“Steve should have been here for this festival, and it would be nice if you all think of him”: Pulp and PJ Harvey pay tribute to Steve Albini at Primavera Sound

Pulp and PJ Harvey performing live in 2024
(Image credit: Xavi Torrent/Redferns)

Britpop icons Pulp and alt-rock singer/songwriter PJ Harvey paid tribute to Steve Albini at the Primavera Sound festival in Spain over the weekend.

The four-day event, held this year from May 29 to June 2 in Barcelona, also named a stage after the late alternative producer and musician.

His band, Shellac, were scheduled to perform at the weekender before his passing.

On May 30, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker dedicated the 1995 Different Class track Something Changed to Albini.

“This tour [Pulp’s 2023 to 2024 reunion run] has been a strange one,” Jarvis told the crowd (per Brooklyn Vegan).

“We started in the UK… and it’s the first that we’ve done without Steve Mackey, our bassist. He passed away, and I’d like to dedicate this song to him. There’s another Steve that passed away recently, Steve Albini. I know that there’s a stage now named after him at the festival.

Cocker continued more lightheartedly: “If you’re named Steve, don’t worry. This is a song about life, really. When you meet a certain person, they change your life and it goes in a direction you could never ever think of.”

Harvey, who worked with Albini on her 1993 album Rid Of Me, dedicated her performance of 2004 song The Desperate Kingdom Of Love to Albini when she played on June 1.

“I would like to sing this next song in memory of Steve Albini,” the musician told her audience (per Stereogum).

“Steve should have been here for this festival, and it would be nice if you all think of him.”

Albini died of a heart attack in his Chicago home on May 7 at the age of 61.

As well as fronting Shellac and noise rock idols Big Black, Albini produced seminal alternative albums including PixiesSurfer Rosa (1988) and Nirvana’s In Utero (1993).

Watch Pulp and Harvey’s performances at Primavera Sound 2024 below.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.