I have come to the conclusion that if somebody is in the middle of the road, you should run them over. I am of course talking about musicians and not pedestrians. They are not only wasting their own existence but are sucking up yours too, don’t stand for it people. But you do don’t you? I’ve even done it. You listen to someone and think they have all the right elements. It sounds ‘nice’ and for a moment you even believe you might like it. You swarm along with thousands of others to see them live and sometimes you even go away thinking you might have enjoyed it. Except did you? You spent most of the gig chatting to your mates, the rest trying to get the perfect selfie with them, then sung along to the tune you’d heard a thousand times on that advert at the end, before tweeting what a hashtag great time you had.
We’ve all pretty much come to the conclusion that the generations coming up are the least engaged in the world. A strange conclusion maybe when they spend their whole time engaged in something. Even if it is just their own social media identity. But it all feels a little too surface level, we’re not sure what they’re not engaging with but whatever it is lies somewhere deep within them, or somewhere out there in the ‘real’ world. I’ve certainly seen it, right there in the middle of the road. I look around at gigs and see absolutely nothing. Blank eyes staring at bland acts, playing beige music. I’d say it’s the type of music that induces no emotional response except for the fact that it brings me out in an uncontrollable rage.
Sadly this was the music that I encountered for the most part of Iceland Airwaves. It felt like I was at Field Day, just colder. The music was proving so inoffensive it was offending every part of my being. Not that I need it to offend, I just need it to do something at least. The band that eventually saved me were’t offensive in any way, in fact quite the opposite. It would be absolutely impossible to be offended by them but at the same time equally impossible for me to feel any negativity towards them. They were called Amabadama, one of the Icelandic Reggae bands I was looking forwards to seeing.
This might sound like the biggest pile of hypocritical nonsense on the planet right now for anyone who knows them (and me). Coming from a man who booked the likes of Anthony B, Turbulence and Cutty Ranks last year, surely a bunch of young, smiley Icelandic kids can’t even come onto the register. Surely they should be ran over in the middle of the road with the rest of them? But nope, I won’t hear a word against them. They totally warmed my heart and saved my soul from drowning itself in Brennevin (an Icelandic spirit I was given a small bottle of on registration to the festival. By the sounds of it, I’m lucky I no longer drink alcohol). They won over the whole room too, which seemed to be mostly stacked with outsider delegates such as myself. It was the first time all night I actually saw people moving to the music and the first time I saw smiles from the crowd and actual engagement with the artists on stage. I have no doubt that if it weren’t for the language barrier these guys would be easily accepted all over the world, and I hope that’s just a barrier they get to bring us over, rather than we try to pull them over. Because the Icelandic tongue actually works incredibly well for their music and it would be a huge shame for them to lose that. It certainly didn’t seem to bother anybody in the room, so best of luck to them.
Right, I think I need to refine my schedule to avoid any more ranting, Let’s see what else this festival has to offer. Feel free to send me any suggestions.
Update: Thankfully everything gets much better tomorrow. Some great music all day, read about it here.