Best dressed singer, new cover and dancing

Ragnar Ólafsson – Klubopiwiarnia, Łódź; July 23rd, 2022

The concert in Łódź was advertised as a secret gig and it was on a weekend, so of course I had to be there. The only thing that could have made it even more special beforehand was being the last concert in Poland this summer, but it wasn’t. It was great fun though.

Like almost every time I travel to Poland I had to be up early to get there by train. Everything went well time wise, but it Kutno, while waiting for my last connecting train, I could have easily gotten lost in the flood. Soon after I arrived, a heavy rain started coming down, with wind blowig teh water under the roof, some so of us were seeking shelter in the tunnel under the train station, even though that was officially closed. After a while water started flowing in from the street and down the stairs at great speed. When the drain at the bottom of te stairs could not hold it, I went back to the train platform before the tunnel got completely flooded. Made it to my destination mostly dry, relaxed for a bit and went in search for the venue.

Due to the bad eather forecast, he concert had been moved inside. Marta had sent me the address so I easily found the place, said hello to her, Raggi and guest singer Ewelina, got a drink, watchd soundcheck and waited. It was a nice venue, but rather empty and with a bit too much distance between the stage and the seats. There was supposed to be dancing later, so the show had to start and end on time.

Shortly after 8 Ragnar was on stage and to my surprise he started with ‘Urges’ – I enjoy how he is bringing back some of the songs from that album that I he hasn’t played so much on past tours. He sounded great that day. Sadly, most of the people in the room didn’t really listen and there was a lot of background noise. It must have been hard to play such delicate songs. He introducd himself and continued with ‘War’. It was great. Those who wanted to listen really did by then. 🙂

Finally we got the first travel story of the evening about being stuck in the desert in Mexico. Apparenty the essentials in that situation are Tequila, fresh lime, a cup and a guitar. 😉 After ‘Time’ he told us taht he started his solo project because he had to since the songs didn’t fit in with any of his bands. He asked Ewelina, “the best dressed woman in all of Łódź” to join him and they sang a killer version of ‘Dozen’. I also agree with the “best dressed” comment – her outfit was stunning.

We heard more about the influence of travel on Ragnar’s music and ‘Bravery’ before he switched over to the piano for a few songs. He played ‘Hugsanir’, ‘Endatafl’ and ‘Water’ for us, with only brief introductions in-between. All of them sounded amazing – he managed to be fully concentrated on the song without letting all the chatter in the room distract him and drew me right in with him – beautiful. <3

It was time for us to learn the words “lalala” and sing along to ‘Örlög’ – considering there were so few of us we did a great job. 😀 After all the more quiet songs we needed some river songs and the blues with ‘Muddy Waters’. He really leaned into it too. 😀

A surprise cover of CCR’s ‘Proud Mary’ followed. Ewelina felt inspired to jump up on stage and join him. It was one of the best moments of the night – she brought the perfect harmonies to the song and they had so much fun. Nothing but ‘Southern Nights’ could follow and we all did our best with the sing along. It worked well.

With 8 monutes left of his alloted stage time, Ragnar wanted to play two more song, but the promoter argued there was only time for one. Not happening! After all, Ewelina needed to guest some more. So she joined him again for a brilliant version of ‘Petals’. The very last song was ‘Dragonfly’ with Ewelina siging harmonies and Marta playing the glockenspiel bringing the show to a fun end. Yay!

Afterwards they quickly changed the stage and we all sat down for a drink. I told Ewelina and Ragnar: “You were brilliant, but these people didn’t appreciate you.” It was a good gig, but could have been so much better. Either way, we all enjoyed good company, nice chats and once the salsa music started there even was some dancing. 😀 Thus, the evening ended on a high note. I was really happy I had made it. Eventually Marta and Raggi left to spend some time with friends. We all hugged goodbye, knowing it would not be long until our next meeting.

pictures of this concert


Muddy Waters
Proud Mary (CCR cover)
Southern Nights

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