Little did I know when writing this silly little ditty what an impact it would – indirectly – actually have on my life. Myself and my wife now run a cafe-bar in our home town of Southsea called 101 Reykjavík…(it’s the postcode of the trendy downtown area of Iceland’s capital in case you were wondering…).

We went to Iceland for the first time in 2009 for the Airwaves festival – it was incredible. We fell in love with the place, the people, the music (which I had only really dabbled in previously and now listen to almost exclusively) – it felt like home immediately.

We went back the following year, and the year after, and the year after that. Each time we took more folks, most of TBOTB have been now and loved it too. When Bjork unveiled her Biophillia show there in 2011 on my 30th birthday words failed me. Simply stunning. I took a photo of the setlist. Ox simply asked the sound guy if he could have it (he’s got brains that lad). He then gave it to me as a birthday pressie which I was absolutely touched by. It’s one of my most prized possessions.

We vowed that we couldn’t justify spending so much again in 2012 (it’s really not too cheap there) and decided the only way we would go that year would be if Sigur Ros (probably my favourite band ever) were playing. Who did they then go and announce? Yes indeed. Flight were booked once more. Immense. And broke.

Anyway, it was after that first visit in ’09 that this song was written. Upon our arrival in Reykjavík we wandered down to a little bar to watch a load of local bands we’d never heard of, one of which were called Retro Stefson. They all looked as young as cress (because they were…around 15/16 I think at the time…) but, and I don’t say this lightly when it comes to music, I was absolutely blown away. The best live band I’ve ever seen. I don’t normally go for jaunty, upbeat stuff as I’m a miserable git but there was something about their enthusiasm and togetherness that had the crowd going mental. It was totally joyous to behold. The band are now a firm TBTOB fave and we’ve seen them a fair few times live. Highly recommended.

‘Reykjavik 101’ (I put the 101 for the title at the end for whatever reason…maybe so it sounded more like a lesson…) is an absolute rip off of the sort of thing that Retro Stefson do – only they do it much better. I’d say it was an homage again but it’s not…it’s an absolute steal. Crunk beat, dual harmony guitars, heavy metal chorus, synthesisers. Utter, utter thievery. It’s got a robotic Icelandic voice throughout translating a poem I wrote that I’ve now lost so couldn’t tell you what it was saying. The chord at the very end is the last chord of ‘Heartbeat’ by Buddy Holly who is one of my all time favourite guitarists. Another factette for you there.

We play it live at the end of ‘Film Noir’ as it kind of seamlessly mixes in. When we did our second album launch at The Wedge last year we did this in the encore and had a section where we introduced each member of the band Jools Holland style (because I actually hate it when bands do that…). Every member played the worst thing they could with Keef’s Jurassic Park solo being a personal highlight. Splendid.

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 11:54 am  Leave a Comment  

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