Usako & Kousa's Iceland Diary 2003


Thursday, 7 August: One of the live events to take place in parallel to the Bad Taste exhibition at the Harbour House. We arrive 10 minute later than the announced showtime, but they are still setting up, with only 10-20 people hanging around waiting. With nearly half an hour's delay, Siggi Ármanns comes on to play a short accoustic set (top photo of the press article, below right.) Then follows a big noise extravaganza organised by Bibbi. Apart from Bibbi himself on guitar (plus effects) and "conducting" the show, there are 5 drummers - members of Maus, Rúnk, Mínus, Klink, and Kimono - on their kits, spread out in a small exhibition space. Against the wall at the back are Helgi Thorsson and Heimir Björgúlfsson (both ex-Stilluppsteypa) on their Powerbooks, and above them a large screen, onto which various TV footage (Icelandic grammer lesson, golf, commercials, etc.) is projected.

In the end a crowd of a couple of hundred gathered for the spectacle, among them several familiar faces among them, of course :-) Some complained afterwards of the extreme high frequencies used in the set. True, we were all pretty deaf after the concert, but we hadn't really noticed it during the set. Being in a space packed with such physical instruments as drums is in itself exciting and absorbing, and it was also amusing to watch the musicians as well as the "conductor" looking up to the screen from time to time for their cues - especially during the grammer lesson section! So it was a nice combination of physical, aural and visual experience.

A few days later, a brief report of the evening appears in the weekend edition of the DV newspaper, accompanied by a few photos of the musicians and some members of the audience, including... us!!

Many thanks to Gúmmi for telling us about this article.

Saturday, 9 August: It's been a very hot summer with not much rain at all, but this weekend it's cold and pouring down with rain. Akiko has caught a bad cold and is feeling ropey, so we decide it would be a very bad idea to go out and get wet. Hence we miss the annual Gay Pride march and the outdoor stage show :-(((((

By early evening it's stopped raining, and we go over to Alma & Egill's for a dinner party. In fact we had been hoping to have a (non-meat) BBQ, but of course we had to change our plan due to the weather. After a meal of fish green curry and salad, we had a selection of Icelandic cheese - with delicious home-baked Rosemary bread - and chatted late into the night. (Left: Alma's cat wanting to be friendly with Kousa, who's having a think about it, while Usako is slightly offended that no one is paying her attention...)

Monday, 11 August: On Sunday, Bibbi has commenced his 7-day long Hamburger Tour - he's eating 2 hamburgers a day, at 12pm and 7pm, at different locations throughout the city, from fast food joints to more upmarket restaurants. (Good thing he had a healthy dinner at Alma & Egill's on Saturday ;-) The "tourdates" have been published in the newspapers in advance, so anyone can go and watch him. We decided to go and check him out at the Hard Rock Cafe, situated inside the Kringlann shopping mall.

As it turns out, he had a radio reporter covering today's matinée; and now there are a TV crew and a newspaper photographer waiting to catch the evening performance. Bibbi invites Usako & Kousa to sit at (should that be on?) the table with him during the TV interview and during the actual show, so they shared a couple of fries on his plate. Hopefully we'll be getting hold of a video copy of the broadcast soon.

To Part Three / Back to Part One