We knew there would be some live music happening in Reykjavik while were in town because it’s Reykjavik – there’s always live music happening somewhere. The only question was what bands would be playing, and this time we lucked out big time in the form of a four band show at Faktorý headlined by Prins Póló and FM Belfast.
I was concerned we might not be able to get in to see two such popular bands in a relatively small venue, but some folks on Facebook assured us that if we showed up when the doors open we wouldn’t have any trouble, and they were right. They were also right that there was pretty much no chance the show would start on time, though it was maybe only 20 minutes late in getting under way, giving us enough time to stake out a small table in the back and get some drinks. There were probably around 200 people at the show, which was a good amount as it kept the back of the room relatively open so we didn’t feel packed in like sardines.
The opening band of the night was the duo Vök, a recent battle-of-the-bands winner. Just a girl and a guy with a guitar, a sax, and some electronics, I have to admit I was really impressed. Margrét Rán Magnúsdóttir has an incredible voice, deep and soulful, and she could give a lot of people a run for their money. I’m definitely going have to keep my eyes on these guys in the future, especially if they play Airwaves.
Next up was the trio Kjurr who brought a ton of energy to the stage with their straight forward rock sound. All three members play their instruments well – at different times I caught myself thinking, “the guitarist is really shredding,” “the bassist is kicking out some funky beats,” “that drummer is getting after it,” and I was right on all accounts. The show climaxed with a shirtless lead singer running through the crowd singing through a bullhorn. Why not, right?
Simply put, Prins Póló kicked butt. Borko joined his band on drums, and they sounded tight. Lots of energy and everyone got into it, especially one dude in the back sitting by us who was obviously a major Prins Póló fanboy. We’ve missed Prins the last few years at Airwaves, so it was cool to see them in such an intimate venue.
FM Belfast was what FM Belfast always is – awesome. Their set ran close to an hour and they played some of our favorites – “Underwear,” “Stripes,” “I Don’t Want to Go to Sleep Either,” and “I Can Feel Love,” and in typical FM Belfast fashion the wove covers in and out of the middles of their own songs, kicking out verses of “Pump Up the Jams,” “Fight for Your Right (to Party),” and other faves. Great show start to finish, and the crowd was way into it.
We wrapped up the night with a walk over to the food trucks for a late-night waffle (with whipped cream and cinnamon, if you must know), a great capper to the evening. It was well worth the $12.50 cover charge (for charity) for yet another magical night of music in Reykjavik. If you’re a music fan, you have to find a way to get here. Trust me. You won’t regret it.