Gig review: Franz Ferdinand/Rustie, Barcelona Primavera Festival

IT’S unlikely that any of the plush yachts in the Primavera marina belonged to acts playing the festival, although Franz Ferdinand must surely have made enough to at least afford the downpayment on one.

It’s been almost a decade since the Glasgow-based band arrived on the scene with a simple manifesto “to make records that girls can dance to”. Of course, they did, but some claim Franz have not been able to match the euphoria of their early days. Here it was certainly songs from their debut album that formed the backbone of their set, but the huge crowd danced as hard as any the San Miguel stage saw all weekend.

The San Miguel stage seemed far away when a new Glasgow hopeful, Russell Whyte aka Rustie, closed the Pitchfork stage at 4:30am on Saturday. Although a recognisable name in the post-dubstep scene for the past few years, there is nothing that really sounds like Rustie. Certain components are recognisably dubstep, the pulsing bass and often relentless BPM are present, but it’s the range of influences that he assimilates into his sound which sets him apart. From disco to heavy metal, it’s messy at times, undeniably self indulgent at others, but never boring.

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It’s unfortunate then that Rustie had the task of being scheduled against Erol Alkan, playing the nearby Ray-Ban stage. As the tunes and cheers from the louder party next door bled in, the crowd ebbed away until only a loyal hardcore remained. However, if Rustie cares to adopt the mantra of his countrymen, Franz Ferdinand, he can be heartened – those that stuck around, girls (and boys) were dancing.

Rating: ***

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