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

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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.