Once again, NOS Alive features in its lineup many different Portuguese artists, alongside many great international bands. But why should non-Portuguese speakers listen to their music? Here's a guide to foreigners on what to expect from us this year.
As you may or may not be aware, Portuguese music is riding the crest of a beautiful wave – and not just because Salvador Sobral won Eurovision, or The Gift got to do an album with Brian Eno. Portugal's music scene has never been more exciting, with many good artists releasing amazing records, playing internationally and making themselves known among the indie intelligentsia. Throughout Portugal's music festivals, lineups generally feature homegrown artists alongside big international names, and NOS Alive is no exception.
Portuguese music is not just fado anymore; we've also discovered a penchant for good old rock n' roll, great pop amd amazing electronica. Which is why Portuguese artists will be occupying nearly every one of the festival's seven different stages, including the main one – where you might be tempted to check out the wonderfully named You Can't Win, Charlie Brown, a Lisbon band who knows how to both rock and dance with an indie pop sensibility. They'll be playing on the 6th of July, presenting songs off their latest album, Marrow, which was released last year.
But there more, lots more. Including fado; a special staged, named EDP Fado Café, will feature some of the best fado singers you can think of that are not Mariza, including the great Carminho, who will perform on the 7th. There will also be a special presentation by the Tasca do Chico, a fado venue located at Lisbon's Bairro Alto, who will bring some of their top-notch performers to NOS Alive on the 8th.
Most Portuguese music will be found, though, on the secondary stages. Even before you place both your feet inside the festival, you'll get the chance to hear some up and coming garage bands playing right at the entrance, alongside some up and coming garage DJs. But be on the lookout for the Coreto and NOS Clubbing stages, where most Portuguese bands will be performing.
And who are they? Well, there's Pega Monstro, an amazing duo – consisting of two sisters, Júlia and Maria Reis – who play some of the best and noisiest rock Portugal has ever produced during this decade. Bonus: they actually got to release their music through Britain's Rough Trade, which is a definitive proof of their quality. Think Sonic Youth mixed with Lisbon swagger and you'll know what to expect. They sing in Portuguese, though, so you might miss some of their best lyrics – such as B Fachada takes it on his package, which is a very literal translation of a very funny song about a very good musician.
There are also English speakers, of course. Such as Cave Story, Portugal's answer to Jonathan Richman's ideosyncrasies, post-punk straight outta Caldas da Rainha. Duquesa, the alter-ego of Glockenwise's Nuno Rodrigues, a kind of Mac De Marco with better teeth. And Killimanjaro, who've toured a couple of times around Europe, and whose riffs would make Tony Iommi himself blush with envy. Think were over exaggerating? Check them out on the 7th and see for yourself. And bring your best bike for PISTA's very own bike rock (that is, rock to pedal to), which might make you dance in ways you had never imagined.
Need something less electric? Check out Filho da Mãe, the moniker for one of Portugal's greatest guitarists right now. Or the smooth electronic pop of Mr. Herbert Quain. Or even the mighty Discotexas, who took the French Touch blueprint and turned into our very own Portuguese Touch. It's not just fado anymore, and we love it.