I’ve seen Sigur Rós a few times. Ok, more than a few times. But it doesn’t mean I want to talk though their performance. I mean, who exactly are these people that fork out for a ticket and then jabber on to their mates throughout concerts?
This is exactly what happened last night at Wolverhampton Civic, where I went to see Sigur Rós on their latest tour (SR7? Is anyone calling it that?) which promised new material and breath-taking visuals.
The first few songs, performed behind the now ubiquitous screen seemed to misfire, with both the screen and the talking of the crowd perhaps becoming an overwhelming distraction. New song Yfirborð failed to grab the attention of the crowd.
Sigur Rós got their own back though, with the new (ish) and evil Brennisteinn demanding utmost concentration or risk being hunted down Predator style by that bass. The sci-fi green backlit images of hanging bodies only served to enforce this threat. It was awesome.
With the crowd now silenced, the band pushed on; Glósóli was magnificent with its original video in tow, Varúð now sounds at home in the set and sounded fabulous whilst Sæglópur did what it always does.
Hoppípolla was wheeled out, much to the relief of all the couples in the audience who probably used this on their wedding day mix-tape, don’t know any other Sigur Rós music and are probably scarred for life right now. I’m surprised they weren’t found cowering near the bar after Brennisteinn.
The surprise was yet to come though. Kveikur is clearly related to Brennistein. It’s a galloping horse of a song, with a video of well, a galloping horse it sounded menacing, industrial and yet still Sigur Rós. It was exciting, exhilarating and worth the ticket price alone. After this, no one was talking.
After the encore, Sigur Rós play only two songs. But what a pair. The delicious Svefn-g-englar with its ultra-sonic beeps echoed by the myriad stage lights still reminds me of Bill Murray finding the Jaguar shark in Life Aquatic, and always will, and Popplagið, a reminder of just what the Sigur Rós live experience should be. It finishes, as always, in a storm of feedback.
I leave with my ears ringing and a smile on my face. In the bar area, a few couples are still hiding under tables.