The thirtieth edition of the Vic Live Music Market begins its programme on September 12 with an inaugural show that the organizers have defined as a “retrospective of the variety of genres and generations” that have marked its history. These three decades —that’s saying something!— have, amongst other aspects, consolidated it as the great showcase of Catalan music, both in terms of domestic consumption and in relation to the projection of the country’s propositions to other points in Spain and beyond.
An initiative halfway between a festival and a professional fair, with an economic impact of €3.6 million in 2016, according to the latest available annual study conducted by the Open University of Catalonia.Beyond the business figures, the Market is also an essential hotspot for music lovers, given the considerable presence of novelties in the programme. According to the organizers, over thirty percent of the performances billed in 2017 were premieres, a proportion that reached forty percent in the case of the Catalan productions. The programme for 2018 brings together nearly one hundred artists in the official sections and the Off Mercat fringe events, distributed among the fourteen stages located in several locations in Vic, the capital of Osona county. A labyrinth of music with a healthy range of all sorts of styles. Here is a selection, unavoidably partial and incomplete:
WEDNESDAY 12th SEPTEMBER
Presented by Natza Farré and co-scripted by Albert de Balanzó, the Inaugural Show of the Thirtieth Vic Live Music Market (6:30 pm at the Teatre Atlàntida) is a mystery that will not be fully unveiled until H-Hour on D-Day. The list of artists participating, however, is really promising given the diversity, with doses of pop-rock (Quimi Portet, Lluís Gavaldà, David Carabén, Núria Graham), folk (Miquel Gil, Kepa Junkera , Mercedes Peón), jazz (Andrea Motis), fusion (former Ojos de Brujo band member, Marinah), or flamenco (Kiki Morente, Alba Carmona); All of them will be accompanied by the former Antònia Font band member, Jaume Manresa. Attention should also be paid to the new proposition by the always amazing pianist Xavi Lloses (20:30, Auditori Atlàntida), who is partnering with the Brossa Quartet in the performance of the musical performance Els Benaurats. At 9:00 pm (at the Carpa Yurta), Marc Parrot will present Refugi, a promising show of an intimate character, directed by the Los Galindos theatre company.
THURSDAY 13th SEPTEMBER
As every year at the Mercat, the Puig-Porret Award to musical creation goes toward financing a brand new project to debut at the following edition. The winners in 2017, The Pinker Tones & the Brossa Quartet, will offer us the premiere of their show (6:30 pm at the Teatre Atlàntida) dedicated to Leon Theremin, the inventor of the fascinating namesake instrument. With the stage direction, choreography and dance by Toni Mira, the montage will combine the artistes’ own pieces and musical landscapes around this character who patented what is considered to be the first electronic music artefact back in 1919. It will also be a good idea to experience first hand the unbelievable creativity and sarcasm of the indie singer-songwriter Joan Colomo, with songs from his new album L’oferta y la demanda (19:15 at the Carpa Negra), and the accomplished Toti Soler & Gemma Humet presenting their first joint album, Petita festa (20:45, Auditori Atlàntida). Another big bang for the day is the appearance of Niño de Elche on the bill, whose return performance in Vic will be the presentation of Antología del cante flamenco heterodoxo (20:00, Teatro Atlèntida). A splendid album that further boosts the legend of this incomparable cantaor flamenco singer.
FRIDAY 14th SEPTEMBER
A tight line up on Friday, with really interesting debuts. One of the possible tours of the day begins with the Majorcan Joan Miquel Oliver (19:15, at the Carpa Negra), who will preview his upcoming disc Elektra, with which he closes the trilogy that began with Pegasus and continued with Atlantis. A golden opportunity, since Elektra will not go on sale until September 21st. Guillamino, who returns to life after four years of silence, also presents a new album at the Mercat (20:00, at the Teatre Atlàntida). He has named the album Fra Júpiter, and most of the songs were written in a cell at Poblet monastery where the musician withdrew for a week to immerse himself in a certain mysticism. Also appearing in Vic is the new indie rock band Barbott (20:30, at the Jazz Cava), the Neapolitan singer-songwriter established in Barcelona Alessio Arena (9:30 pm, at the Carpa Vermella), and flamenco guitarist Chicuelo (22:15, at the Auditori Atlàntida). Regarding the international scene, three free performances will surely liven up the Casino de Vic: Welsh folk singer The Gentle Good (8:00 p.m.), Brighton duet Peggy Sue (21:15) and the pop of London-based Jack Found Band (22:30).
SATURDAY 15th SEPTEMBER
Saturday’s programme is less intense, with the morning and early afternoon bill aimed at family audiences in the Carpa Negre, and free activities in the evening and at night at El Sucre and in the Plaça Major. Paula Valls, a young singer from nearby Manlleu, stands out (8:30 p.m., in the Plaça Major) presenting her first album, I Am, that travels a path through soul, blues and folk. In the same location (9:45 p.m.), local band Nyandú will also be presenting their third work with a pretty odd title: Fernando Rogelio Estévez. This power-pop group’s performance, which will be held in the city centre to celebrate the thirty years of the Market, will feature guest artists such as historical Duble Buble, Est Oest and Oques Grasses, who will also offer a concert in the Plaça Major at 23:15.