jónsi’s manager john best is spending some time on the road with the band as they tour the united kingdom, here is the fourth installment of his tour diary
Sept 1, 2010 Bristol Colston Hall, England
Sorry been away for so long. You would have thought one of the sorry arses in the band could pick up the slack when I’m too busy/lazy/incoherent to run with the tour diary baton. but no, they are long on talk and desperately short on action where it really matters. probably too busy swanning round some foreign capital, bonding backstage with festival cohorts or just rotting in their bunks til soundcheck time to bother keeping the world up to date with what’s actually going down. so what is going down? well, i’m not going to attempt any full unexpurgated explanation but here’s what springs to mind. first off two apologies. after years of barely losing a show with Sigur Ros we nearly lost two in the past two weeks. people in Helsinki will know unfortunately that we did lose that one. What an incredible bummer for everyone involved. we are really really sorry, but there was no way round it since bass player ulfur badly sliced his hand open on broken glass shortly after the performance at way out west in gothenberg on the friday night and had to spend 2 days in hospital having his nerves and tendons lasered back together that he might again be able to use his thumb at some point in the future. the more perspicacious among you might have noted that he currently playing with his hand in a fetching blue brace and his thumb struck permanently aloft as if hitch-hiking. he can still play the bass but all those funky slap sections have had to go, sad to relate. he still can’t feel his thumb either – out of which fact I am trying to fashion a joke but can’t quite reach one. anyone?
elsewhere, the paris rock en seine show was also dangerously close to not happening thanks to all crew and a whole bunch of gear being stuck at Porto airport following the previous night’s show at santiago de compostela with muse. this sucked (being stuck not playing with muse), since the last time we came to paris in june it was most likely the best show of the whole year. still jonsi and the boys hunkered down and pulled whatever magic they could straight from the sky; re-imagining the set acoustically, setting up and breaking down their own gear, etc. OK, we are sorry (breaking my own rule of never apologising, never explaining several times here) and of course we would rather have blown your minds with the full-on electric set, but the alternative was not to play at all, which was no alternative at all. still it’s slightly galling to read on the message-board that we did it on purpose to save money. fuck off. have you seen the jonsi show? (ok, if you were in helsinki or rock en seine, obviously you haven’t) but take it look online. why would we go to all the time and trouble and expense of creating something so top drawer only to intentionally leave it at home for one of the most important festivals of the summer? come on, have some nouse. we’re not those guys.
anyway, bristol. that’s nice. like this venue. band spent the day with adrian from portishead, with whom jonsi’s been doing some vocals for a new score of the old silent movie classic ‘the passion of joan of arc’ to be presented at various upcoming film festivals and maybe one day live. adrian’s lovely and gives the band some apples from his garden. i’m eating one now. he’s also partial to figs which he scrumps from a neighbours tree. little fact there for all you portishead/fruit fans. anyway, spend time with jonsi looking at footage of various concerts we’ve done over the spring/summer looking for suitable material to put together for a planned dvd of the live show. there’s a lot of good stuff in the can, which we can put together with stuff from the production rehearsal show we did in London ahead of the first dates, plus some other stuff shot on the hoof. going to look good i think. watch out for it sometime ahead of christmas. will probably have all the new songs that the band play live that aren’t on ‘go’ on it too, plus of course ‘sticks and stones’ from the ‘how to train your dragon’ soundtrack, which I’ve just been told is in the running for ‘best song’ at the oscars.
oh yeah, speaking of dvds, the stand alone version of ‘go quiet’ arrived at the show tonight. this was previously only available as part of the limited edition of ‘go’ which has long since sold out. so now you can get it on its own regardless. if you don’t know what i’m talking about, it’s the film of the acoustic version of the whole album, as directed by dean deblois (ace ‘Heima’ dude), and you can watch a trailer here.
In other news, people keep on asking us if jonsi is going to play any sigur ros songs at his shows, but what would you suggest we play? popplagid on the ukelele? answers on a postcard to In Your Dreams at the usual p.o. box address. if anyone can think of anything that ought to be seriously considered for inclusion, give it your best shot (via the and we’ll put it front of the willow-y one.
Oh, I know what I wanted to say: mountain man. if you are coming to any of the forthcoming UK or US shows get there in time to see mountain man. seriously they are amazing. we have been blessed with some ace supports on recent jonsi touring – thanks in large to the fact that i choose them – but mm are my favourites. timeless and prodigiously gifted. buy their record from our merch stand (but only if you’ve already bought something of equal value from us). anyway, mountain man (3 girls to add to the list of gender confused bands: women, girls, men…) seem like good sports, they came to our dressing room after their slot and joined in the ever escalating pre-show ritual, which is all based around an enthusiastic jump-around session to van mccoy’s ‘the hustle’. there is something so great about everyone bouncing off the walls to this disco classic in the immediate seconds before taking to the stage to perform the earnest and heartbreaking ‘stars in still water’. the juxtaposition is startling and all the more fun because no-one in the audience knows it’s going on…until now. what happens is the band warm up, perhaps with a little light application of ‘eye of the tiger’ or a dusting of andrew wk’s ‘party hard’,
before the seemingly innocuous ‘oooh-oooh-oo-oooh’s start and everyone sways, gently riding the buzz till the first “do it!” kicks in and everyone screams at the top of their voice. honestly whoever knew the hustle was such a motivational song? tonight there was an extra dimension, which involves a band member setting out banal thing they don’t think they ought to do – ulfur, for example: “I don’t think i should play with my hand in this cast tonight. what do you think?’, to which the resounding reply is of course, “do it!’. honestly when you’re there, it’s the funniest thing. god knows what it looks like to mountain man who’ve never met us before and are suddenly faced with so-called serious musicians going batshit crazy, but it sure is fun.
Other things I should say. yesterday was the first show we gave away 20 silver Agaetis Byrjun 10 year anniversary pendants to folks buying tickets for the autumn shows (drawn at random). we are waiting for them to all come back from the silversmiths, but i’ve got one (the only one in fact) on a chain round my neck and it looks super cool. these are not for sale and the only way to have a chance of getting one is to buy tickets.
also, in case you didn’t know already, we are sending all people who buy tickets for jonsi forthcoming shows exclusive clips from the as yet untitled forthcoming Sigur Ros live film, which is still being finished in Montreal by Vincent Morisset (director of Arcade Fire’s ‘mirior noir’). we think these clips indicate that the film is going to be something quite unlike anything you’ve seen before or the Ros or anyone else for that matter. if you wanna see them you know what to do.
gonna write some more from Glasgow on the weekend, promise.