From Iceland — Celebrating Women In Rock, By Accident Or Not

Celebrating Women In Rock, By Accident Or Not

Celebrating Women In Rock, By Accident Or Not

Published September 2, 2022

Photo by
Art Bicnick

Mammút and Kælan Mikla are setting up a feast for music lovers

When Rokk í Reykjavík announced an all-male lineup for their upcoming show this year, it sparked a discussion in the Icelandic media and across society. While everyone agreed that hosting a gig without a single female band is a rather absurd thing to do in 2022, some went a step further. “Girls need the same access to this awesomeness. That’s why it’s weird when a concert like this happens,” says Mammút bassist Ása Dýradóttir. So her band, together with other female performers, decided to put on their own gig the same weekend that promises to be a hell of a night.

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A long-held dream

“We had planned on putting on a show at Gamla Bíó this fall, in order to play songs from our newest album ‘Ride the Fire’ live, in a mix with our other albums,” says Ása. “We had wanted to play a back-to-back show with Kælan Mikla for a long time and asked them to join us. When the announcement of Rokk í Reykjavík was public, with tons of bands (many of our friends and favourites) allegedly portraying the cream of rock music in Reykjavík, and not one of them was female, we decided to ask the great female-led bands Börn and Gróa to join us.”

Kælan Mikla are currently on tour in Europe, but they managed to drop us a line and share their excitement about the gig. “The upcoming concert with Mammút, Gróa and Börn is a dream come true! It’s not about anything other than having fun and enjoying the music we all have created through the years,” they said.

Official poster for the September 16th gig

A planned coincidence

“Our gig at Gamla Bíó takes place the same weekend as Rokk í Reykjavík, but even though we’re making an undisputed statement in light of that gig, it’s not a male vs. female argument we want to spark since that takes the spotlight away from what we’re creating: a fest of sound and vision, that really has nothing to do with gender,” says Ása. “But the lineup surely emphasises the depth and variety of female artists in the Reykjavík indie/rock music scene. The gig celebrates women in rock, by accident or not.”

Band members of Kælan Mikla agree that their upcoming concert is not a statement nor protest: “It was indeed sad to read how some people feel about the Icelandic rock scene. But this event inspired us to finally set up a show we have been longing to do for years!”

Mammút & Kælan Mikla

Concert programme

The September gig promises new tracks and old favourites from Mammút and Kælan Mikla. “We want to play so many songs but we can only do like an hour. It’s very hard to choose. But we’re going to do a very good personal ‘best of’, what we think is most fun to play,” shares Ása.

“It’s not a male vs. female argument we want to spark.”

Kælan Mikla will be performing their new album along with some of their greatest hits from earlier albums.

Both bands have slightly different styles, and Ása is excited to see what kind of audience comes to the show. “Kælan Mikla are in the goth scene and we’re more indie rock. Even though we are friends and we know each other, we have quite diverse listener groups, so it’s gonna be very fun. I’m really interested to see who’s coming,” she says.

Gróa

Choose your rock gig

“It’s going to be much more fun at Gamla Bíó. It has never happened before and will probably never happen again,” says Ása. “It’s gonna be a night to remember.”

Börn

“Our show is the day before the Rokk í Reykjavík, so if people want to, they could attend both. We would love to see Gamla Bíó fill up and encourage everyone who is interested to attend because this will be a hell of a night and a rarity to manage to get all four busy bands together,” Kælan Mikla say. “We have looked up to Mammút since before we started Kælan Mikla. Musically, we grew up together with Börn and love to see Gróa continue creating such amazing things. We all really look forward to setting up this show!”

Mammút & Kælan Mikla, supported by Gróa and Börn, will play at Gamla Bíó on September 16th. Tickets are available at tix.is.

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