Iceland Airwaves


Iceland Airwaves is over and winter has come to Iceland. I just love that ice cold wind kissing my rosy cheeks. Mount Esja gets a nice white cap. It feels as the old days when I was living here. It clashes so nicely with the hot and lively vibrant atmosphere of the past week.Walking down town you stumble upon bands playing in shops and pubs, even at a hairdresser’s. Hipsters from all over the world hit the town, popping in and out the stores to see a lot of nice bands you can’t see on venue.

Airwaves was great again. Number one gig was – again, as last year- Ghostigital. Another line-up, with (ex-Sugarcubes) drummer, guitar, extra brass … Again a completely new experience. Everyone was dancing like crazy. I almost didn’t recognize Kaktus, the son of singer and nowadays politician Einar Örn (who wants to ban alcohol from the pubs in the centre – not sure whether he’s being serious or being provocative). In the end everyone was dancing along on the stage. It was one big party. The Best Party maybe (the party of mayor and comedian Jón Gnarr). I think no festival had ever so many local politicians on stage. Einar Örn, the guys (a.o. Óttar Proppé) of HAM, Iceland’s most famous metal band … A really interesting thing, culture guys that turn into politicians and just keep doing what they like, playing music.

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Another gig I liked quite a lot was -of course- FM Belfast. No band catches the vibe of this city better than they do. Their music and lyrics are about the Reykjavík I knew/know. The feeling of being stuck on this island but not caring at all and party like there’s no tomorrow. They invited a lot of friends on stage. The Retro Stefson guys and girl went crowdsurfing. The atmosphere was just so great. Condense was dripping from the ceiling in Nasa. More of that!

Also Hellvar was really good. I had never seen them play before and now I saw them three times. Both acoustically and fully electrical. I even got a private rehearsal (I’m staying at their place). They rocked at Nasa and in the end the place was full. Which was really good since they had to compete with an off venue gig by HAM. I really lked the new songs, both music- and lyricwise. My favourite is Women and Cream

Another special thing about this festival is that everyone, from foreigner to famous musician form the same crowd while watching a band. Even Björk was watching eg. Apparat Organ Quartet just from the crowd. People did look but left her alone. I don’t think this would happen on other festivals. And afterwards they also go to the same pubs such as Boston and Bakkus. Or on the street as the drum party outside at Bakkus, I unfortunately missed out upon on Sunday (but luckily Marcus taped it :))

Airwaves is also all about discovering bands. The main discoveries this year were Prinspólo, Nolo, Miri and Ensimi. Bans I knew but really liked again were Aela, Sóley, Kimono, Sólstafir, Borkó, Jan Mayen, Amiina and Mugison.

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