While the Beatles were poppin’ all over the world in the sixties, Keflavík was the home of rock in Iceland. But now these old bands, Hljómar (Chords), Flowers and most of their followers are long gone. Some are dead, some are making radio-friendly music and others have simply grown too old for all this rocking and rolling. Still, Keflavík is still producing music that matters.
Today the state-of-the-art is bull-rock (tuddarokk) and punk with a touch of politics. The toughest band in the place is probably TommyGun Preachers, lead by the man in leather (no, it’s not Bruce Dickinson, it’s that other guy). If you want to see blood, sweat and even some tears you’d want to go see them live, because not only does the guitarist end up with bleeding fingers after some heavy solos, even the bassist bleeds. How tough is that?
If you liked purrkur pillnikk—Of Rokk í Reykjavík fame– you should check Æla (puke) out. They are lead by Halli Valli who some say is even cooler then Einar Örn. They play terribly happy punk and show their happiness on stage when they, instead of sitting, stand on the chairs and/or throw them off the stage.
The third interesting band is Sex Division. The name indicates their influences and if you didn’t know any better you just might think they came straight from Manchester. Mature dance-punk with red lyrics about the ugly side of our pretty little Iceland. The word on the street says that a record is in the making and should be out any month now.
On the other hand, if you want to have an easy evening with a little cup of coffee and comfortable music, you should see the Aftan-festival which is held in Sandgerði–next to Keflavík– the first Thursday of every month. There you’ll witness bands like Tabula-rasa, Hálftíma-Gangur and Fríða & Dýrið who remind us of how to relax and how the blues is done.
Recommended Keflavík Music Clubs: Paddy’s, Keflavík ;Frumleikhúsið, Keflavík, and Traffic, Hafnargata 30, Keflavík, 421-8885.