From Iceland — A Real Horrorshow

A Real Horrorshow

Published July 29, 2008

Or How I stopped Worrying and Started to Love Metal

A Real Horrorshow
Photo by
Guðný Lára Thorarensen

Or How I stopped Worrying and Started to Love Metal

Well, where to begin? While I’m sitting here in my bed at 4AM on a Sunday night, still smelling of beer and other odorous liquids, I still remember the moment when we entered the 9-hour-from-Reykjavík town, Neskaupstaður, which had already begun transforming from this lovely and peaceful sailor village into a raving limbo. The allegedly sweatiest summer festival in Iceland, Flight of the Testicles, had begun.

We decided to camp our tents in the Party-Campsite, for otherwise we might have been stoned by the metal madmen, and as soon as we entered the premises several different kinds of Irish and Scotch Whiskey were basically impelled upon our throats and everyone present claimed they had a spot perfect for us right by their tent. We wondered whether everybody was simply so nice or that the fact that one of us was a female had anything to do with this extreme niceness of the rugged, long-haired rockers. But once the party was started we really didn’t care; we kind of became one of them, we had to. Never had I witnessed as much soul and unity on a single premises. Whether you were swivelling your head with the moshers in front of the stage or kicking it back at the bar with a triple whiskey on the rocks (which has to be the official festival drink), you were all part of the same big, happy metal family.

Severed Crotch: A New Hope
The high-points of the Friday on stage were Brain Police and Severed Crotch. The Brain Police stage-image is known to most Icelanders but it is based upon four rather roly-poly rock swine who play some kind of a rigid desert rock with the old and classic 60s tube sound. The crowd went wild when they entered the stage, and though it seemed to me that they were playing the same song for half an hour, it was at least a decent song. Their singer, Jenni, blasted his vocal cords like there was no tomorrow and several young groupies broke their water as they screamed like lunatics. He eventually had to face the fact, though, that the stage’s proximate singer had to be considered even more dynamic than he was. And so the alleged singer and frontman of Severed Crotch, Ingó, made his appearance and for a while it was as the next Messiah had appeared, so eager was the crowd in their admiration. For these music enthusiasts the wonderfully named band Severed Crotch was simply a religion. When you viewed the mosh-pit from a certain distance I couldn’t imagine otherwise than the participants were receiving a real beating (which I found out the next day was factual), but that didn’t stop them and their vigour and Ingó’s growling created a true harmony. When the show was over the whole myriad flocked over to the campsite like a herring turf where the fun subsequently continued. Several campfires were ignited and people sung together old Metallica tunes and passed on bottles of Jack as well as drunkenly wrapped joints until one by one the before-energy-bolts passed out.

Old Hooligans and Young Rock Chicks: A Deadly Combo
The morning after we headed off to the town’s swimming pool, which upon arrival didn’t seem very original; almost everyone we had seen the night before on the venue had galumphed into the capacious hot tub. I’ve always considered it an essential part of a bender when everyone gets together the day after and reminisce about the night before. When the pieces are put together you always remember all of the funny and stupid things that went on. And believe me, a lot of hilarious incidents came to light in the hot tub. The infamous slide of the pool “Dóri the Red” was crowded with tattooed hooligans and even the loudest kids who usually dominate the monstrous slide stood simply flabbergasted. When everyone had boiled away their sins in the sauna and the hot tub, the tumult started again down at the venue.

A lot of excitement was in the atmosphere for the legendary flakes of HAM had arrived but it first got crazy when the metal-candies of Mammút started their set. It seemed unorthodox to have a band with females in main roles on stage and it affected the crowd; a lot of crazy admirers jumped upon the stage to be closer to their dear rock chicks who seemed to love the extra attention quite a bit, and I must say they deserved it. Hell broke loose when the middle-aged rock stars of HAM finally made their appearance on stage. Whether you were into 80s cliché metal, grindcore or thrash metal, everybody was united in their enormous admiration for the old hooligans and the crowd turned into a war-zone. HAM yet again proved that they haven’t forgotten anything and played for almost two hours before they were too eager to start their long-longed piss-up (or simply wanting to retire to their cosy hotel room). The lunacy that then took over included pissheaded youngsters breaking into the pool and putting on a provoking striptease for their beloved HAM and another group playing the popular game “Where is the most fun to disgorge your offscourings”. All of these groups united later that night with the intent to make the biggest bonfire they had seen on the campsite, sacrificing a few tents and sleeping bags on the way.

The Great Hang-Over
When everybody woke up Sunday morning, or rather Sunday afternoon, with a hang-over of their life, the campsite was crowded as never before with enthusiastic cops with alcohol meters dying to find out if anybody was fit for driving. To their extreme pleasure about 2 out of a hundred designated drivers were physically fit for it. So it was soon obvious that this would be an all-night-long drive home. Ironically the sun was at its best, which had not happened before over the weekend and toxic fumes emitted from the hung-over deadbeats lying scattered about on the campsite. When we were finally able to drive after several hours in the swimming pool, I summed up the weekend to myself and I realised that the tremendous Eastfjord scenario, the madness line-up and the extremely-kind metal heads, had made this rugged weekend one of my finest. And I must say it sanctified the tedious smell of my clothes, my lack of sleeping and my staggering hang-over which I still suffer from.

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