A Dream of Agust in a Porsche

Posted on August 2, 2016 in Main

agustI feel at my weakest on a Monday. Since my great awakening, I have spent the last 6 weekends waiting for Jonsi. Jackie tells me that I need to start eating more foods, she jokes that if she went on a diet like me then she could fit back into her wedding dress. She says if she could fit back in to her wedding dress then maybe her husband would love her again. Sometimes I wonder if Jackie is the one that really needs therapy.

My eyes droop and hang of my lids. I stare at the empty space where the customer should be. The groceries come and I slide along the till, barcodes bleep and bloop and every now and again Terry has to tap me on the shoulder to wake me up.

santa“Still recovering from the weekend, young chap?” Terry’s smile is like the one Santa does on Coca-Cola bottles. So happy and so pleased, and a little bit terrifying. Everyone tells me he ‘means well’, but I’ve never understood that phrase.

Its much harder to concentrate at work after I’ve had my jacket potato and beans. They won’t let me work the shelves anymore, after they found me passed out in a pile of boxes in the back. Terry tells me that ‘some boys just need more sleep than others’. I turn 29 in a month’s time. I’m not sure if Terry has a grasp on all his faculties.

The till, the bus, the walk home, up the stairs. Monday’s are a day of recuperation. By the time it gets to six, Clarkson, May and Hammond are telling me about motorcars and I can barely stay conscious. The cars gleam and shine, kicking up the water off the road in slow motion. The screen threatens to envelop me, as I drift into the car. But its not Clarkson, May or Hammond driving. Its Agust.

Porsche Cayman GT4 RT YellowIt’s so rare that I get to see Agust. He’s always trapped behind the drums, thundering his Icelandic beats – lost in the music. Now his strong arms are in full control of the Porsche. We’re driving faster than I can handle, I’m glued to the leather seats. Over the roar and pulse of the engine he shouts with glee. He tells me that the parts that make his Porsche faster than any other car can be found at Tech-9 in Liverpool. The faster we drive, the tighter Agust grips the wheel, until the leather starts to creep up his fingers. My hands are stuck to the seats, the speed of the vehicle is stitching me to t
he interior.

Soon neither of us can move an inch. Agust is screaming about the modifications made to his exhaust and stabilisers, he’s all black leather now – rasping cries gasping from the headrest. The car slams to a halt, the doors open. Lights flash, a crowd is baying as a man in a suit steps off a red carpet and sits in me. I know that smell. Its Jonsi. He leans back in me as we set off – Agust puts the pedal to the floor and the world melts into a blur of metal, glass, leather, Jonsi and lush instrumentals.

Craig Charles wakes me up. He’s yelling and whooping with joy as Clarkson put his white plaque above Tony Robinson’s. I smile and put my feet up on the damp sofa – the lines on the screen stutter and jerk like always. I’d buy another VHS, but I’m not sure if anyone makes them anymore.

 

Jonsi, find me in the chair

Posted on July 22, 2016 in Main

I’ve been in the chair for over sixteen hours now. Its making me a little sore, but I can hold on. The whole weekend, that’s how long I might have to wait. Work on Monday, but until then – nothing. The whole weekend to wait for him.chair

The leather of the straps is chafing my wrists. I think I might be allergic to it. Its too bad, if I’d known earlier then I would have changed them. Soon, I won’t be allergic anymore. Or hungry. Or thirsty. Jonsi will though.

Haven’t eaten since yesterday. Jackie told me I look thin, but what does she know? She’s just a brain doctor – not a body doctor. Jackie said to ‘take it easy’ and have a ‘great weekend’. I said of course I would.

“Of course Jackie, first I’m going to have a lie in, its all I have been thinking about this week. Man, those early mornings will kill me one of these days so help me Jonsi- I mean God.”

enyaShe looked suspiciously at me, as if I wasn’t being completely honest with her. I smiled my sweet smile, the one that’s meant to make me look like a normal person. She seemed reassured and did her normal smile back at me.

“Just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” She said this and started laughing a little. I laughed so hard. As I left the room, tears were rolling down my face and my jaw hurt; a bit like when I was a kid. Imagining Jackie waiting in the chair for Jonsi was so funny. She’s a bit bigger than me, so I doubt all the straps would fit round her –  plus I can’t imagine her wearing the Jonsi outfit. It would be too small for her. She likes to wear big floaty business suits and listen to Enya. To each their own I say.

“To each their own.” I say. The straps are really starting to itch now, but its too late to get out and find new ones. This could be the day, or tomorrow. This weekend could be the one that Jonsi becomes me.

My belly growls again. This is the hardest part of waiting for Jonsi. The last thing I eat before starting the weekend’s wait is a strawberry boiled sweet from Jackie’s office. Before that I have a jacket potato with beans at work. Then I have the whole weekend to wait. I can’t afford to leave my chair. I physically can’t leave the chair. Have I mentioned the straps?

Sigur Ros on Tour

Posted on June 30, 2016 in Main

It takes real guts and determination to succeed in the music industry, something that Icelandic trio Sigur Ros know all about. Originally discovered and signed because of lead singer Jonsi Birgisson’s  falsetto voice (the indie record company thought his ‘cute’ vocals would appeal to a teen market), the band moved away from an early pop sound to a more grandiose ethereal sound scape. This brave move would later garner them awards and airplay on TV and radio, however taking this arena size band on tour would prove to be a whole new challenge. Epic songs featured on international sports coverage and used to advertise David Attenborough’s Earth now needed to be taken on the road, and due to the band’s niche sound, big venues could not be relied on. As a result, the lads from Iceland took the decision to book an alternative tour schedule, taking them off the beaten track and deep into the heart of England and Wales.

Sigur Ros performs at Celebrate Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell on July 31, 2012.

Sigur Ros performs at Celebrate Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Bandshell on July 31, 2012.

The first stop on the tour is usually an important one, a chance for a band to make a mark on the national music scene with a grand opening in a prestigious venue. Sigur Ros decided to buck this trend and open their tour in the Northern city of Stoke-on-Trent at the alternative venue the Sugar Mill. Having played host to such significant acts such as CABBAGE and The Vryll Society, Jonsi and the gang knew that the Sugar Mill would be just the place to unleash their Hopelandic anthems. Only 400 people would witness their arrival on the UK tour scene, but it would be a performance that no one would forget it in a hurry.

On wards from Stoke-on-Trent, the band hits the road refuelling at service stations, (drummer Orri Páll Dýrason is particularly partial to KFC’s Zinger Tower Burger), on the way to the Welsh town of Conwy. Whilst attempting to wash down his dry chicken with some overly concentrated Fanta, Orri jokingly describes their two date schedule as an ‘international’ tour. Swallowing the remainder of his poorly executed meal with a grimace, he mentions on a serious note that he is a strong supporter of Welsh independence. This is why, at the end of their near two hour journey, they arrive at Conwy Castle. Towering above the town and overlooking the Conwy Suspension Bridge, Orri describes the Castle as a symbol of Welsh strength. Within the cavernous halls of this 13th Century relic, the band’s soaring sounds entertain a meagre handful of audience members. It doesn’t matter to Orri, as he beats out the bands pounding rhythms (the Welsh dragon emblazoned on the bass drum skin), a keen observer can see tears joining the rivulets of sweat running down his cheek. He may be over 3000km away from Reykjavik, but for one night in Conwy (look up conwy accommodation here), this Icelandic drummer is truly home.

Who are Sigur Ros?

Posted on June 27, 2016 in Main

Sigur Ros is a band based in Iceland that was formed in 1994 by Georg Holm, Jon Birgisson and Agúst Ævar Gunnarsson. The name of the band was derived from Jónsi Birgisson’s little sister, Sigurrós. After formation, the band became pop chamber sensation some years later when their album became a number one hit. In 1997, they released an album called Hope (von) and 1998 they released a remix collection called Von brigoi.

Von Brigði Album Cover

Von Brigði Album Cover

i is wordplay in Iceland meaning disappointment, but Von brigoi means hope alteration. Sometimes the album is referred to as Recycle bin in English.

The band was spiced up when a keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson joined them in 1998 after which they released Agætis byrjun in 1999 an international hit. Agætis byrjun continued to gained popularity over years down the line. The albums reputation attracted so many critics as it was one the best albums of the time and the band was now playing Radiohead along with other big names.

In 2001, the band set out to produce their third album at their new swimming pool studio. The album was produced with the help of the chairman of Iceland poetry society Steindór Andersen. Also a fisherman, Steindór is a remarkable singer of traditional Icelandic epic poetry form, known as rímur. The band named their album rímur. During the 2001 spring tour, the band sold only 1000 copies.

In 2002, the band produced another album () that was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, the songs the () album did not have titles although the band published the title of the song, later on, their official website. In 2003, the band joined Radiohead to compose music and in 2004, they released three tracks “Ba Ba,”Ti Ki,” and “Di Do”. The band intended that the songs play as a single track, but they were played on separate tracks. By October 2004, von album that had been produced in 1997 found a release in the UK and the US. A lot happened in 2005 including offers of legal download of most of the bands tracks in most parts of US and UK.

The band released a double album Hvarf/Heim in November 2007. Hvarf contained new versions of songs in their oldest albums while Heim contained live acoustic versions of their most popular songs.

In 2008 to 2010 the band worked on new materials which included live album and DVD. The band produced their sixth studio album Valtari, on may 2012. In 2013, the band released Kveikur after Kjartan Sveinsson left them.

1n 2014 the band made a remarkable appearance on the HBO show Game of Thrones in the second episode season 4 for performing The Rains of Castamere.

Since the launch of the band, Sigur Rós has sold more than 2.5 million albums all over the world.