November 3, 2008

I’m not the biggest Sigur Rós fan around, at a push preferring the big orchestral sound end of their music spectrum to the plinky ethereal end. But when Icelandair’s fabulous inflight entertainment system offered up the film about their free homecoming tour that Mrs. Cap’n had waxed lyrical to me about, it was too good a chance to miss.

After having toured the world, the band returned to Iceland and performed a series of free, unpublicised concerts in a string of small towns and villages. When so many of us live in man-built environments, the concerts and the footage of the surrounding nature showed a people who live very much according to the whims of nature’s forces. Their reactions to the music – sometimes bemused, sometimes delighted – were itself a delight to watch.

Starting out slowly, the film steadily draws you in. The concerts it showed were said to unite Iceland in a common experience, and the film certainly reinforces the impression of a very special people in a very special place that seems almost other worldly in its remoteness. I’ve even (almost) developed an appreciation for the plinkiness of the music. Anyone who can make a xylophone from bits of slat or dried up rhubarb branches must be a genius.


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