Manstu ekki eftir mér (“Don’t you remember me?”) is a new concert series that – not unlike ATP’s ‘Don’t look back’ series – aims to bring back classic albums for people to experience in a live setting. The+ first band to partake were Ensími, who performed their classic album Kafbátamúsík.
Given the difficult task of being the opening act for this much hyped show were alternative rockers Dikta. They seemed fully aware of the situation and ran quickly through a few hits that pleased the crowd and got off the stage quickly for people to get what they wanted.
Ensími’s Kafbátamúsík is eleven years old this year, released in ’98. The year Sigur Rós released their eyebrow raising remix album, Vonbrigði, and Botnleðja released their seminal third album Magnyl. The latter being in my opinion the best Icelandic album of the nineties (if not of all time). But Kafbátamúsík is almost, if not just as, remarkable. And both albums to me appear pretty significant in Iceland’s rock history. As perfectly as Magnyl expressed excitement and maybe relief of the arriving end of the 90s, Kafbátamúsík is its sad, vulnerable and uncertain counterpart. Maybe I have a bit of a biased view of those albums, seeing as I was 14 years old when they were released and they both left chronic marks on my love for and interest in music. But I do believe that besides those points, the three final years of the nineties made a big change for Icelandic rock music. It became more serious, ambitious and daring.
In the past eleven years, Ensími have gone through many changes, line-up and otherwise. They’ve released two more albums and gone into hibernation for the last few years. The line up now consists basically of local funk-rock-metal band Dr. Spock (whose guitarist Franz Gunnarsson is an original member of Ensími) backing singer Hrafn Thorodssen. To be honest, that doesn’t make much of a difference as they are all more than competent players and seemed to know the material like the back of their hands. Original keyboard player (and current politician) Oddný Sturludóttir even made an appearance for a few of the songs.
There’s not much to be said about the show it self. Apart from there being some sound difficulties, it was nearly flawless for what it was. They played the songs perfectly and confidently and seemed to genuinely have fun doing so. The venue was packed and people loved it, the crowd´s singing along to every single chorus just showed how much love people have for the album.
I really hope this concert series will last at least a few more shows and bring back some more gems from Iceland’s music history for us to enjoy live for one more time. All I have left to say is get Botnleðja to do Magnyl next. Please.
- What we think: There’s not much to be said about the show itself. Apart from there being some sound difficulties, it was nearly flawless for what it was. They played the songs perfectly and confidently and seemed to genuinely have fun doing so.
- Where: Nasa
- When: Thursday June 11th
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