The Avalanches have their first “live” performance in 15 years at Primavera Sound in Spain. Here’s what happened.

A little more than a day after releasing their first new song in 16 years, “Frankie Sinatra”, and confirming the release of their sophomore record Wildflower on 8 July – just before they play Splendour in the Grass – Australian duo The Avalanches have made their return to the stage in Barcelona, Spain as part of the annual Primavera Sound festival.

The performance, which was billed as their “first in 15 years”, was met with understandable fanfare, but only delivered something relatively familiar: a silhouetted Robbie Chater and Tony Di Blasi hit the decks as a duo, in spite of an expectation of this to be with a live band. The AU Review understands this is not what will appear at their Australian debut at Splendour in the Grass, and that this show will see them hit the stage with a live band. But in spite of some form of misrepresentation along the way, fans who danced the night away at their show didn’t seem to be disappointed.

Taking to the stage at 2:50am – the scheduled time at a festival that runs to 6am – after the likes of Radiohead, Animal Collective and briefly clashing with Beach House, the duo delivered an hour long set focused on what they do best – making the crowd dance and bringing together samples – from stuff we know from their first album (including 45 seconds of “Frontier Psychiatrist”), to pieces of the Beatles, some Bowie, potentially even a bit of “Getting Jiggy With It”, “Woman to Woman” and more – “live” on vinyl. The pair first performed against the backdrop of their newly revealed “logo” – a golden butterfly against a black background – before the other element of the Wildflower cover showed up, a bizarro American flag, which you can see pictures above.

As for the new songs, alongside the new single “Frankie Sinatra” the group may have teased a myriad of tracks set to appear on the new LP. But it’s hard to know what was just a live remix and what was original material. There was definitely one other track played at the end of the set, featuring a sampled female vocalist that fits in beautifully to the music we had come to know on Since I Left You. But no indication of title


The band will play one more show at Primavera on Sunday night, before they continue along the Europe circuit in the lead up to the release of the album and their exclusive Australian appearance at Splendour in the Grass. For more details about their Primavera performance, head to the festival’s OFFICIAL WEBSITE. For more details about the band head to


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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