Ragnar Ólafsson – house concert, Obrzycko; August 16th, 2021
The concert in Obrzycko was really fun. It was probably the most involved audience so far and there was great energy all night. I enjoyed it a lot and loved the hosts too. So much that it left me with a little bit of mid-tour Blues.
It was one of the concerts on this tour where I could find neither hotel nor public transport to the city where it took place, so I opted to stay a town away and close to a train station. I got there alright, if delayed by an hour, so I had time to relax. Getting to the gig then, wasn’t as easy as I had thought, because the bus that was supposed to go never showed up. I took a taxi in the end and arrived too early. The hosts were great and immediately arranged a ride back for me after the show. 😀 They also tried to feed me and I had to try different food. Lovely.
It was a nice house and they obviously did these shows routinely. They even had a sign outside announcing the gig. More and more people arrived and I wondered where they were going to sit, but they all ft in somehow. Kathia was there too and another singer called Monica so there’d be two musical guests. Nice. Eventually everyone was seated, a bunch of kids right in front of the stage on the floor and the adults on all available chairs, benches and sofas in the room.
The host got up on stage and talked for a long time. I have no idea what he was saying, but it was a lot. He did mention Kathia at one point and Borowka music, but other than that I don’t know. Finally he announced Raggi and everyone cheered loudly.
“Dzień dobry!”, he greeted us and someone responded “Góðan daginn!” He said a few more words in Polish and there was laughter already. With “skál” Raggi taught us our first Icelandic word and drank some wine. Someone pointed out the Opal liquor on the table and asked if he knew it. He replied that it was dangerous stuff. 😉 The first song, fittingly was ‘Wine’, all acoustic. Everyone was quiet and listened, including all the children! The cheers were incredible and this was only the beginning! 😀
It was nice to have ‘Deva’ back in the set. The song still means a lot to me. Raggi asked who had seen him before and other than Kathia’s family and myself there was one guy, who happened to be my driver back – he’d been to the show at Longplay in Poznań. Raggi mentioned he liked to talk so much that Bartek tells him to play more music. 😉 He asked if we wanted a sweet or an angry love song and most voted for angry, so ‘A Prayer’ it was. It made me really happy. It has always been one of my favorites.
Before playing a sweet love song, Raggi introduced “the band” – his left hand and his right hand as well as the tiny shoe tambourine (aka the drummer). He asked Monika to join him. She introduced herself and sang ‘Dozen’ with him. She did great! During the chorus, the kids in front started clapping along and many joined in. It was perfect.
The host brought a bottle of wine for Raggi so he could refill his glass. He taught us “takk” and spoke about traveling. Some people on my side were chatting so he asked them to listen and they did. He played ‘Bravery’ and people were tapping their feet in rhythm and clapping along. When there was a break in the music a phone chimed and he remarked “nice timing”. The clap along worked so well, he even did a little reprise in the end. Again, the audience cheered wildly. He talked about the song always starting and stopping like a motorcycle and how on that trip he fell off a few times or slipped on the dirt roads.
He then took us to the Mississippi, where he woke up early on a beautiful morning and tried to capture the mood in a song. He invited Kathia to join him for ‘Minor Scratch’. She was greeted enthusiastically. He introduced her as her musical sister and at the start of the song told us to close our eyes and imagine an early morning. Needless to say they sang brilliantly. <3
When Raggi sat down at the piano and started playing ‘Water’ some people were chatting and others shushed them. <3 I really loved this audience and I will always love the song. Without a break he went into ‘Hugsanir’ and I could not help but sigh. It is still a killer combination of songs for me. ‘Örlög’ followed and it turned out that the people in the room were also great singers. When he explained about singing “Lalala” people were joking about it and asking about the tempo. 😀 Then they all sang beautifully. Someone remarked about the sadness of the song and he explained how Icelanders always sing in a minor key.
For ‘Petals’ Monika was back to many cheers and finally Raggi had remembered then Polish word for it. He explained how love songs are always one sided, because you only get one point of view. Thus he likes writing duets to explore different points of view. Monika’s singing was beautiful once again. ‘Petals’ always brings out the best in every singer. 🙂
Kathia joined again for ‘Mexico’. Talking about traveling to Mexico turned into a brief discussion of spicy food before saying we should imagine sitting under a cactus drinking Tequila. That does fit the mood. The song lead to another clap-along. 😀 ‘Message’ was last in the set, but we got the tuning song first and another story. 😉 The song was really powerful and I almost expected people to jump out of their seats. Their clapping was great once again and Kathia nailed it.
We cheered even louder than before to get Raggi back on the stage and I never wanted the show to stop. It was just way too much fun! 😀 He sat down at the piano for a cover song and just felt the urge to mention ‘Jaja Ding Dong’ – luckily nobody asked him to play it. Thus he played ‘Rocketman’, but didn’t have his suglasses when he started, so Bartek came running and put them on his nose. Yes! It worked even better with them. 😀
Monika and Bartek joined him for ‘Dragonfly’ and he explained how all the roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll came from Tennessee. Memphis was where Elvis came from and Nashville where everyone else came from. It was fun as always and Bartek was back to being a cow, not a giraffe. I wondered why he had not played ‘Southern Nights’, but so be it. The host thanked them all and his daughter had even painted pictures for Raggi, Kathia and Monika. Lovely. Bartek got a cake.
Then, out of the blue to me, Raggi suggested playing one more song and we got ‘Southern Nights’ after all with another amazing sing-along and confetti in the end. That’s how you do it!
Sadly I barely had time for a hug and a chat after because my driver needed to be up early and wanted to leave. I did get to say how much fun it was though and that was the main thing. Goodnight, see you tomorrow.
Hugsanir (Walls in Icelandic)
Rocketman (Elton John)
First “we are all vaccinated now” Poland tour – 7 gigs down, 12 to go. Next stop: Kruszwicka