Amazing support, team Ragnar and silly cover songs

Ragnar Ólafsson – Cafe Szafe, Krakow; August 26th, 2021

Seeing Raggi in Krakow is always nice and this time he returned to Cafe Szafe, a place of which I have great memories. The small venue was packed to the max and not only did we get a great show by Raggi, but Jaga played some amazing tunes as his support act. It was a wonderful night.

Arrived in Krakow in the rain after an uneventful trip and felt so knackered that I needed a nap. Didn’t help much, but there was no time for more. Made my way to the venue and arrived around 7 pm, had tea, said hello to Marta and waited for the doors to open. Eventually got in and picked my spot at the front.

Soon, Kamila was on stage, announcing the evening’s support act, Jaga, who had sung with Raggi a few times before. She was absolutely brilliant and played us some lovely songs on the guitar, mostly in English and one in Polish. One, as I understood, was a cover song, but I’m not sure since she was speaking in Polish. It was great to hear her and after being a bit nervous initially, it all fell away and she just played beautifully. I especially loved ‘Holding on and letting go’. <3


“The Second he showed up”
Holding on and letting go
One Man show
Rabbit Hole (Seed Holden cover)
Polish Song

We got a little break before Raggi’s set. This evening, Marta had her camera with her so I decided to take a break and took only few pictures. It was a nice change. Soon, Kamila was on stage again, announcing the main show.

He started from the back of the room, playing ‘Wine’ and only walked to the front when he was done. I immediately noticed that he sounded better than the previous night. Once on stage, he asked who had seen him before and there were not so many. He decided to tell us “a little about why I do what I do… and dubidubidu”, but first played ‘Deva’ and definitely was back to full form.

Asking Kamila how the sound was in the back led into playing ‘Muddy Waters’ for her. It is always a great song to have in the show! He mentioned that he is not a blues singer, but has many different bands in Reykjavik and yet felt the need to start a solo project. He invited Jaga on stage for the first democratic love song of the night, ‘Dozen’. It was truly beautiful!

The show continued with travel stories and ‘Bravery’. 🙂 After that he talked about how Icelanders are  “the Indians of the North” because they say everything three, just as Indians always say everything three times. 😉 He then spoke about traveling to Mexico and into Inca land. For a moment I thought he was going to bring back ‘Palenque’, but ‘Time’ was next.

Now that the guitar was tuned differently, he switched to the piano. The three piano songs have become very much the center of the show for me and not only because they are pretty much in the middle. I love all three of them, they work well together and show off a more serious side of Raggi’s work that sometimes gets lost in all the jokes. I enjoy hearing him play piano anyway and, as I have said before, ‘Water’ and ‘Hugsanir’ is a killer combination of songs for me. ‘Örlög’ then, draws the audience in and makes up for the fact that he is not facing us when he is at the piano. Despite the melancholia of the song it is great for audience participation. The sing-along was awesome!

After ‘Hugsanir’ Raggi had talked about the Fractures soundtrack and how Solveig and he had written Icelandic lyrics. Then he told us how he had asked Jaga to record a vocal demo for the series that ended up in two scenes in two episodes of the finished series, because it was so perfect, it could not be re-recorded. He invited her back to the stage to sing with him. He told us about the calm day on the river when a blue not came floating on the wind and he wrote ‘Message’. When they started there was feedback on Jaga’s mic, but they resolved that quickly and she did an absolutely brilliant job on the song. <3

She left stage and he asked “Do you want to har another?” – of course we did so she was right back for a wonderful version of ‘Petals’. Afterwards, Raggi asked for the time and said there would be only one more song because of the neighbors and a curfew. He wanted us to make a hell of a lot of noise. “Are you with me?” – “YEAH!”. It was ‘Southern Nights’ and he told us about the boat first and how the song was a way of wishing them a safe and happy journey. He told us we would sing a three point harmony later and divided the room into “team Sigur Rós and team Björk”. After one verse and through the first chorus we all sang together. Then, when verse two was done he invited Jaga to stage to be on team Ragnar. He asked Marta too, but she didn’t want to so he asked me and I accepted. It was lots of fun to belt out “That’s the way that we waaaannna go!” together with Jaga and Raggi.

We all thought the show as over, but Kamila called out that we could do two more for an encore. Yay! He asked for ideas for a silly cover song. I requested ‘Hurt’, adding that it wasn’t funny. He didn’t wanna do that one though. Someone called for Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’, but he did not know that one. Other requests were Coldplay, Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing’, ‘Yellow submarine’ and King of Leon’s ‘Sex on Fire’. He tried that one, but could not remember all of the lyrics. In the end he settled for ‘Hero’, but first claimed he would never do that until Kamila asked him to do it. He did, running commentary included and we all sang along for the chorus! 😀

For ‘Dragonfly’ he explained how he has made it a habit to teach his tour managers to play piano and dress in silly suits. Kamila joined him in her giraffe suit and Jaga picked up the glockenspiel. It was a funny end to a fun show!

We hung out afterwards with Jaga’s family and friends, but I was way too knakered to make sense of things and Raggi was tired too. Jaga had left already, because she wanted to be well rested for the following day and after one last tea and one last hug I left too. There’d be another chance tomorrow.

pictures of this concert


Muddy Waters
Southern Nights

Hero (Enrique Iglesias)

First “we are all vaccinated now” Poland tour – 17 gigs down, 2 to go. Next stop: Gliwice

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