One of the most endearing aspects of Primavera Sound is that, in its combination of legendary artists and fresh sap, it exposes the public to revivals that do not always agree qualitatively with what they have in their memory. The most flagrant case has been starred in this edition by New Order, whose singer, Bernard Sumner (67), accumulated vocal mistakes to knock out the most unconditional of fans, not to mention the relentless detail shots that the camera picked up from his shaggy fingers on the guitar or keyboard. But the affection of the public can do everything…
“When it comes to old voices that go out of tune, you have to go case by case, because sometimes personality compensates for poor form,” says Ross, a Londoner who doesn’t lose heart every Spring and who doesn’t want to miss out on John Cale. “Russel Mael, of the Sparks, was impressive the other night and he is now 74 years old. Neil Tennant (68), of the Pet Shop Boys, showed good vocal form… and well, Sumner has never had a great voice, and frankly, when it comes to New Order, I don’t take that into account. Neither did McCartney. On the other hand, a Bryan Ferry cannot continue singing: such a unique voice does not have to try what he can no longer do ”.
Jordi, from Barcelona, is more relentless with Sumner. He doesn’t understand how he can go out and sing without holding a note, but he is willing to forgive John Cale for dalliances. “Luckily we heard Depeche Mode that, despite the wrinkles, you have to see how they vibrate. But it’s not all about resisting, it’s about having something new to say: the Pet Shop Boys, here with their tummy, have gone more than 20 years without a hit”.
The baritone is the most natural male voice and resists the passage of time more
For John, a Dubliner who teaches English in Valencia, Michael Gira of the Swans is the one who, at 69, has shown “to have a stronger personality than ever…”. Although in all this there is a factor to take into account: with his devilish smile, Gira maintains his voice partly due to his bass-baritone range. And it is that the tenor, the voice of Sumner or McCartney, is a very fragile voice, as doctor Pedro Clarós points out: “They are shorter strings and less resistant. The baritone is the most natural male voice and it resists the passage of time more: it is logical that in pop, where the voice is more punished, the baritone is like a 4×4 and lasts longer”.