Ragnar Ólafsson – Lupa, Puszczykowo; March 4th, 2018
The gig in Puszczykowo was pretty much a living room concert or at least it felt like one. A small city just outside Poznan, I was surprised there was a hotel nearby. The venue was awesome. A large house full of mirrors and musical instruments with lovely hosts too. It was a nice afternoon concert surrounded by an audience of all ages, coming to check out new music. 🙂
Getting to Puszczykowo was easy, finding the hotel was a bit more difficult, but manageable and getting to the venue was harder still. The road shown on Google maps did not exist, but I did find a footpath through the woods leading in the right direction. I was quite happy for the GPS on my phone. Immediately after I arrived I sent directions to P. who was arriving on a later train. I was too early as usual, but luckily that afternoon’s guest singer arrived at the same time and Bartek let me in with her. I was happy I got the chance to witness sound check and even happier when I saw all the mirrors on the wall – interesting pictures of reflections could be taken there. I listened, I photographed, I said hello quickly and already had a great time long before the show started. P. made it there OK by the time the doors opened. We drank tea and secured us some good spots.
Eventually the host of the gig announced the concert and the guys walked on stage starting with the tuning song. 😉 At the previous concerts Ragnar mentioned several times that the current cold made the instruments go out of tune, so there was always some tuning to do. As soon as they started playing the room grew quiet and stayed like that until ‘SSDD’ was over. Ragnar introduced himself and David, once again asking if anyone spoke Icelandic, noting that his Polish wasn’t so good yet. Then he told us he wanted to come closer and stepped to the front of the stage for ‘Wine’. It worked, people really listened. <3
‘Deva’ was brilliant. I really felt it that day and got quite emotional listening to it. Ever since I first heard it it has been my song of hope. The lyrics speak of overcoming hard times and really resonate with me. 🙂 He invited Susa on stage for ‘Dozen’ and it worked nicely. She had been nervous during sound check, but did just fine now. Ragnar is not the only one who enjoys working with different singers every day. It makes every show and every version of the duets different. 😀 I had asked him if we’d get to hear ‘Walls’ again and he promised we would. I liked it even better than I had the first time around. It was still too short, but a bit more refined now. I have no idea what it is, but the song really gets to me. I sure hope it will end up on the upcoming solo album.
For a little while I got distracted by a kid next to me who chose to sing to herself just loud enough to be annoying while Ragnar was telling us how ‘Bravery’ was born. Guess not everyone loves his stories. 😉 Luckily she went elsewhere as soon as he started singing again. He switched to the piano for ‘Relations’ and told us how much he loved the fact that the house we were at was full of instruments. I had been hoping for ‘Red Wine’ when I saw the piano, but he already decided during sound check that it was not going to be played that day. The piano sounded a little out of tune to me, but the song worked nonetheless.
From stories about floating down the Mississippi on a houseboat via musings about “a thousand days and a thousand nights” we somehow arrived at the weather in Poland being colder than Iceland at the moment. From time to time I turned to P. to see her reaction and she looked like she was enjoying it. ‘Southern Nights’ made me grin, especially because people were too shy to really sing along and it just kinda petered out half the time. As much as I love singing along, I always refrain from it when I’m filming so I just pretended for the most part. 😉
‘Petals’ was lovely as always. It is just such an amazing song. Sadly it was already the next to last song in the set and only ‘Scar’ was left. There was some ‘oooh’ing when he said that. No better song to end the set though. People loved it and clapped loudly until the guys were back on stage. Ragnar announced one more and told us a little about the “breakup album 2.0” having more major chords than ‘Urges’ and the stages of breaking up including some banter about what musicians will write about. It made me grin how the story and banter grew every night. I can only repeat just how much I love ‘Needle and Thread’. 🙂
Clearly the guys had planned to end the show there, but we would not let them go and demanded more. It might ot even have ended then, but they made it clear the next song was going to be the absolute last. To my surprise they chose to play ‘War’. It worked nicely as an end point of the show and I was quite happy with it. P. had liked it too and after getting something to drink we sat down for a while. I took the chance to share Salmiakki shots with Ragnar and chat a little before it was time for the guys to go. We said goodbye until the next day.
Through the woods we made it back to our hotel thanks to the lights on our phones. Dinner at our hotel was nice and then it was early bedtime before moving onwards the next day.
Ragnar Poland/Slovakia tour winter 2018: 6 gigs down, 1 to go
Needle and Thread