Spring has sprung and festival season is upon us. Threads is gearing up to descend on Barcelona’s Primavera Sound next week, so for anyone blinded by choice, here’s where we’ll be spending some of our time.


Every great artist has a Dark Side of The Moon in them. For Deftones, theirs was White Pony, which saw them metamorphose from nu-metal’s tasteful anomaly into a band whose sound can only be described by saying their name.

Expect: Breathy vocals, atmospheric, a nod or two to the new romantics.

Beth Gibbons

Take every opportunity you can to see Beth Gibbons, the voice that echoed through the whiskey-drenched, smoke-filled basement we call Portishead. Traversing stylistic boundaries from electronic to classical to neo-folk, held together by one of the most human voices the UK has ever produced, for us this is a no-brainer.

Expect: Headiness, intimacy, chain smoking.

American Football

If for you the term “emo” means a Deep Elm t-shirt, a pair of Chucks, and several button badges on the pocket of your corduroys, you’re already going to see American Football. If for you the term “emo” means back-combed hair and Goth-tinged pop punk, you need to go see American Football.

Expect: Minimal jazz lead guitar, poetry, memories of long summer drives through North Dakota.


With lyrics penned by Basque poet Martxel Mariskal, Lisabö’s sometimes angular, always melodic furiosity transforms songs into musical manifestos. As real a band as it gets and with 20 years of practice, this could well be live act of the weekend.

Expect: Stirring rhythm guitar, vocal intrigue, the urge to join a movement.


Hitting like a blend of bass music and field recordings, Nazar’s sonic storytelling and flagrant abuse of the sidechain invoke the high-pressure atmosphere of a storm about to break. Sharing a lineage with Burial, and Justice, samples weave narratives in rapid-fire snapshots, as much a part of the beat as they are it’s backing.

Expect: Imposing sub bass, any beat but four-to-the-floor, a simulation of deafness after an explosion.

Mount Kimbie

Virtual synthesisers are a bedroom producer’s band, so to watch Mount Kimbie emerge from the early UK Dubstep scene (a hotbed of skilled bedroom producers) to eventually become a fully fledge live band is like following an artist retrace their musical roots in the most literal sense. With a style now firmly straddling 80s synthpop, and the 90s slacker and stoner rock scenes, with glimpses of the sun-bleached American Midwest, and with a 2am Saturday morning slot, this could well be a prime chance to see how much the band can blur the lines between live band and club act. 

Expect: Dreampop sounds, DJ sensibilities, red eyes.

billy woods

With a lyrical delivery as in the moment as it is carefully crafted, hip hop veteran billy woods is one of those rappers who is prolific because of a necessity to constantly say something new; the storytelling skill of Aesop Rock combined with the laidback roughneck delivery of MF Doom.

Expect: Intelligent lyrics, huge slabs of jazz and blues, almost too much flow.

by Josefus Haze