Thursday, August 04, 2005

Kissed by Sigur Ros

No that's not a metaphor to try and describe the beauty of last night's gig at Hamer Hall by Icelandic band Sigur Ros; I did actually get a farewell kiss from their vocalist Jonsi at the end of the night, having met him, his very sweet American boyfriend (whose name I've forgotten, dammit - I wish I had a better memory for names), their drummer Orri, and two of the members of Amina, their support-band/collaborators/string section at a bar called Phoenix after the show. Instead of a big, noisy after-party it was a discrete, intimate affair; a perfect end to an amazing gig.

If you haven't heard Sigur Ros, they're an atmospheric, moody, beautiful, dramatic post-rock band. Words fail me. Go track their music down and listen to it for yourself and then try and come up with your own description. A good place to start is their official website 18 Seconds to Sunrise, which features music and video clips:

I've loved their stuff for a couple of years, and was delighted when an Australian tour was announced. Their concert was beautiful, featuring a perfect balance of tracks previewed from their forthcoming album and old material. I had tears in my eyes at one point, it was so sublime.

This is their set-list (courtesy of 18 Seconds...):

Ný Batterí
Sé Lest
Viõrar Vel Til Loftárasa

Afterwards in the foyer I ran into a fellow RRR broadcaster and EMI A&R rep Glenny G, who mentioned that the band might drop in at Phoenix after the show, as it was right next door to their hotel. On a whim, I dropped by on the way home after having post-gig drinks with friends at Cherry.

To my delight, Sigur Ros and Amina were there. Their tour manager Will Lanarch-Jones (whose lovely brother Tom runs Trifekta Records, my favourite Melbourne indie label) introduced me to Jonsi and his partner, and told them I run the best gay bar in Melbourne. *blush* Jonsi then told me that there are no gay bars in Iceland at all (!) and said that he wished that they had a couple more days in Melbourne, so that they could come to Q + A. We chatted a bit about how nice it is to sometimes be surrounded by other queers, even if most gay bars play god-awful music, at which point the guys mentioned that they might be back in January, if they get onto the bill for the Big Day Out as they're hoping.

I so hope they do - not only would it be great to see the band again (it really was an amazing concert - even some of the more jaded RRR office staff were grinning this morning when they talked about it) but I'd be delighted to have Jonsi and his boyfriend as guests in my club. I'm such a fanboy. *grin*

I'm going to go and download the clip for 'viðrar vel til loftárása' from ágætis byrjun now - you should to - the video is a sweet tale of gay teen love, and it's (of course) a beautiful song as well...


Li said...

Found your site on technorati after searching for Sigur Ros. I too went to the show; How Fucking Amazing! I say this because I went to the show alone and didn't have anyone to say that to on the night.

I'm not sure if I hope they get on the big day out as it means I would have to pay an exobitant price to see a bunch of other bands i don't want to see. I really hope they tour again though soon, I need to introduce them to some of my friends.

richardwatts said...

I was lucky enough to go to the gig with friends (and ran in about 15 people I knew at various stages before and after the show in the foyer etc - seemd as if every music-geek in Melbourne was there!) so had the chance to say how fucking amazing it was, numerous times. But I'll say it again. How fucking amazing. And beautiful.

If Sigur Ros play the BDO next year it would be 99% certain that they do a sideshow as well, so I wouldn't stress too much about having to pay an exhorbitant sum to see them at the showgrounds...and if they don't, well, I can always ask Jonsi to do a guest DJ spot at my club, which you'd be welcome to attend!