face-mask mic and battering his drums – maintained his frenetic energy in motion, while Brian Gibson kept making his modified bass squelch, scream, gasp, growl, cackle, crunch, beep and bellow (unfortunately not very clear in the videos). My mind was thoroughly blown.

moab-lightningboltThis was just before they released Earthly Delights, so I’m not sure how much the crowd knew what was going on with ‘Sound Guardians’, not that it really matters with Lightning Bolt, but they sure got super agitated once tunes from Hypermagic Mountain like ‘2 Morro Morro Land’ and ‘Megaghost’ were played.

Squarepusher played later that night and it was one of the best shows I’d ever been to (only topped when I saw him play with his full band, Shobaleader One, in 2016). At this time, he was touring my favourite album of his, Just a Souvenir (somewhat inspired by Lightning Bolt, according to Wikipedia), as a two-piece with drummer Alex Thomas and they absolutely smashed it. <<< seriously

I’m also a massive fan of The Bad Plus, who were touring with vocalist Wendy Lewis that year, so that was a treat, especially considering they now have a new pianist. If you are into jazz check them out. They have some super mathy stuff going on.

Shellac was also another treat, but I got distracted during their set by a lovely Irish girl who had lost her sandal, so I fashion one out of a cardboard cup for her and we hung out a while until Miguel showed up, ushering me back to work (this girl and I happened to both end up living in London a few years later and we’re still friends, so that was a nice occurrence). I guess I’ll just have to pay more attention to Shellac this year at Arctangent.

Overall I really enjoyed the festival and would like to go back some time. I heard last year was pretty sick. I recommend looking into it (they do one in Portugal as well).