Saturday, November 03, 2007


You ever have those times when you're slaving away, working all hours to get something done? It's been that way for the last few months. And so it comes to pass that I'm sat at the analysis computer on a Saturday evening, and my trendy friend calls. A blessed respite from my dull work. But she calls not for a chat. Speaking excitedly down the crackly line, she exclaims: "There's a free concert at the Wooden Centre and I'm standing in the line for tickets! Come join me now."

Hot damn! The papers get stuffed in the bag, computer shut down and I run out the building towards the University's gym where a looong snaking line has formed. Two and a half hours later, I'm in the indoor basketball court on some bleachers waiting patiently.

Four Icelandic men walk in to tumultuous applause and play an acoustic set of three songs for our enjoyment. Hauntingly beautiful melodies, a pure falsetto and I'm mesmerised.

They play their film Haime for us and I'm sat there captivated by the beauty of Iceland, and terribly homesick for Scotland, which has many similar qualities: wet green grass, soft mists, howling winds, that special northern summer light... All the while, the gorgeous sounds of their music wash over us and I'm transported to last summer, when the band took their music home to the various towns on their island. People are leaving the basketball court, and I can't help but feel a little sorry for them that the soulfulness of the music and imagery has not touched them enough to stay them a while, to sit and enjoy, to let their pressing Saturday night engagements wait. I sit with my bladder full, unwilling to leave for even a minute for fear of missing anything.

When it's over, LA comes crashing back in. But I'm thankful. I do lead a charmed life. I saw Sigur Ros live. For free.

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