So the annual metal bash that was EISTNAFLUG 2012, has been done and dusted for a few weeks now, yet it’s only now I’m managing to get around to filling in a few gaps in the proceedings. That was mostly due to 2 things – one was that i had to write a load of other things as well as the review on the festival for the Grapevine. Two – I was on holiday and i couldn’t be arsed.
After the flak we received last year for our sub-par performance in covering the festival (which included yours truly getting flamed by the Monolith Deathcult a month after the event for having the temerity to suggest that they didn’t sound that good), we decided that we needed to do it properly this year. Everyone covering the festival was told that they had to review every band at the venue on the day they were covering. I also would be making a change from the past couple of years by doing Saturday instead of Thursday (which i did so i could get hammered for the rest of the weekend). All of this meant that i received for the first time this year, a press pass. We would have to be real legit in our reviewing, even (shock horror) be sober on our reviewing days.
And overall, i think we acquitted ourselves rather well. In some ways it was easy for us, because the word from many of those who attended (myself included) was that this year’s Eistnaflug ranked as one of the best yet. This was despite the continuing actions of the police searches (more on that later) or the fact that the beer was 1000ISK per pint. This year saw record numbers attending, to see some stellar performances from most of the bands on the bill, and the atmosphere generated by them and the crowd meant that just about everyone had a really fucking great time.
Now i wont go into the bands that i covered (you should just go and read the reviews instead), but there were several other bands i saw that left a considerable impression on me. They included -
ANGIST: The last time i reviewed the guys was about a couple of years ago. Back then I wasn’t impressed with the sound that they made, and it just wasn’t tight enough overall. But the story goes that they got in a new drummer and really worked on their sound. So when they played on Thursday, it was a completely different band to what i saw all that time ago. The riffing was harsh, the rhythms were extremely tight, and there was much more of a presence on stage. I think i got a semi from the soundwaves that hit me! Also i got to meet guitarist Gyða for the first time, and she is a fine woman and all round righteous rock lady. Expect more good things from them.
MOMENTUM: Of course these guys are consistently awesome and bass player Hörður is really channeling Mastodon levels of front man stage presence at the moment. Their whole set was just so heavy. I was a little drunk at the time, most of which was spent cheering on their new member Siggi, as i got it into my head that he should be made to feel welcome. Whatever the outcome i think i may have freaked him out just a little with my screams of “Whoo yeah Siggi! you’re so great!”. After their set, i ended up calling Mrs Sex Farm and getting all misty eyed about how much i missed her. That’s what Momentum can do to a man – they let you get in touch with your feminine side.
CELESTINE:such was the power in their set that i actually have few memories of the song being played. all i know is that i spent a lot of time thrashing about like a deranged albatross to their music. Music to feel, instead of listening to.
NYIÞ: If you haven’t heard of these guys, then that is your problem. If you have, then you know that there is something deeply disturbing at play going on here. Still marked in a shroud of mystery as to their identities and their intent, they played an imposing set of doomed folk and post-punk at the mayhemishere that was full o highly charged with occultic energy. In the thick of all the dry ice, their front man/singer/chanter defended the area with numerous sigils draw at the entrance of the venue during their set. This entranced the crowd to the extent that on their final song, they each gathered a drum and led a large portion of the audience on a procession towards the local church, whereupon they performed a desecration rite on its grounds. Shades of the Wicker Man and Ride With The Devil abound. I hope they don’t start burning churches though….
OK, there are several sketchy moments in this coverage of the festival hi-jinks. This is mainly due to the large amount of Landi moonshine i brought this year, of which i consumed a large amount of it. This meant that things got very squiffy very quickly.
But here were some of the things i DO recall.
- Informing I Adapt singer Birkir Fjalar that i was incredibly drunk and that in order to sober me up, i ordered him to “Hit me in the face as hard as you can!” This led him to hit me with an open hand with such force that it may have left me with some kind of brain damage. But it certainly sobered me up. Later he would go on to say that it was “the fucking strangest request he had ever received in his life”
- Apparently adopting a very British horizontal pose on the grass outside the venue on Friday night, informing the people around me that “all i wanted was 40 minutes of bloody peace and quiet, Was that too much to ask??”
- Moshing to Beneath with Plastic Gods singer Ingó, who was in his underpants.
- Being involved in one of the most bizarre drug deals I’ve ever partaken. On a campsite with the dealer sporting a lycra head mask that made him look like The Question. whereupon i fell down a hill.
- Getting attacked by the heathen banshees in charge of the ticket booth/merch stand/cloakroom who proceeded to paint my nails a very feminine shade of shocking pink. The amount fo catcalls i received from those manly metalheads… damn. I should do it more often, but i don’t think Mrs Sex Farm would approve.
- Drinking with the guys from Muck (which i remember), whereupon they decided to interview me (which i don´t remember). I reciprocated with a full on rant that lasted at least several minutes, the subject matter of which god only knows. although I’ve been told that nothing truly awful was uttered by yours truly, i still refuse to listen to it, mostly because i hate the sound of my voice, and also because the embarrassment value of my drunken rants is immense. apparently it was used as a material for a noise track that was played at the arts festival LungA a week later.
- Seeing people do their utmost to completely fuck themselves up, the best example being a guy who required stitches after headbutting a lighting bollard while trying to attempt a drunken forward somersault.
FUCK DA POLICE (again…)
Once again, the local constabulary were out in full force with Fido, the friendly sniffer dog to “weed” out all those nasty disgusting takers of narcotics who were obviously trying to ruin it for the straight edge, god fearing festival goers, all 3 of them.
Look, we know they have to enforce a (frankly stupid) law, but at times it was getting a little like overkill. Many people i knew got searched, including the son of a close friend, who was searched three times in a single day. When asked, most of them simply said they were walking down the road when the police would stop next to them and announce they were going to be searched. did they look suspicious? Not if you count being hungover as suspicious behaviour.
And all of this effort…. for 11 minor possession of hash. Well done lads, good to see you’re keeping the moral fibre of this nation as robust as ever.
What was interesting to see was the commentary in the press about the festival in the days afterwards. After a columnist for a frothy press site decided to get rather sniffy about the festival itself (They get drunk! Some take drugs! They fall over! Think of the children!!), many journalists and musicians responded with full force, noting that the festival is brilliantly run, the performances were top-notch, many people brought their kids during the day, it generated a lot of money for the local area, and the amount of atmosphere and community on display put other much more vaunted festivals that were held at the same time to shame (I’m looking at you Besti Útíhátið). Bravo! I’ll drink to that!
And they’re right. Even now while typing this post, I’m still getting a little buzz just thinking about the good times had all the way out n the east. I actually can’t wait until next year.
Stebbi, i want Black Breath and Wolves In the Throne room for next year, got that? Failing that, maybe Slayer….
(all these pics are by the lovely photographher Þórsteinn Cameron. check his shit out)