Well, listen it was a dark and stormy night when Mum set sail all the way from Iceland to play a show at (Le) Poisson Rouge on October 24th. I’ll always remember it well; the rain was falling, the sky was further darkened by a canopy of interweaving black umbrellas held by the people waiting to get inside of the sold out show, and everyone inside was either swapping spit or getting into fist fights over God knows what. I couldn’t paint a prettier picture of an autumn evening in the city if I tried.
Opening for Mum that night was Sin Fang Bous , also from Iceland, and I have a story to tell you that better illustrates what happened during their performance. Does anyone remember that video of Bjork that went viral a few years ago where she turned tribal on a photographer in an airport? Well to summarize: there was this video where Bjork was walking through an airport somewhere, pushing her child in a stroller. A reporter and a photographer approached her and like the snap of two fingers, Bjork LASHED out at these people and started making animal noises while beating the reporter about the head and face. This story has a point, and that point is that Icelandic people must have something inside of them that either harbors violence or inspires it in others because half way through the sighing and shoe shuffling beauty that was Sin Fang Bous’ set, I looked to my right and saw that a riot had erupted in front of the stage. People had become so swoony by this music, that they had no other outlet for their emotions other than the joining of their knuckles and sweaty palms with the face of the person in front of them.
Mum calmed everyone down when they hit the stage and started playing songs that often followed lengthy explanations by the band. Sounding like a mixture of the Dirty Projectors and Sigur Ros, Mum took up the entire stage with band members and unusual instruments. One prominent instrument being played by a female member of the band looked like a small keyboard with a tube attached to it that was blown into and periodically swung around. I tried googling the name of this instrument by using a variety of search terms like ‘keyboard blow tube,’ but I had no luck.
Earlier in the evening, when Sin Fang Bous were playing, they suggested that a certain song they were about to perform was perfect for kissing the person next to you. I didn’t notice any kissing happening during this song, but towards the end of Mum’s set, people were practically impregnating each other. One couple in particular were so amorous that the photographers assigned to cover the show decided to turn their flash bulbs on them instead. That’s the power of love for music, I guess. (Did you just hear Huey Lewis and the News in your head when you read that last sentence? I did.)
By Kelly McClure
Photo courtesy of Icelandnaturally.com