No Tents Please - The Reykjavik Grapevine

No Tents Please

No Tents Please

Published August 20, 2009

It started with a conga line, entwining the reasonably sized audience of friends into a daisy chain of drunken merriment and awkward expression for those who reluctantly joined—Batteríið had opened its doors to the madness of <3 Svanhvít.
These guys commanded the stage topless, rapping over pre-recorded songs via an iPod and the odd random keyboard interlude. Call it stupid, arrogant or what you will, these lads sure knew how to have a good time, and by the interactivity and reaction of the audience they succeeded threefold.
I popped outside on the streets for a while to get some fresh air and to watch the sitcom around Reykjavík. A shocking tale was told of how people weren’t allowed entry to Innipúkinn due to wild age restrictions, even after ticket purchase—the fun police had struck once again. I stared at my ‘press pass’ and re-entered Batteríið for more booze to calm down.
After wandering around, urinating and various trips to the ATM, I got my first ‘proper’ Sudden Weather Change viewing, finally. After being amazed by SWC’s Loji Höskuldsson’s uncanny resemblance to Weird Al Yankovic (minus white boy fro), a second wave of amazement struck vigorously. Extremely well constructed songs, catchy hooks and genuine enthusiasm grasped me and my music loving peers in an uncontrollable unity of hatred for Nicholas Cage, whilst bellowing out ‘St. Peters Day.’
A short hop, skip and a stumble lead me to Sódóma, the haze in my retinas steered me to the front of the stage for Sykur. Various electro squawks and 808 drum sounds naturally spurred on party people to create more shapes than an episode of Sesame Street. Aesthetically, Sykur had a likeness to Kraftwerk—slicked back hair, shirt and tie, baby faces. They just added in that annoying pointing motion to the sky and cheeky smirks; if it wasn’t for the ‘happy juice’ it would be incredibly exasperating.
Gratefully Agent Fresco allowed any frustration to be expelled naturally over the next hour or so. They sounded exceptionally tight as always, even when the keyboard fell off its unsecured stand no flaws incurred. It was then time to leave.
Day two I found myself one of the few attending Swords of Chaos and from what I can remember they put on an awesome show. The next couple of hours were spent drinking in the courtyard of Batteríið, under a canopy of dramatic’ unnerving deep blue fairy lights and listening to fruitful conversation across the horizon as Reykjavík’s sun finally set.
As this is Iceland and punctuality is not in the vocabulary, everything was running late. This confusion made me miss AMFJ at Jacobsen as I ran back to Sódóma to catch Seabear, only then to find out that Dikta (nothing against them) was still playing. The only consolation was the fact the bar was empty at this point.
Once Seabear eventually began, the sound in the venue was too dreadful for music so delicate and exquisite. Vocalist Sindri managed to pull the set through, but without hearing the band’s complex musical instrumentation and pensive nature, it just sounded frustratingly boring. Never mind, ‘Arms’ sounded beautiful as ever.
Eager not to ‘miss out’ on anything, Batteríið was the decision made for a ‘good time.’ The only problem was not factoring in the equation of FM Belfast plus Sódóma closing = a shitload of people in a small venue. Being surrounded by douchebags unaware of personal space made it far from a ‘good time.’ The early hours were spent once again outside, listening to FM Belfast’s rendition of ‘Killing In The Name’ and trying not to purge.
Exhausted and fragile summed up the final day of Innipúkinn. Pascal Pinon were on the cards for an evening of relaxation and unwinding. Their endearing demeanour and alluring song writing is always a pleasure.
With just enough time to grab some food and a tiny stroll, For a Minor Reflection began. Of course one might say that ‘post-rock’ is a cliché coming from Iceland, but who cares when you play conscientious and passionate music as well as they did. An intense drum battle broke out right beside me, as the band was joined by a hooded figure with cymbals and toms in tow directly in front of the stage. It was too much fieriness to take. The hangover and deprivation kicked in—home at once.
Thoughts of the weekend:
Who needs a festival in the middle of no-where, surrounded by hippies and faeces, when you can have a cracking debauched time on your own doorstep? Brilliant.

  • What: Innipúkinn Festival 2009
  • When: July 31st until August 2nd
  • Where: Batterííð and Sódóma

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