Ragnar Ólafsson – CkiS, Konin; June 1st, 2017
The venue in Konin was a gallery on the top floor of a former water tower with great natural reverb, perfect for the music. The room was packed and I knew nothing could go wrong in that setting. It was a wonderful evening with lots of music music, a few stories and an audience that left happy.
The tower in Konin is right next to the train station, so I noticed it immediately when I got there, but only realized much later that this was the venue. When I got there shortly after six, it was still too early so the venue staff invited me for a tea and we had a nice chat, hands and feet and translations from English to Polish included. Eventually Ragnar arrived and rehearsed a few songs right there. That got one of the guys really excited and he set out to record the rehearsal. I had fun watching and listening. 🙂 Shortly before seven I went upstairs and secured a place at the front before so many people piled in that some had to stand in the back.
The organizer gave quite a long speech before the concert started and I have no idea what he talked about, but I guess he must have been introducing Ragnar. He started with ‘More will come along’ and ‘Wine’ once again, without interruption or any talk in between. The sound at the venue was indeed amazing, just like he had told me when he arrived. Only after the first two songs were done he talked a little bit before continuing with ‘War’.
The audience was a mixture of age groups, starting from young kids and with most of them I wasn’t sure how much English they understood. They liked the music though and that is the main thing. 🙂 Everyone was very attentive, even the photographers and there were quite a few of us this time. The local singe this time was Gabrysia, only 16 years old, but immensely talented. She nailed it. 😀
With the sing-along for ‘Relations’ the reverb of the venue really came into play – we sounded like a much larger choir than we were. 🙂 For ‘Every Brick in Manhattan’ Ragnar told us he wrote it for Árstíðir, but that it would not fit in, so he’s had it laying around. I’d say it’s a bit too happy for an Árstíðir song. It is, however, one of my favorites every night. It also contains a really nice whistled part that reminds me of something I cannot put my finger on. 🙂 Either way, I love the song.
After ‘The Cannon’ we got ‘Red Wine’, on guitar this time. It worked much better than I had thought it might. I really enjoy the piano version and could not imagine what it would sound like on guitar until I heard part of it at rehearsal earlier that day. It sounded much better now too and actually mad me forget that it is a piano song originally. <3 It stayed beautiful with Gaorbrysia back for ‘Petals’. Ragnar said he got goosebumps when they rehearsed it together and I understood why. Her voice is really beautiful and carried the song well. Despite filming it I took a deep breath and closed my eyes for a little while.
Ragnar taught us some icelandic, but only Eyjafjallajökull. It was fun though! ‘SSDD’ was next and first Ragnar screwed up the start, but fixed it immediately. People didn’t mind, it makes it all seem more real if something like that happens. I have to admit that it is slowly growing on me after having heard it so many times now. 🙂 It is still a bit slow for my liking, but that is exactly what the lyrics need. 🙂 ‘Scar’ ended the set as usual. About mid song Ragnar stepped back from the mic and really made use of the nice reverb. It was awesome.
We clapped for more and he promised us two more songs. Someone asked for something in Icelandic, but he could not spontaneously think of something. He played ‘Sleep now’ first and then ended the show with ‘Bravery’ which both sounded great. I thought he was ready to play more, but the organizer ended it there, making some sort of final statement.
A few people stayed to chat, some bought CDs and after they were gone I hung out for a while just talking, then said goodbye to everyone, thanked the staff for the nice reception and left to get some sleep before my early train the next morning. And the tour continues….
Urges tour Poland: 3 gigs down, 11 to go. Next stop: Zabrze
More will come along
Every Brick in Manhattan