I love the atmosphere at Airwaves – I’ve been telling Jamie how friendly everyone is and fortunately they’ve lived up to my rambling expectations. I’ve met up with old friends – Mark from Iceblah (whose recommendations for what to see at Airwaves should be taken as gospel, he’s never let me down!) and Elzio another journalist from Brazil who I met here last year. While I’m here I’m also attempting to track down as many artists as possible who might want to take part in A Negative Narrative, and actually this is much easier than in other places as everyone’s so approachable – you can wander past Jonsi and FM Belfast in a cafe and no-one bats an eyelid. I’ve pounced on three so far, although I shall keep their identities top secret (mainly in case they lose the bits of paper with their allocated questions on that I shoved in their stage-sweaty faces)!
We found Iceland Bob in his natural habitat of dark and dingy Reykjavik music venues, hobnobbing with the stars and reviewing Airwaves gigs for the Grapevine. He’s brought his brother Ben along this year too who seems to have a knack of bumping into us everywhere too!
The ever delightful Veerle, who I spent a lot of last year’s festival with and later met up with when I went to Brussels, is here too, staying with her Icelandic friends in the band Hellvar. She is doing some PR for them this year and we
managed tried to catch one of their 7 airwaves sets at intimate off-venue Hemmi og Valdi, although caught instead a beautiful-sounding band who (I thought) introduced themselves as Hellvar, but must instead have been telling us to stick around for them. I must learn Icelandic soon.
Klara is here too, a friend who I met through another friend and who coincidentally works in the hostel we’re staying in. I’m looking forward to catching up with her properly when she is less busy – not easy when there are 5 or 6 bands playing in the hostel foyer every day this week as well as the usual guests to look after but I’m sure we’ll manage it!
We have also managed to track down my two friends Gabriel and Ilan, who I’ve not seen for ages and have come over from Israel for the festival, and in particular Björk, and of course we’ve already bumped into Yunioshi. It’s starting to feel like home!
But then there’s all the new friends we’ve met and are hanging out with round town – Joachim from the Bjork queue, and Fabian and Rebecca one of the couples we met in Vik. They’re ace to hang out with and we’ve been investigating many of the same gigs. Although Bob at off-venue Dillon wasn’t the hilarious half hour of legendary excitement we’d secretly hoped for!
There is a bit of a twitter crew here, mainly from Katie’s neck of the woods in London, but it’s been great to finally meet Bngddrd, NickBason and PamHutch who are all lovely (and who all had Bjork tickets for Wednesday, grr!). And later thanks to Mark, I finally met another Twitter/Iceland buddy Paul, a writer, photographer and finger-in-interestingthingspie-er whose brains I’ve picked many a time (thanks Paul!).
And wandering down Laugurvegur (back to the hostel to pick up more gin) we found Caroline & Jorge, who we also met in Vik, and yep, it was great to catch up with them too. Iceland is a small place and it seems to attract people with the same sorts of interests and attitudes so I guess it’s inevitable that everyone is so much bloody good company.