Airwaves15 – Day 2

So its actually the last day of airwaves, and I’m still back filling from day two. So day two was a day of off venue venues we’d not been to before, starting with Eldsmiðjan (a pizza restaurant) for Elin Ey, it was quite surreal as people were eating their lunch, and people packed on the staircases whilst waitresses squeezed past with trays of food. Elin Ey is one part of Sis Ey, but her set today was acoustic and down tempo, a stark contrast to the upbeat electro sound of her band. She also threw in a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams which was so chilled and oddly perfect for the strange surroundings.

Elin Ey, Iceland Airwaves 05.11.15

Next we headed to Bio Paradis, a cinema that also has a gallery space – there’s a group show on at the moment, mostly 2D media, worth checking out if you’re still in Reykvavik. We came to see Sekuoia from Denmark, acoording to the bio, Sekuoia is just 1 guy, but there were two performing today, maybe that’s just for the live version? There were a few technically issues (such as the sound cutting out completely), but they smiled and got on with it, chilled out beats, sort of reminded me of Royksopp, but not.

Sekuoia, Iceland Airwaves 05.11.15

Next stop was Galleri Fold, next door but one to the infamous Lucky Records (whose Off venue program lasts a full weel). We’d never been in here before because it’s always had that vibe of posh commmerical gallery. We stayed for two bands here – the amazingly prog rock Electric Space Orchestra, whose intruments included a digeridoo and the theremin. They were followed by Black Desert Sun who were more traditional rock metal.

Electric Space Orchestra, Iceland AIrwaves 05.11.15

Next up it was time for some on-venue action, so we headed to Harpa, starting out watching a band trubotharnir by accident, as the sign posts outside the rooms were incorrect, no offence to this band, they sounded great but we were wanting to check out Borko next door.

Always a humerous performer and once again flanked by trombones and trumpets, Borko got our spirits lifted with tunes such as Ding Dong Kingdom and Sing To The World and it was all too soon before he was departing the stage.

Borko, Iceland Airwaves 05.11.15

Next up was Low Roar, which as the name might suggest, sound like a low roar, lo-fi, but I’m afraid their performance didn’t set me on fire – somewhat lacking the roar bit. This was despite having enjoyed listening to some of their tracks on Spotify. So if i’m honest, waiting for Mercury Rev was like torture. But eventually we were put out of our misery, and Mercury Rev burst onto the stage in spooky smoke, throwing long shadows around the stage.

Mercury Rev, Iceland Airwaves 05.11.15

They were nothing short of amazing, Jonathan Donahue’s flamboyant gestures and performance were show stopping. The only suprise for me of the set was that they didn’t bother with recent single ‘Are You Ready?’ (was it really a single? it had a video release, which makes me think it kinda is). And I also didn’t really expect them to play my favourite (Little Rhymes) – but this didn’t stop them being a favourite of the festival.

 

 

Day 4 – Driving South Iceland back to Reykjavik

The last day of our South Island trip, we were heading from Vik back to Reykjavik for Iceland Airwaves festival. Our plan was to see the infamous black beach, Dyrholaey and be at our apartment for 3pm, as we had to return our car by 3:30.

So off to the black beach – it was less than 10 minutes drive from our hotel, and when we got there, it was raining and blowing a gale, all whilst the sun is shining!

Black Beach at Vik (Reynisfjara)

Then it was time to visit Dyrholaey. it was a landmark already programmed into the SatNav, however we were expecting to be taken onto the beach aside it. Not onto the cliff overlooking it. It was the scariest drive of my life, so steep with what looked like a sheer drop to the side of the single car pathway. Once we reached the top and I stepped out of the car I seriously felt ill, the thought of driving back down was terrifying. However it was more than worth it for the view – also worth mentioning that there is a WC up there, should you need it!

Dyrhólaey

Dyrhólaey

The drive down, oddly enough was less scary, even though we had to deal with passing a car, which was a bit hairy! Then it was time for the drive back to Reykjavik, which again was full of natural wonders, such as snow capped mountains, more waterfalls, at one point we got stuck in some very slow moving traffic, behind a hearse!

We arrived at our apartment just before 3pm. Went to check in, and uh-oh, no keys left for us. This was despite having email confirmation and making payment 10 days before arriving, our booking had been lost… we were then given a room that was technically an upgrade. Yay, we thought, but it is a weird room, we gain a sofa to watch tv on, but lose a wardrobe – there’s a chest of drawers but this was stuffed full of spare bedding! We’ve actually stayed in this same apartment block for the previous 2 years, so weird to find that the luxury room doesn’t have a kettle, or tea, coffee & oil for cooking – which were previously provided in our basic room. Unessassary shopping trip ahoy.

Anyway, we didn’t get up to much else, after sorting our room situation we mnaged to get the car back to BSI with seconds to spare. No extra payments were made, at times we did wonder whether all the pot holes and gravel roads would end up with some additional fees for damage, but thankfully not.

We then headed directly to Harpa to collect our wristbands for Airwaves, followed by Lebowski for a burger – its a personal tradition. And at this point we’d realised we hadn’t eaten since breakfast!  We then headed back to our apartment, too tired to head out for some early starting Off-venue events, and this played in our favour, as around 7:30pm the Northern Lights came out in full force! Although many, many guides seem to insist that you need clear, dark (ie no light pollution) skies, here is proof of what you can see & photograph, when your back yard is awash with street and security lights!

Aurora over Reykjavik