I'm From Barcelona and The Concretes: childhood wins

One of last year's unlikelier highlights was the hyperactive Swedish multi-piece I'm From Barcelona. A less creepy version of The Polyphonic Spree, their exuberance and catchy songs resulted in a forest of copy cat t-shirts roaming the grounds for the rest of the weekend.

Things seem to have got more serious this time round: gone are the school uniforms and Smurf outfits, to be replaced with black outfits and white braces. But this is one band for whom channelling The Strokes is never going to be a viable option.

From the jubilant refrain of 'Treehouse' to the chants of 'Chicken Pox' they're still the perfect festival band, energetic and entertaining. With a forest of kids sitting on their dads' shoulders and pink balloons and party streamers issuing out over the crowd, from a distance it looked disturbingly like Tumble Tots: The Musical.

Eliciting even more childish dancing from its grown-up fans, with 10 years behind them it's no wonder The Concretes shrugged their shoulders and appointed a new singer when Victoria Bergsman quit earlier this year. Clutching the microphone in both hands like an ice cream, former drummer Lisa Milberg still seemed uneasy about her new singing role and only really relaxed when introducing the rest of the band.

Still, songs like 'Are You Prepared' and 'Firewatch' proved that Bergman's voice, while missed, won't be missed half as much as The Concretes would have been if they'd never played again - thank God for multi-tasking drummers.

Words: Kat Brown
Pic credit: Miles Johnson


Editor's Letter

The 46th (And Last) Playlist Of 2014

Sorry I didn't manage to post a playlist last week; a combination of germs, deadlines and various other professional/seasonal distractions meant that I ran out of time.

Here, though, is our last office list of 2014, with lots of strong new entries. A few highlights...