A review by Wim Van Hooste
Last night I tried to get in the mood for the forthcoming Iceland Airwaves festival by watching the video Popp i Reykjavik.
The video tries to give a view of the capital's music scene in the Post-Sugarcubes period anno 1998. It is not just a concert video. It was made for the Icelandic market, so only available in Icelandic. I bought the video and the CD - which contains others material then the performances of this movie - when I was working in Akureyri in 1998.
Flying above the 100.000 souls town to kick off. Gay pop star par excellence Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson aka Pall Oscar takes you on a night out in downtown Reykjavik: ignoring, kissing and greeting the drunken crowd and fans. You can see the very young faces of Bibbi Thoroddsen aka Curver, Biggi, Sigur Ros' Jonsi with forelock like Tin Tin, Bardi Johannsson & Esther and Daniel Agust Haraldsson.
Some, more precise most faces, are still on the 101 scene these days.
The musical program starts with Maus on stage and you can watch them bowling in colourful t-shirts.
Bang Gang performs "So alone" on stage with the female singer firespitting à la Rammstein and doing "In heaven".
Keflavik's finest girlpower Bellatrix did remind me of 4 Non Blondes, with frontwoman Eliza Newman Geirsdottir as a kind of Linda Perry.
Stolia in a small car and Vector were next.
A chat with Surefni and shots behind their keyboards live on stage.
A sexy Móa was taking a bath. On stage her particular voice impresses: an Icelandic lady with an exceptional throat.
Curver shows his 20 guitars and his impressive Marilyn Monroe collection and fixation. No live footage of Bibbi, just demonstrating one of his electronic tools.
Next you are confronted with a close view on Ensími recording of their best songs according to me @ Studio Syrland (of Sugarcubes fame).
The Hip-Hop crew Subterranian surrounded with painting by Icelandic pop-art artist Erro demonstrates their tricks, followed by a performance of the 2 B boys and the Fly girl.
Vinyll playing golf @ Seltjarnarnes peninsula, just next to the water of the Faxafloi Bay.
Botnleðja practising in a very small (panic) room, drinking (a tray of) beer and the footage ends as a commercial for Viking Bjor as a result of too much booze.
Svanur talks in front of Reykajvik's Kringlan shopping mal.
Stjörnukisi with their late singer having a sigarette on the balkony.
DJ Addi and skateboarders @ the car free heart and skateboard heaven of 101 Reykjavik.
H R Ingi R
And of course every good movie needs some (full frontal) nudity. So Páll Óskar goes mad @ a striptease spot with the B & W girls. Other shots of the singer with Casino band before they have to find their way to the stage.
Singer Magga Stína is the real grown-up Vigga: a (Belgian) cartoon figure by Willy Vandersteen, called Siggi og Vigga in Icelandic, the only thing she misses is her doll Schannulleke.
Spitsign shows that they were already hard & heavy before ending in Iceland's best hardcore band Minus.
Sigur Rós on the bus to the Kolaportid flea market and before they got world famous.
Short interview with Gorilla and Iceland lover (since 1996?) Damon Albarn having a smoke and giving Quarashi a compliment.
Iceland's Beastie Boys Quarashi are featured as a Football team and stagediving in a kind way.
The video ends with the bunch of Gus Gus filling the stage.
The video is not that confronting and raw as the Rokk i Reykavik movie by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson 16 years earlier (1982). It is neither containing spectacular shots and interviews as Screaming Masterpiece (2005).
My Rating: *** out of *****
The only shots of the movie on YouTube (with English subtitles) featuring Sigur Rós ' Ný batterí: