Echoes, amazing duets and seeing the bright side

Ragnar Ólafsson – Kulterkeller, Limbach-Oberfrohna; August 2nd, 2022

After a few Patreon house gigs, Ragnar’s show in Limbach-Oberfrohna was a public one, organized by Conny, who would also sing with him that night. It was an interesting venue to say the least and a pretty cool setlist with many duets and good vibes. 😀

I’d decided to travel on local trains only, since there is generally a good connection between Nuremberg and Hof which covers about half of the distance. Sadly, due to construction, there was no direct train between the two cities and all in all with waiting times and many changes, it took me 7 hours to get to Limbach-Oberfrohna. Luckily, I had started early. Rested a moment at my hotel, got ready and grabbed some food on the way to the venue. The falafel was amazing, but my stomach didn’t agree with it so I wasn’t feeling my best when I arrived. However, hugging Raggi, Marta and Conny instantly made me feel better and I was looking forward to the concert. it took place in a basement that was still partly under constructions and thus the acoustics were a bit strange and echo-y.

It was a free gig, so many people showed up, wanting to check out someone knew. A quick poll showed that most people in the room had not seen Raggi play before. Conny introduced him and he started with ‘Wine’ all unplugged. For the first few songs there was a lot of noise coming from the bar which was just across the room from the stage, but it got better after Raggi pointed it out. We got an introduction to what to expected and to my surprised he continued with ‘Water’ to warm up his voice. Wow.

As always, he told us about the many bands he plays in. It amuses me every time how the number changes and gets more outrageous every day. We are at several thousand now. 😉 Conny joined him for ‘Dozen’ and it made me so happy to finally see them sing together. They had a couple of times and she’d always enjoyed it. It was amazing. I knew this time, Conny had also suggested some songs to try with harmonies so I was curious what the setlist was oing to be for this and the next show.

She stayed for ‘Minor Scratch’ and it was a s perfect as can be. Of all the duets this is my absolte favorite and I really love them all. <3 They went straight into ‘Deva’ where Conny added brilliant harmonies. 🙂 After that Raggi explained that playing in different bands is like being an actor who plays different roles and how his technique for writing different songs is traveling. Before he got there, however, he brought up the most Icelandic image he could think of: Sitting under the Northern lights in a jacuzzi with dried cod to eat. Marta and I grinned at each other as he exaggerated. 😀

‘Bravery’ followed and sounded great with the echo in the room. He continued with “a song about myself”, ‘Time’, followed by ‘Hugsanir’. <3 Of course we got ‘Örlög’ next and of course we wanted to sing and we did so nicely. “Noch einmal!” (once again) he instructed us in the end. It always makes me feel like being part of something bigger than myself. Singing together is really a community building experience.  <3

Raggi asked Conny back to the stage for more duets and they delivered a brilliant version of ‘Message’. It still sends shivers down my spine. <3 He spoke about all the feelings you can have when you are heartbroken and introduced ‘Petals’ as a super-sad love song. Super sad and super beautiful. It was perfect. 🙂 During the song there was some commotion in the back of the room with a woman fainting, so Raggi asked if she was OK and was assured she was fine now. Phew. It was probably the heat. Conny stayed for ‘Southern Nights’ as well, adding some lovely harmonies to the song and leading us in the sing-along. Then ‘Dragonfly’ brought the set to an end and Marta got her moment in the spotlight on the glockenspiel. 🙂

We were surprisingly loud in demanding an encore and got the murder ballads. They worked well, people even sang along to ‘Where the wild Roses grow’. We would not stop clapping and Raggi decided to play some more. He went for ‘Hero’ and made up some story about naked Enrique Iglesias writing the song and running out of words. It was very funny, but why this obsession with being naked? 😀 Unexpectedly, we got ‘Always kook on the bright Side of Life’ too and that really brought the house down. What a show!

Afterwards, we chatted for a bit, sharing hugs and drinks. Raggi had liked the show overall, but felt that ‘Hero’ didn’t go as well as in Poland. I agreed. Maybe some German guilty pleasure song next time. Soon it was time to pack and say goodbye. One last show to go!

pictures of this concert


Minor Scratch
Southern Nights

Where the wild Roses grow
Sleep now
Always look on the bright Side of Life

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