Ragnar Ólafsson – Tuczno; July 16th, 2022
Ragnar’s concert in Tuczno was an enjoyable, relaxed outside gig at a small café. He played a good setlist with a few songs I had not heard for a while, the audience was into it and everyone had a good time.
Tuczno is close to Poznan, reachable by bus, so for once I did not have to leave home in the early morning to get there on time. After a relaxed train trip to Poznan, I checked in, rested for a bit, walked to the bus station and got to the venue around 18:30. It was a bit early, but the next bus would not have arrived on time. Met Raggi on the way, hugged him, played roadie by carrying guitars, said hello to Marta and got myself some ice cream while they set up. It had rained earlier, but was supposed to remain dry from here on, so I grabbed a lawn chair, watched sound check and waited while the place filled with people.
Shortly after 8, the venue owner announced Ragnar and he came walking in from the back, playing ‘Wine’. Heads turned and everyone watched as he made his way to the stage. This is always a great start. 🙂 He greeted us in Polish as usual and continued in English, explaining he would not show us his knowledge of dirty Polish words until after the show. He continued with ‘Deva’ and told us a few things about himself and his music. After talking about his first solo album, he played ‘Urges’ – it had been a while since I’d heard it so it put a happy smile on my face.
“Has anyone here ever been heartbroken?” he asked, but only few people raised their hands – liars! This of course lead to the introduction of democratic love songs and inviting Agnieszka to sing with him. Since she was wearing a glitter T-shirt, Ragnar felt he needed some glitter too, took of his hoodie and revealed the glitter vest he was wearing underneath. 😀 They sang a lovely version of ‘Dozen’ for us.
He told us about traveling and writing music in different countries and continued with ‘Bravery’, then took us to Mexico with ‘Time’, explaining that being stuck in the middle of the desert with a broken-down car was a good time to reflect on who you are and what you’re doing. 😉
We learned some Icelandic words and heard about Patreon and the ‘Fractures’ soundtrack, which lead to a beautiful version of ‘Hugsanir’. We agreed to more Icelandic songs and got ‘Örlög’ with a nice sing along. Afterwards, Ragnar launched straight into ‘The Message’, but stopped halfway through, saying he only wanted to give us an example of how else to use “lalala”.
Ragnar shared some Mississippi stories and let us know how the Blues seeped into his music before playing ‘Muddy Waters’. It’s always great and afterwards we got more river stories that brought us to ‘Southern Nights’ and the mantra “That’s the way that we wanna go”. It took a moment before we got into it, but then the sing-along went nicely.
The set was nearing the end and he decided to play ‘Scar’ for the first time this tour. Interestingly enough I had just thought about the song that day and wondered if I should request it. So somehow my request had been conveyed. It was perfect! <3 From this song, written “when I was not in my happy place” we moved on to the happy love song and Marta joined him on glockenspiel for ‘Dragonfly’.
After sufficient clapping and cheering Ragnar played the murder ballad double as his encore, walking through the audience for ‘Sleep now’ so the show ended as it had started. It was a good one.
We chatted for a little while afterwards, but I had to leave soon, because the nice staff at the bar had found a ride back to Poznan for me and I did not ant to keep her waiting. It was a lovely evening, see you soon.
The Message (in part)
Where the wild Roses grow