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Iceland Airwaves 2011 Sky Burial: Picking at the Gizzards…

21 Oct

So well it’s now over. I would have written a piece up about this before, but to be honest i´ve had a bit of a crisis at home and to be honest that was a bit more important than a bloody music festival.

Bit now I’ve had a bit of a chance to decompress and take it all in a little bit, i suppose now it’s time to take a look back and decide… was it all worth it?

Remember… these are MY thoughts on the festival. and shit, it isn’t even the whole complete picture. I don’t think there ever will be a full picture.

THE ABSTRACT…

so this years Airwaves was…. OK! In fact it actually turned out a lot better than OK. the simple truth is that there were no major fuck ups or nasty surprises that befell the organisers. Oh there were lots of little fuck ups here and there (Megas announcing that he had no idea he was playing as that he was in Berlin the night he supposed to be playing for example. And the continuously bad sound at Amsterdam), but there was nothing to derail the whole shebang. Acts ran on time, people were receptive and a good time was had by all. At one point i did feel that there was a more slickly organised corporate aspect to some parts of the festival, but that’s just griping on my part (and the fact that i only managed to get to one VIP party. Nice Vodka though). the organisers made a successful festival and therefore they will reap all the credit that comes their way. They deserved it.

THE WRITING

It was a lot better this year from all concerned. I know that there are some individuals that would totally disagree on that (more on that later) but let us not be concerned with their flimflam. there were more writers to cover more venues. And there was a mix of people, from published writers and poets (you can easily tell who they were!) from guys who are more gonzo in their participation and reporting to people who are good writers but have no background in music writing. And the other (myself and Sindri for example). This led to a mix of styles and length. Some moved into the realms of the ephemeral, while some went “This sucked Assjuice”. People loved it. Some really fucking hated it. such is life. WE all move on. I really enjoyed writing with these guys, they were a mixture of characters and temperaments. the arguments about Yoko Ono on Sunday was priceless and more than woke me up. MORE ARGUMENTS PLEASE!!

THE GIGS

you can see my reviews here, here, here, and here. Luckily for me, i managed to see very few really sucky bands this time around as i was lucky enough to avoid most of them. THis was easy as a lot of them seemed to be playing at Harpa. The ones that were sucky weren’t so much awful in their music, but you could sense that unlike past years every band were trying to give it that little bit of oomph. Some bands in the past have been notorious for being a bit “meh” about airwaves as if really pumping that juice would be seen a little bit of a sellout. No i don’t know why either. But this year, more bands brought their A Game, and there were one or two that floundered. That’s music Battle Royale for you.

So who were my favourites? Well they were as follows (in no particular order)…

Reviewing: Secret Chiefs 3, Bix, Clock Opera, Tuneyards (i’m to lazy to capitalise), Thulebasen,

Not reviewing: Muck, Ghostigital, Iceage, Momentum

SATURDAY

The following is a semi-recalled account of my day off with my Brother.

- Started at 3pm with shots of tequila. Our lovely editor Haukur found us 30 minutes later on shots of Sambuca. the look on his face was a mix of awe and fear. He would later back out of downing several shots of tequila at Bakkus, which prompted my bother to cry “What a wuss! why won’t he BRING THE PAIN???”

- Drinks at the Kro followed by food at Aðalsteinns

- First music stop was at Amsterdam to watch GUNSLINGER. This was followed by Faktorý and GHOSTIGITAL. The beats were righteous. My brother thought it was great, but Einar Örn? Take him or leave him to be honest, in fact, just get him out of the way, he’s blocking those motherfucking beats! People nodded but My bro and I were banging away at the side like a bunch of muppets. Then it was back to Amsterdam to see MUCK, whereupon just the two of us slamdanced…. hard. We were warned twice by security for this. Not their fault i suppose, but people should just really join in! then it was to Gaukurinn to see ICEAGE. Man the hype is REAL! they were fucking brilliant. the sound was great (no droning feedback), plus i loved the way the singer Elias told the 12 million photographers after the first song to “fuck off. No… FUCK OFF!” almost brandishing his guitar as if he was going to lamp them. the moshing was so hard it has brought on my  international retirement from the pit (though a comeback could happen…). More metal at Amsterdam (Momentum, Wistaria) then off to BAKKUS for some massive beats. things got real squiddly.  Ben started bouncing off the walls as i pounded those beats and slammed shots with Haukur and several others. there were a few nice moments, such as speaking to the kid who was on E for the first time and giving him some advice (have a glass of water, dance your arse off, love the world, speak to that nice girl). Man he was so getting laid that night.

- then home at 5am. Man Ben was pissed off that the places all closed at 4.30am. personally i as a little glad as i had to cover Sunday night.

There were many other things that happened that night, but i won’t go into that. I also know that we shocked,disgusted, and frankly pissed a lot of people off with our behaviour that night. But you know what? I truly DON*T GIVE A FUCK. My brother was there for airwaves and we don’t get a chance that often to let loose like that. Ben said two things that weekend “Man, you live your life when your young, putting so many restrictions on yourself, mostly by you, some by others. You’Re always worrying about what other people may think. By the time you’ve realised that it’s all a crock of shit and you have the money to do what you want, you’ve also realised that you’ve wasted a life. Just fucking get on with it, i say.” He also said “Man these Reykjavik people think they can party hard?  they like to THINK they can party hard, but to be honest they just look like a bunch of self obsessed tossers. They truly haven’t experienced living, most of them. Oh, and why the fuck are so many people wearing bow ties???”

PEOPLE WE MET (NEW GUYS)

I met a lot of people for the first time (along with me bro) It was nice meeting you all and i shall get in touch soon…

- Donald “Donnie” Gislason, musicologist to the stars. Man was chugging for the western hemisphere when i met him. He was fun!

- That guy from CLASH magazine who was Scottish and told me he broke the story on twitter about the Stone Roses getting back together,. Yes, it’s all his fault!

- Árni “Futuregrapher” Gretar and Þórunn AKA Trouble. Really true, honest people. They also loved my brother as well. Something must be seriously wrong with them!

- The manager of Clock Opera, Lawrence Millar. don’T worry man, your band is a blooDy good live act!

- The guys from Iceage. This was only brief as you could tell right away they were getting hammered in their little gang and they really didn´t need an old fuck like me cramping their style. But they were lovely and polite. People, let them be who they want to be!

- Bernard, the guitarist from Liturgy, who such a relaxed awesome dude. We may also have acquired a headlining act for Eistnaflug 2012! He said that band was really into it! Stebbi, make it so!, They really showed it to the haters!

UNSUNG HEROES

These guys helped to make it all that little bit better for me and Ben over the weekend…

- The entire Grapevine staff, in particular, Haukur, Aðalsteinn, Louder, Anna and Palli for all their hard work. I think it was worth it.

- Bóas from Reykjavik! and Benedikt Reynisson. Along with myself, they both leapt into the fray during Iceage. Especially Benedikt. He said he was going to get involved and i admit i had an “O RLY?” moment at this, but maaaan he was fucking there! Massive props to those two.

- KGB and Friðrík “FRIKKI FRIKKI” Ingimundason for their wonderful beats at Bakkus on Saturday night. Also to Palli á Bakkus and all the staff there for their tyro effort.

- The staff at the Kro (Danish Bar) for their brilliant service and all round coolness in giving us free beer (well OK, the Grapevine paid for it, but you understand).

- The doormen at Gaukurin: the doormen overall were great, but the guys at Gaukurinn were exemplary! their actions during Iceage (where they formed a barrier between the moshers and the rest fo the crowd, but letting the moshers get on with it), was nothing i’Ve ever seen before. People, give these guys all you respect and politeness please! They deserve it.

- Steinþór and the guys at i8 (Ingolfsstræti 8 ) for their off venue music, and having a really nice after Airwaves party on Sunday night!

- the expat crowd of Elly and her boyfriend Jamie, Mark Ollard, Nick Miners, Veerle Van Der Broek, PAul Sullivan, Ben Goddard. We were TEAM AWESOME! True story! Shit have i missed anyone? Please let me know…

PEOPLE I DIDN’T MEET

- Zöe Hoe: She was there, but we never managed to meet up. In truth this was probably for the best as i was getting my party face on and it may not have been the best impression…

- MORE FAMOUS PEOPLE! I should have been trying to hob nob more with the likes of Björk and James Murphy!! Why did this not happen? Was there some sort of conspiracy to keep me from them, so as not to sully the magical image of Iceland and shit? (no).

UNFAVOURABLE MENTIONS

- The owners of NASA. Re: the water bottle incident. I know what i was told and what i said. I will still stand by it to my dying days. Craven fucks the lot of them.

- The Drummer of Lights On The Highway. He wasn’t too pleased with the review his band received from Friday night. So much so that he took writing a piece on it (warning: Icelandic alert!).  It’s actually a masterclass in the build up of tension, talking (I’m paraphrasing here) about how great his weekend started, how he wasn’t going to be selfish anymore, how he was going to live life to the full, seeing John Grant, but missing some bands because he’d rather be having a drink with friends, about having some lovely food, and even saw a scan of his unborn child (Who looked like was going to be a drummer like his dad). He goes on to say “These days just get better and better. Not even the weather can spoil it!” He plays a gig that wasn’t admittedly their best, but they were feeling so gooood he goes on to say! And then he ends up reading a review by this horrible person from the Grapevine who had the temerity to say that they were not that good at all and were a bit crap! Not that he’s angry or anything, oh no he’s above all that negativity and name calling and stuff. But she should just SHOVE HER HEAD UP HER STUPID ASS! WAAAAAAH!

When my wife read it, she turned, looked at me, and said “Man what a whiny cock!”

And that is… it. See you al again next year…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Iceland, live music, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “Iceland Airwaves 2011 Sky Burial: Picking at the Gizzards…

  1. Professor Batty

    October 22, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Thanks again for your most excellent coverage, Bob. When I read you I always know that it’s real. Next year, I’ll buy you (and your brother) a beer.

     

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