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The other night i stood in a room watching my favourite group, Sigur Ros perform live just for me at the Wolverhampton Civic. There were a few others there i admit, about 700. But really Sigur Ros were only there to play for me
I have been a fan of this group for so long, and six months ago when i realized they were going on a european wide tour, i just had to go. I booked my ticket instantly.
Last night that night finally came and it was everything i expected and more.
I didnt leave the hotel until 8, took a while getting ready and chooseing outfits, in the end i just went for leggings and a jersey top with baggy jumper over it. The same applied to my taking the camera there, i almost didnt, in fact i was certain i wasn't going to take it. However, as i checked myself in the mirror before i left i thought to myself, my camera can fit in that! And it did.
So i got to the Civic in time to hear Blanck MAss do his final track, and all went quiet'ish, lights went up and we heard the band unting up and getting ready to perform. I wasn't driving, i got a cab there, so i bought some blue alchopop to refresh me, downed it and bought another and went back out to listen to them setting up.
About ten to nine the lights went down, and the crowd began cheering. It was time.
The first three songs were performed behind a screen, we could see the bands shadows being projected from behind, occasionally glimpsing frontman Jonsi when a beam of light shone his way.
Soon the whole band were revealed and the lights got more intense as the music grew more louder and stronger. The crowd, myself included were mesmerised, and very respectful, though there was one drunkard whooping and cheering at innappropriate times but thankfully he vanised after 15 minutes.
I was stood by the right side about midway, and there was no one dancing near me, i was the only one moving with the music, i didnt care though, i was lost in their sound throughout the night, so i didnt take many images and i certainly did not stand there filming every song, just one, HoppÝpolla and Me Blˇnasir, which really got the crowd cheering and clapping, Jonsi egging on the crowd to join in with the chanting as Orri bashed the drums hard when Me Blˇnasir really kicks in. That was a bit of a moment and even though i was filming it all i still found a lump in my throat.
Talking of emotional bits, when i heard the gorgeous Svefn-g-englar and Olsen Olsen, i was a little overcome with emotion, Jonsi's vocals were superb live, faultless, and very moving, but it was SŠglˇpur which really got me, oh my, i remember looking round at those nearby during that song and we were all captivated and moved. And Vaka also, not to mention E-Bow, but SŠglˇpur, the way they performed that, with an outro of strings and gentle vocals, wow!
The new material sounded amazing, a completely different direction for the group, which is only right seeing that their keyboardist, Kjartan has departed. Brennisteinn sounded good, heavy beats, quite industrial compared to their usual sound. though nowhere near as industrial compared to Kveikur, another new track, wow, that sounded very awesome indeedy, so heady, very hard sounding but i really like that, its completely different from their old sound.
Sigur Ros has a new Brass section for this tour and i have to say, it worked very well, Hoppipopla sounded very different due to the horns being played, brilliant!
Kveikur was their last song and the band just walked off without finshing, and the hall reverberated with the sound of feedback and loops and strange noise and the crowd went mental, cheering so loudly until the band came back on for that encore, and what an encore it was, just 2 songs, but 2 songs which knocked me off my feet, the aforementioned Svefn-g-englar and Popplagi, the latter ending in a cresendo of drums, noise, more feedback, loops and loveliness, and the crowd reacted by giving Sigur Ros the biggest cheer of the entire evening, as the bank took centre stage and bowed before us, but really, it should have been us bowing to them.
On the way out i had to buy the obligatory bootleg tour t-shirt, only cost me a fiver
It was such a magical evening for me, just the biggest thrill ever, something i am still very high on right now, i am still not over it and i am looking forward to seeing these guys again in the very near future.
A word on the hotel i stayed in, the Ramada Park Hall Hotel in wolverhampton, yes it is in a bit of a mess right now while renovations are ongoing, but this is made clear online so i knew much of the hotels health club facilities would be off limits. I have to say this however, its staff there were absolutely brilliant, very accomodating, when i returned from the gig at half 11 the hotel bar was closed, but the receptionist got me a drink anyway without any fuss. They rang around for taxis when my first taxi failed to pick me up and went out of their way to ensure i had a pleasent stay, which i did, even if the rooms were smaller than i imagined, it was only for that one night so it wasn't an issue and i enjoyed my brief visit there. Anyway, i had a lvely view of wolverhampton/birmingham and possibly even dudley from my window on the top floor.
The set list from the night is as follows;
Lagid i gaer
I kinda made a little vlog about my experience, messed up half way through with the volume, again, something i gotta keep my eye on when editing video, but i think i can still be heard, with headphnes on, maybe lol
And then we have my recording of Sigur Ros performing HoppÝpolla and Me Blˇnasir from the album Takk, at the end i pan the camera round to face me grinning like a loon but you cant tell because its so dark.