Day 2? But where’s day one? Actually, we missed the first day and arrived in Iceland today. After a three hour flight, watching the Sigur Rós movie Heima, we arrived at Keflavik airport and were transported with a shuttle to Reykjavik, where we arrived at the busterminal around 5pm local time. We are rescheduled by the hostel company, so we’re in a better room now for the same price and closer to the city centre.
I am at the festival with Rob van der Zwaan, owner of the major dutch websites www.festivalinfo.nl and www.podiuminfo.nl. I’m shooting photo’s for Festivalinfo here. After we picked up our wristbands and press-pass we called some Dutch guys from the dutch music board Graz.nl who were here for two days already to meet, and we had diner together.
After this we went back to the hostel for change of clothes, since it was raining and getting cold already. We went back to town for seeing the first act: Fuck Buttons at the Reykjavik Art Museum. This venue normally is a museum but the big hall now is transformed in the biggest venue of the festival, able to handle more than 2000 visitors I think. The band, two guys with a laptop, some effects and drums and a My First Sony, making a pretty nice combination of drone, doom, noise and some other shit.
The nice thing about the festival is that, just like ZXZW all venues are in less than 5 minutes walking distance so you won’t miss anything if you want to. So we went to the Organ club, one block away to see the beatiful Norwegian singer-songwriter Therese Aune from Norway. Only her and her keyboard, acting (or beeing) really shy (the whole club was packed and too damn hot inside!) and singing great songs. I’ll remember the one about Pirates! (ARRRRRRRR) Every single man in the room fell in love with this girl tonight. “This song is about throwing rocks at the sun because you feel so bitter”. Sweet
Back to the Museum to see GusGus, the first Icelandic band on our schedule. A pretty static band, but with the best beats in the world. You gotta check this one out. Back to the Organ to see Parachutes. The stage of this venue is like 9 square meters, and it’s a 9 piece man. Include drumkit, amps, a piano and some more stuff, and there’s almost no space left for the band. But they managed to fit on stage or close to it. They toured with Sigur Rós and are great. Period.
Getting out Organ is pretty difficult as there are too many people there, but we finally managed and went off to the NASA to see the last band of the day, The Young Knives, arriving there early to see a bit of Lay Low too. Not too impressive to be honoust. Then The Young Knives. I saw them at the London Calling Queensday festival this year in Paradiso, but wasn’t really impressed. Now, there was a great vibe hanging around and the band was on it’s best. It’s like the Presidents of The USA of England, only a bit more Britpop-like. The crowd was going crazy and so did the band.
At 1am we decided to leave and get some sleep since it has been a long day of more than 20 hours. First impression of the festival: WOW! Good bands, all venues are loaded and a good organisation. They only sell 0,5l beers and I’m not that big of consumer when it’s on beer so I only have to acclimatize on that one. Weather is great, bit rain and around 6 degrees.
By the way, the financial crisis is exaggerated a lot in The Netherlands. The Reykjavik inhabitants say it’s getting a bit more expensive to them, but cash machines and banks are still running. For us, it’s a bit cheaper. Glad about that. Glad about beeing here. Glad about three great day’s coming up.