Category: music


Harpa

The shadows and light in Harpa concert hall are stunning.

Preparations and expectations are as much a part of journeys as arrivals but it was a trial to face mundane considerations of what to pack for my short stay in Reykjavík.

Most bloggers, tweeters and travel guides recommend winter wear even when traveling in the summer months. They are not wrong. At this time of year it is light all day but this does not mean there is constant sunshine.

Temperatures rarely exceed 23◦ C and are often much lower. The evenings are cool and it also rains a lot so waterproof clothing is considered essential. Dressing as you would for a typical Autumnal day in Northern England is a good rule of thumb guide. While I was there the temperature was a little chilly at an average of around 17◦ C  (I needed a hat!) but the air feels so good and pure.

Soon after arriving, I experienced a prime example of the pragmatism of the Icelandic people came when I asked a tour guide if I needed rainproof clothing for a day excursion to The Golden Circle. She replied: “If it rains, yes!”

Town

A birds-eye view of Reykjavik

I can’t remember exactly when I began to get obsessed about the idea of going to Iceland but the wealth of amazing music coming from this small country was certainly a major factor. For this reason I has to pinch myself when the co-owner of the apartment I had booked turned out to be named Sigurrós. This is akin to a foreigner visiting Liverpool for the first time and being greeted by a John Lennon.

In just three full days I could only get a fleeting impression of the city. My sole out-of-town experience was confined to a memorable eight-hour excursion (with commentary in English & Scandinavian) to Geysir hot springs, the Gulfoss waterfall and the National Park (the Golden Circle).

Still, I’m happy to say that my spectacles remain as resolutely rose-tinted as they were before my trip. I’d love to return with more time and money to explore the whole island.

So, without further ado, here are some of my impressions :

The Icelanders.
The people are universally kind, friendly and nice. I saw an middle-aged man looking for a CD of local music being helped by a young female shop assistant who patiently explained what Indie music is without a trace of condescension. Continue reading

ROCKIN’ 1000 – THAT’S LIVE : Orogel Stadium, Cesena, Italy 24th July 2016

arockin4Talkin’ ’bout a revolution?

Well, if you define a revolution as a popular uprising for the common good of the people, then that is exactly what we witnessed last night at a soccer stadium in Cesena in a unique event organized by Rockin’1000.

This time last year Cesena rocked the world with a one-off mass performance of ‘Learn To Fly’.

The stirring video of this went viral and brought tears to the eyes of Dave Grohl. It achieved the goal of getting The Foo Fighters to play in this small provincial town in Emilia-Romagna (Population 97,000) .

This is the video:

arockin1

For those about to rock. How the stadium looked before the start of the show.

This year, the aim was to kick ass worldwide once again and play, not just one song, but a full concert.

As before this was the brainchild/wild dream of Fabio Zaffagnini a modest spokesman for the project who is always at pains to point out that this a team mission that could not succeed without others having the same level of passion, creativity, madness and belief in miracles.
Continue reading

MAMbowieI was frustrated to miss the V & A Museum ‘Bowie Is’ exhibition in London three years ago so was delighted that it has been temporarily relocated to a city to my home in Emilia-Romagna. It is on at Bologna’s MAMbo until 13th November 2016.

Of course, the death of David Bowie earlier this year casts a black star over the event but this also puts into true perspective the enormous contribution he made to the fields of music, fashion and art. Continue reading

AWOPBOPALLOBOP ALOPBAMBOOM’ by Nik Cohn (Vintage Books, first published 1969)

25324112This book was written when Jim Morrison, Mama Cass, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones were still alive and The Beatles were still together.

The main thing it has going for it is timing. In 1968, pop was still treated as a fad that would fade away so the smart papers didn’t give any serious coverage to its cultural import.

As a cocky, outspoken journalist Nik Cohn was in the right place at the right time and at just 22 had the added advantage of being the right age.

This is an insider’s guide, a fan’s view from the front row written in just seven weeks. Its strength is that Cohn captures the spontaneity of the age but it is seriously flawed by the lack of accuracy and astonishing lapses of judgement. Continue reading

Richard Thompson  in concert at Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche, Faenza, Italy.  19th June 2016

 rtHow great is this?  A pay on the door  chance to see and hear at close quarters one of the great figures in contemporary folk-rock,  and playing solo too.

This was meant to be an outside show in the grounds of Faenza’s elegant ceramic museum but the threat of rain prompted a late change of plans.

A makeshift stage was set up in the gallery space and plastic seats took the place of cushions.

The arrangements were made easier by the fact, that for a class act like Richard Thompson, all you need is a guitar and a glass of water. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 952 other followers

%d bloggers like this: