Svavar Knútur & Kyle Woolard – Schnabulenz, Münster; September 16th, 2016
The Svavar Knútur & Kyle Woolard concert in Münster was announced long after I had booked a trip to Freiburg to see them there the next day. However, it was a Friday, so I really had no excuse. Thus, I prepared everything I would need for the bus trip the following morning, packed for that trip and set out to Münster to see the guys perform at Schnabulenz. It was a great evening even though I had a rather unpleasant start by stepping, slipping and landing in a puddle of white wall paint on the way (don’t even ask me how it got there, I have no idea). The guys made me forget all about that though. It was brilliant fun, totally different from Cologne, but just as good. 🙂
When I arrived at the venue, paint splattered I only waved Hi to Svavar before I asked the staff for a sponge and a towel to at least clean the worst of it. Got it out of the T-Shirt OK, but the pants and bag were hopeless. As a result I had to spent the evening in wet clothes, sitting on a kitchen towel. Not exactly comfortable, but I forgot all about that as soon as the music started.
The place was nicely filled and Kyle had to walk through the audience in order to reach the stage. Everyone clapped as he walked on and after briefly saying hello he started with ‘Blurry’. Everyone was listening intently to his music and his words. He told us ‘Diagonal North America’ was about “the need to be alone in the cold”. Before ‘Minnesota Part 1’ he mused about how strange human beings are, that we have a weird shape and that stuff that grows out of our heads that we are obsessed. Also we have strange needs that nobody can explain like sleep. Thus, he concluded, we should not take things too seriously. 😀
Keeping things light and funny he showed us a magic trick, with cards this time and even asked someone on stage to participate. The woman did not want to at first, but then she helped anyway. It worked well, I have no idea how he did it and was quite fascinated. 😀 because we were such a nice audience Kyle decided to paly ‘Patagonia’ next, even though he had a different song planned. Such a sweet song.
He was in such a good mood, his set was filled with jokes. With the usual sales speech for the album he remarked that he only had one T-Shirt left and as gonna sell it for 65 €. I suggested making it an auction and he replied “I meant starting at 65 €” 😀 He taught us a tongue twister too. something about Betty, batter and bitter butter. It all went well until the last line which was way too fast for anyone to repeat and ended in laughter. ‘Vancouver’ of course ended the set. It was lovely and I absolutely wanted more.
I grabbed the setlist and saw ‘Minnesota Part 2’ on there. Kyle told me he had put it on for me, but then decided against it. It’s all good, you’ll have another chance tomorrow. 🙂
Diagonal North America
The Girl from Ipanema
Minnesota Part 1
Soon, Svavar was upon us. 😉 Of course he started with Weltschmerz and ‘Vetrarsól’, but then sang us a song about “Meereinsamkeit”, since there are not enough trees in Iceland to actually have a forest. He talked about horny whales again and mentioned learning whale in school. After ‘Wanderlust’ he added. “I can see some people considering…”, complete with showing us how they looked at him and continued “I am kidding. We are not learning whale.” That explanation made it even funnier, no matter if there really where some people who wondered if he spoke whale or if he just made it up for the story’s sake. 😀
He seemed to be even more talkative than he was in Cologne, much to my enjoyment. The best thing about Svavar’s concerts is the mixture between stand-up comedy and seriously sad songs. 🙂 For ‘The Curtain’ he told us about a German blog he found that was reviewing his album ‘Brot’ and said something along the lines of him being able to make a good song about anything, even a shower curtain. He didn’t have the heart to tell them it is not about a shower curtain so the review is still out there. And why not? It might have made shower curtains happy knowing there is a song about them. 😉 He also talked about playing theater in Gutersloh and one reviewer calling him “pummeling”. It was hilarious hearing how people tried to be nice about it like “It’s a cute, it’s a cute way of saying … that you’re fat.” Svavar responded “Ich bin nicht pummeling, ich bin saftig” and demanded the word “saftig” to be part of any review now. Well, here you are: Der saftige Svavar Knútur filled the evening with funny tales and sang us songs of Weltschmerz, Waldeinsamkeit and Wanderlust. 😛
‘Emotional Anorexic’ had me in tears. There are so many good memories connected to this song of a different time and place, another tour last year. It’s funny sometimes how really sad moments can turn into beautiful memories after some time has passed. 🙂 ‘While the world burns’ was very beautiful too and I loved ‘Brot’. Somewhere in-between Svavar spoke about the culture shock he got in Germany, especially learning that the word “hello” can mean a lot more than just a friendly “hey, how are you?” His example was being on s train with Kyle and sitting in a seat that said “gegebenenfalls reserviert” (might be reserved) when suddenly someone came who had this seat and was like “HALLO! This is my seat!. So the word can be really mean too. Not to mention accidentally walking on a bike path and being shouted down with the same word. It’s hard to put in writing how he sounded it out, always mixing in some German words like “Hallo! Das ist VERBOTEN” (it’s forbidden) 😀 The whole rant ended with speaking about elderly ladies who might hit you with their umbrellas and wondering if they are given an umbrella when they retire to prowl the streets and act like a Walküre. I laughed so much I might have missed some of the finer points. 😀
‘Clementine’ was played on guitar, claiming the new Ukulele was shitty for fingerpicking. It was OK for ‘Girl from Vancouver’ though, but that came later. 🙂 At some point he said he felt sorry nobody sat on the sofa on the left side of the stage and sat down, pretending to flirt with an invisible girl there, telling her how saftig he was. 🙂 There were some more random comments like telling Kyle he snored in melodies and getting the answer that it was a duet. 😀 We also learned that Svavar loves singing Christmas songs and that he often sings at old people’s homes and thus gets invited to sing for people shortly before they die, talking about how powerful that is. All this was surely a great mix between serious and funny.
‘Bátur bíður‘ a beautiful lullaby for his son as well as a farewell song for s friend’s son who died made me feel sad, but in a good way juts before ‘Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir’ and the long explanation on how to best have sex on a mountain (including tips from his grandmother) made me smile again. I loved it all and when the encores came I didn’t want it to be over.
Since there happened to be a piano on the right of the stage we were treated to ‘The Best’ a song by The Rocket Boys and the last song, after some debate with the audience was ‘Song of good advice’, which was quite hilarious. A great way to end the concert. For the bows, Kyle was called to stage again and I hoped they’d play one final song together, but it did not happen. Nothing to complain about though. It was an amazing evening and made me totally forget that my clothes were still wet and I had white paint all over them.
I hung out with the guys for a while, chatting with Kyle a little and then joining both of them upstairs. Strangely everyone but me had already left, so I got treated to a few more card tricks from Kyle. He is really good at those, I have no clue how he did them. The venue owner even invited me for a drink, which I kindly declined because I had a train to catch soon. They already made plans for a next concert there and Svavar suggested doing a show for people with kids in the afternoon. Kyle seemed to have a hard time imagining that, but I can totally see him leaving the dirty jokes out and doing a kid friendly show. Either way, if I get a chance I will return. 🙂 I hugged both the guys goodbye and left, telling them I’d be back the next day. See you very soon!
A Song about Meereinsamkeit
While the world burns
Tiger and Bear
Yfir hóla og yfir hæðir
Girl from Vancouver
The Best (The Rocket Boys cover)
Song of Good Advice