From Iceland — Excellent Music For Clearly Enthralled People

Excellent Music For Clearly Enthralled People

Published April 23, 2010

Excellent Music For Clearly Enthralled People

Dear Kimono,
    I’ve been pondering our relationship, as it seems to have taken a childish turn recently. Names have been called. Threats were possibly made. But perhaps we were both rash in our comments, such is the passion we share.
    I hoped to clear the air by attending your album release concert. Things have been going well for you over the last few months haven´t they? Your album “Easy music for difficult people” (must not laugh. Nmmmpfn) was voted one the best albums of 2009 by a lot of people. Worthy praise indeed!
    Firstly, I commend you for your choice of venue. The Icelandic Opera House, with its faded grandeur, old wooden seats and warm acoustics, seemed suited to your brooding presence. And the fact they had a bell to announce the start of the concert, forcing the stragglers to stop gabbing in the foyer, was a nice touch.
    You started the gig differently from the usual rock histrionics with a string quartet playing a sombre piece before your own Alex and Bloodgroup’s Hallur twisted their sound into something that sounded like bloodthirsty aliens scuttling in a blackened forest. This sci-fi noise was complimented with four menacing bars of red lights that surrounded you on stage, like a barrier that would blow your head off if you tried to walk past it.
    But we were there to see you rock, Kimono, and you complied by shuffling on stage and launching into Standing Wave, a slow death march on drums with mournful vocals from Alex. It all sounded clear and sharp, but I felt you were hiding something back from us. And of course you were, weren´t you? You little tease.
    You gave us a minute´s baited silence while you adjusted strings and knobs. And then you threw yourselves into Animal from the current album, and the effect was, to put it mildly, unnerving. Listening to the differences between the old and new tracks was akin to trying neat vodka for the first time after a lifetime on diet coke.  The sound of you working as a three-piece was pretty much flawless, and before our brains could process this shift, you moved straight into Karen and Kente, which ended sounding like a herd of rampant Mongol warriors. Mind you I did have to have my eyes closed at this moment as you did try your best to induce epilepsy by beaming parts of your light show directly into my eyes.  But this was a small irritation as you stormed through the rest of the album.
    And while all this was happening you looked relaxed, almost playful. Even Gylfi was regaling us with useless trivia, such as the first film ever played at the venue was “Ben Hur”, which I know will come in handy at Pub quiz night at Grand Rokk.  You even invited your little friend Kari to come on and play bass with you at the end. Bless.
    You ended the night with an encore including old favourites such as Japanese Policeman, and a standing ovation. So Kimono, the night belonged to you as heroes, but what about us and the future? Oh, I know it´ll probably never be the same as it used to be, too much water under the bridge and all that. But at least we´ll have this night to think about while we get on with the rest of our lives. 
Yours faithfully,

  • Concert Kimono at the Icelandic Opera House, March 11th 2010
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