The "Gothic priority" is imposed in Spring in the City with Chameleons at the helm

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The “Gothic priority” is imposed in Spring in the City with Chameleons at the helm

On the opening day of Primavera en la Ciutat in Sala Apolo there are lots of old-school sinisters, as well as T-shirts from The Cure, Cocteau Twins and, of course, The Chameleons. Looks like a big party. Two notable groups, Cranes and The Chameleons, along with Johnny Jewel, dress the night in gothic darkness and synthetic nostalgia.

Cranes They come to claim their dream pop throne after eleven years of hiatus. Forty minutes are not enough for all the expectation for the Shaw brothers' band. In fact, a phrase that is heard a lot in the room is: “I have come for the Cranes.” Alison Shaw, hieratic and magnetic, reigns from the left side, while Jim directs behind the drums. Alison's possessed girl voice is the band's greatest hallmark. She has not lost strength. What's more, tonight it shines especially.

Jordi Perez

They start dreamily with 'Cloudless', but they immediately set a martial tone in 'Da Da 331'. The projections are simple, but dreamlike and effective. Cranes manage to give their concert an atmosphere of an old horror film, one of those that no longer scares but still fascinates, combining dreaminess with bursts of fury. Alison, when she is not playing the bass, tightens her diaphragm all the time, as if she wanted to give us all her expressiveness. The culmination is 'Starblood' and, now, they are a horror movie, between dry drum beats and the guitar hitting her instrument with a wrench. What I said: very scarce.

The stars of the night were The Chameleons. Mark Burgess's band was one of the most important British post punk bands of the first half of the 80s. And although it may sound cliché, in the room you can smell that feeling of a great night, of complicity. They couldn't sound better. The long intro and the great guitars of 'Silence, Sea and Sky' but, alas, Burgess's voice sounds weak. Luckily it is quickly fixed and the atmosphere they achieve is magical: a journey through time, between synthesizers, syncopated bass lines and guitars with full reverb. They only need the power, the spotlights and the dedicated fans. The room is completely magnetized when Burgess introduces the band and they attack 'Swamp Thing'. And there it ends. You only have fifty minutes. There are beeps, it seems that the band is negotiating one more issue, but in the end it is not possible. The public insistently demands them, but nothing.

Jordi Perez

For Johnny Jewel Almost half of the audience has left. It is clear what the Gothic priorities of the night were. Of course, those who stay show quite a bit of fervor. Johnny Jewel's thing reminds me a little, apart from the distance, of John Carpenter's concert from 2016. Like Carpenter, Jewel enjoys covering disturbing images with suggestive synthesizer, tacky sophistication and effects. Jewel performs several of his soundtrack songs, whether solo, with the Chromatics or Glass Candy. He goes without a band and trusts everything to the projections: Italian giallo, S horror movies from the seventies, that aesthetic to which the production company CANADA owes so much. Jewel stays in the corner, at the table, although from time to time he starts dancing.

When Laura Palmer's face appears, the audience whistles enthusiastically. The images of 'Twin Peaks' are duly jaunty, Jewel fills them with synthetic saxes, of false luxury. Then more giallo and applause when a decapitation is shown. Although the film that will occupy the screen the longest is 'Lost River', Ryan Gosling's directorial debut (2014) that Jewel scored. A strange film of fascinating images in which Christina Hendricks reigns, framing 'Yes' by Chromatics and 'Shell Game' by Glass Candy. The music recreates a gloomy church, Jewel grabs the microphone with vocoder and starts singing.

The maximum celebration goes to 'Drive' and the song 'Tick of the Clock' by Chromatics. Although it goes a bit too far from aestheticism, the experience is quite captivating. It's sad that he closes with a certain downturn with the remix of 'Blinding Lights' by The Weeknd, with a very large sign with the name of the song and the artist, as if we didn't know who he is. As if Jewel, after showing us his talent, trusted the victory to a foreign card.

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.