Living with…Sigur Ros…for a week

And firstly, an apology…

Let’s get the awkward bit out of the way.  The cold weather this week was my fault.  Having decided on a ‘world’ music January for no81bob’s world, I’ve set off to sunny Australia and tropical Cape Verde bringing with it relatively warm weather to the UK.  Always, a nice spin-off from a blog. Week three and I’ve decided to travel musically to Iceland to spend time with sigur rós.

From the moment that I played the opening bars of Takk, we were plunged in to our only real moment of winter.  Car scraping in the morning, dusting off the thermals, football games called off. I took a brief break from the boys from Iceland during the week only to bring back the slightly warmer weather. I apologize…it clearly was my fault

Think Pink Floyd…they said

Think Pink Floyd.  That’s what they said about sigur rós.  So I did – think Pink Floyd.

Think Pink Floyd but not really with the epic guitar solos, sigur rós tend to keep it in a bit, or even lean a little to the spiky edgy sound.

Think Pink Floyd but actually that epic soundscape is more mystical than the Floyd would ever go, more off beat celtic than it is epic.

Think Pink Floyd but they sing different – the vocals aren’t deep Waters/ Gilmour but more falsetto Jonsi.  Oh, and they’re not in English but in Icelandic.

Think Pink Floyd but they don’t tend to sing about the personal angst of family relationships or going mad. Their songs can be about shoes and pyjamas and puddles…much more important stuff.

So actually, don’t think Pink Floyd.  So that’s what I’ve done.  Not thought Pink Floyd.

So who or what are sigur rós?

sigur rós are an Icelandic band claiming to bring the listener “the beautiful landscape of their homeland with their music”.  Formed in 1994 they’ve steadily worked their way in to the world’s consciousness not just through a scattering of albums over the year but the adoption of some of their songs as themes in places you least expect.  Their lead singer Jonsi has also gone solo, and his album Go has to be one of my favourite uplifting choices of 2010.  It makes me smile – I love it.

But sigur ros operate in a slightly different landscape – I’ve spent the week with Takk – the music either can lift and inspire or deflate.  They create music emotions which I either loved or had to ffwd depending on my mood.  But overall it’s not a canvas you can predict so I recommend time with sigur ros even if I won’t claim it was a comfortable week.  But, of course there is a song…

A song that everyone knows…but no one knows the name

Groups often have one song that becomes their signature.  For sigur ros it is one that we all know – no, honestly we do – but we would never know it was by them and we certainly would never remember it’s name.

So reach for your tissues or hanky, feel your chest swell and harden with pride, feel the prick of a teardrop at the corner of your eye.

It’s hoppipolia time!

If you’ve ever wondered at mother nature with David Attenborough.  If you’ve ever watched football on Sky Sports or the BBC.  If you’ve ever watched a news channel.  If you’ve ever watched a cup final.  If you’ve ever watched the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent.

Then you’ve experienced hoppipolia time.

The child who struggles with a terrible illness and wins through in the end.  The miners trapped underground for weeks and breaking through in to the light.  The football team emerging from the tunnel to the adulation of their fans.  That tribute to someone special.

hoppipolia time.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a blockbuster film or a promotional video for Marks and Spencer.  You may be international rugby stars or a local football team.

You want hoppipolia time.

Still not sure?  Then click below and go….oh


So you know what hoppipolia time is now. And the wonderful irony is there’s nothing grand about the song.  It translates as:

Hopping into puddles

Completely drenched
Soaked With no boots on
And I get nosebleed
But I always get up.

A wonderful love song about two people splashing in puddles.  Come to think of it – that probably is the ultimate hoppipolia time.


#henswontlay II

I’d love to report an egg or a photo of an egg after my exercise in encouraging my hens to lay this week by playing them appropriate tunes. #henswontlay. However I cannot report any progress.  The nest boxes contain just hay and poo.

Undeterred I will persist with the musical therapy. The last week their playlist has consisted of:

Lay Lady Lay – Bob Dylan

Stand and Deliver – Adam and the eggs

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths 

That yolk isn’t funny anymore – The Smiths

Waiting for an egg like you – Foreigner

Any suggestions for the coming week?  Maybe not so much of The Smiths, might have got the hens down a bit…