The Thursday of the festival was going to be our night at the museum, but first we had a date with a record store. And not just any record store, but one that was voted one of the world’s best record stores: 12 Tónar at Reykjavik’s Skólavörðustígur. We made it there just in time for me to do some cd shopping myself, kinda hard to resist as I felt like a kid in a candy store when I saw so many cds from Icelandic bands in one place. Even the musicians themselves were tempted by the place as Klara Arnalds from Boogie Trouble was also checking out some cds before they started their gig.
Boogie Trouble’s gig got delayed as we were told to watch out for ‘a tall handsome man’ a.k.a. their percussionist, who had some trouble getting through the rush hour from work to the record store. They almost decided to start without him, but he made it just in time to create a fun set with his bandmates. And after they had finished one of them, bass player Ingibjörg Elsa Turchi could stay in place, as she also plays bass in the band that was up next: Rökkuró. A band that was tipped by fellow File Under contributor André Kuipers as one of the must see acts of the fest. There were more people who apparently had the same feeling about Rökkuró, as the store was filled to beyond capacity when they started playing. And what can I say, it was awesome indeed… I was touched to tears during the last song ‘Sólin Mun Skína’… Of course I bought their album too after the gig.
The gigs at 12 Tónar were most definitely worth the wait and even despite the delay there was some time left before dinner to catch Cercueil’s gig Sirkús port, the outdoor stage next to Hemmi Og Valdi. Amidst the cold and some snowflakes falling down, Pénélope Michel and Nico Devos (without their drummer Olivier Durteste) played a great set. They describe their music as ‘pockets full of dark sun and an electro pulse as a heart’ and I completely agree. If you’re into both Siouxie and the Banshees and Esben and the Witch, please check out Cercueil too! Seeing great bands perform in such unassuming, but cool places like Sirkús Port is an important part of the magic of the Airwaves festival.
Good thing that we had a (semi)healthy and above all warming meal after that and before my mate Andrew and I went to the Reykjavik Art Museum, as it was bloody cold! We got there early, as experience tought us that it’s a bad idea to get to venues late when there’s a big name on the progamme, but this also meant we were freezing our bits off whilst waiting outside the museum. So it had better be worth it, hehe…
And worth it, it was! As we got amazing music in spades. Samaris kicked off the evening and last year they were one of the revelations of the festival for me, so I just had to see them again and hear some of the new songs from their recently released 2nd EP Stofnar Falla. And wow, they amazed me for the second year in a row! Almost unbelievable how much this band has grown over a period of just one year.
And as if the deep dark bass synth sounds of Samaris weren’t enough, we were sentenced to aural death next by Phantogram… Oh boy… On cd they might sound somewhat comforting (maybe the wrong word, but what the heck) sometimes, but none of that when they play live… Relentless, unforgiving and more of that, but fun, loads of fun above all!
Sóley provided a much needed oasis in the midst of all this electronic violence. Her performance was as lovely as ever, supported by really cool visuals made by the Feel Good Lost team. Just too bad that a lot of the people in the audience weren’t up for some rest but simply wanted to continue partying after Phantogram, which was a bit of a shame but maybe also understandable. I’m sure though Sóley played some other gigs at this year’s Airwaves festival for more appreciative audiences, but I really enjoyed seeing her again.
Final performance during this night at the museum was by one of the headliners of the festival: Purity Ring. I’m a big fan of their debut album ‘Shrines’, so I was really happy when I discovered they were playing the festival and of course just had to see them. After the gig it was a mix of happiness and disappointment though, as yes it was great to see them live, but at the same time there were quite some technical problems before and during the gig and also the sound was so muddled that most of the lyrical and musical subtleties that make the album so special were kind of lost in the process of the live performance. Ah well, you can’t have them all… But really cool anyway to finally have seen Purity Ring!
Seven full photo galleries after the break…
Enjoy the photos!
Boogie Trouble @ 12 Tónar
Rökkurró Trouble @ 12 Tónar
Cercueil @ Sirkús Port
Samaris @ Reykjavik Art Museum
Phantogram @ Reykjavik Art Museum
Sóley @ Reykjavik Art Museum
Purity Ring @ Reykjavik Art Museum