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Live Review: Asgeir – 30th October 2013 – The Miller, London, UK

2 min read

Upstairs, in the small and personal venue space of The Miller, a crowd waited impatiently for Asgeir, the talented Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. When he and his band eventually came on (45 minutes late, after walking casually through the crowd to get to the stage) the room turned silent, waiting for the music to start. Waiting to see if the wait was worth it.

They weren’t disappointed. The first song was sung solo by Asgeir’s brother, who sang the song movingly in an acapella style – leaving the audience in a stunned silence once he had finished, unable even to clap. After that the whole band began the next song, an alternate-pop sounding song based heavily around synthesisers and an electronic drum kit sound that reminded me of some of the slower and more relaxed tracks that have been in the charts lately. This sound suited Asgeir and his band well, but not quite as much as the next few songs, which went far more down the direction of folk – with beautiful vocal harmonies and nicely picked guitar lines. A further change came for the band’s sound half way through the set (although not such a drastic change as between the chilled out pop and the stunning folk) when they played their song Going Home, which although still sounded folky – had a much more dramatic vibe to it that reminded me of band such as Mumford & Sons.

Once this interlude of beautiful folk music had been done with, finishing just before the folk sound got repetitive, Asgeir and his band went on to play more of their more electronic sounding songs – each of them featuring the hallmarks of a potentially successful song with their nice vocal lines and well produced sound. I felt, however, (after listening to Asgeir play a few of these more pop-based songs) that the folky sound he had began the set with was far more suited to his voice and songwriting abilities. Although I can see the reasoning behind trying to appeal more towards the mainstream pop sound which has become a sort of formula for success.

All in all, I would say that Asgeir – if he sticks to his more folk styled tunes especially, (and makes sure that he doesn’t fall into the all too commonly fallen into hole of sticking to a formula and losing the originality of his tracks) – he has a potentially long and very successful career ahead of him with fans that could range from the folk purists all the way up to the people who like the more pop-based folk music of today.

Set List:

  1. “Stein Intro”
  2. Higher
  3. Lupin Intrigue
  4. Summer Guest
  5. On That Day
  6. Was There Nothing?
  7. Going Home
  8. Head in the Snow
  9. In The Silence
  10. Soothe this Pain
  11. Ocean
  12. Nu Hann Blaes
  13. King And Cross
  14. Torrent