Yes, it’s a girl band in the sense that all of its members are of the female gender. But Brúðarbandið is not Iceland’s answer to the Spice Girls, or at least as such it would be quite an ironic one. These girls (or women) are not marketed or targeted for a certain audience but are purely a creation of their own, meant to entertain and to be cherished but most importantly, to play music, and to play it loud. Having landed a record deal with the record company 12 tónar, one gets the feeling that Brúðarbandið does definitely want more.
Drinking, smoking and wedding dresses
Brúðarbandið means the band of the brides and, you guessed it, the members play their gigs wearing wedding dresses. On meeting the band one does quite quickly discover that each one of its members has been around the block and knows that there is quite a lot more to life than wedded bliss – they sing of life and experience, each having made it well out of their teens. The irony of the dresses is that these girls do not believe in one perfect, white wedding per lifetime, even announcing in their manifesto (which can be found on their website www.brudarbandid.biz) that one of their goals is more weddings for everyone. But to set the record straight, for them the wedding dress is first and foremost a stage outfit, a stylistic choice, and is definitely not the weirdest thing one could come up with to play a gig in (just think of David Bowie, the Red Hot Chili Peppers (socks, anyone?) or Kiss, to name a few). All and all, judging by their drinking, smoking and the topics of their talks, there is not much that separates Brúðarbandið from your typical rock-‘n-roll band (except perhaps the collection of Madonna posters on the wall of their rehearsal studio), but they are familiar with the problem that all all-girl bands have to face: the trouble of not being taken seriously. But as it is with most things in this world, the only way of proving you are serious about something is by actually showing it in action, not just with words.
Something old, something new…
The point here being that a band with the work morals equal to those of Brúðarbandið can’t be just a joke: the band has been up and running for six months, during which time its members have learned to play their instruments (most of them completely from scratch), made songs, played a few gigs and recorded an album. But there is also another side to this band, the fact that despite having done all this, they at least claim that they do not take themselves too seriously, manifesting that what they want is groupies and free drinks at the bar. By saying this, they maintain that come what may, they will always be able to laugh it off, be it a bad record review or a gig gone down less than well. Having fun, and actually doing something, is better than not doing anything at all. Big plans aside, basically it’s just all about wanting to play some good music and not giving a damn whether the world will listen or not.
As the band has had free hands at creating the songs, each member’s personality and musical preference is reflected on the album, and as a result Brúðarbandið’s music has the joy of a band not being controlled by a big record company. It’s obvious that they play music that they like, rather than sticking to one style at its purest. Their attitude seems to be “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,” the blue in this case being the harmonica that wails at the background like some lovelorn seafarer. The lyrics are straightforward in the style of the Seattle grunge and riot grrl bands, and the melodies range from pretty to gritty, making them a great live band.
To judge for yourselves, check out the band’s album Meira!, which is available in record stores now.