Taken to MSG theatre ·
to see Sigur Ros the artsy Icelandic band… endlessly beautiful sustained harmoniums, brass, bowed guitars, synths, soaring Aha like choir boy vocals and a kind of layered and earnestly cooperative attendance to playing parts (Bjork: “I thought I could organise freedom, how Scandinavian of me”) that left me panting for a solo to light up the night, or indeed the pointillist inter-change of a West African polyrhythmic Highlife or Juju band…
the intent was symbolised from the start, with the drummer (the only staccato instrument, if you exclude the odd ‘oompah’ from the brass band) set off to one side and a string quartet placed square centre-stage. a statement of we are displacing the engine, the balls, the rocknroll, we are playing ‘new’ music, diffuse music, cerebral but with a longing and bucolic heart, a world of soft segues and hanging ambient moments, after an hour I craved for a rhythm section to let rip, for the chatter of funky guitars or coruscating Hendrixonian lines… never thought I’d be the one silently mouthing “Get it on” at a gig now did ya
I went deliberately naive, having heard nothing, read nothing, just knowing the name. I suspect this music records beautifully, haunts the heart and moves deeply, but the live show wasn’t so enthused, except perhaps when the four figures took the stage alone, and I felt that I was in the presence of young guys stumbling on a sound and playing, transfixed by this marvellous visitation, utterly fascinated, for hours.
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Copyright 2004-2016 Geoffrey Armes