Faroe Islands Adventure – 2011
What an amazing trip! The abrupt landing from the clouds was to be a precursor for The Noise Revival Orchestra’s trip to the land of Faroes! Immediately we jumped on a bus to the capital of Torshavn. On the plane I had seen a guy with a guitar bag so it was my goal to meet him and tell him about our visit. I met him (Jon Klaement) on the bus and turns out he knew the friend that was hosting us! I soon learned that everyone knows everyone..& I learned that everyone knows my friend, Gudrid Hansdottir! When you are on the front of the paper when you are getting married, that says something, no matter what island you are from! At the bus station Gudrid whisked us away to the house we were staying and said we had 1 hour to shower and be ready to meet our Faroese band for rehearsal. The rehearsal was magical from the get go. It reminded me of the first time a year or so ago in Denmark, when I first tried out playing behind different backing bands in different cities. The chemistry was instantaneous. In particular the drummer Andreas Dalsgaard, had a the “IT” factor. He’s someone I would love to figure out how to have him perform with us all over Europe. Rehearsal is cut short because we have to rush over to sound check. We run through each song once and then cram our gear in the corner at Sirkus. By the time we set up, we maybe have time to run a song or 2.
The band before us was performing their first show and their last because half the band was moving to Copenhagen. It’s a shame. They were pretty brilliant. It’s our turn to go on and we are excited because you can barely move in this bar as it’s packed and people are crowding the stairs trying to get in. I want to refrain from using the term “magical” so often, but in the Faroe’s much of everything is so. And Sirkus is that magical venue, that I’m sure has not always been there. I heard only amazing things about the owner, Sunneva, who has really pushed to give a place to hear new music and a place for the punks, hipsters, etc feel at home. The show was not perfect, but that truly is the beauty of playing with a different band in each country. It adds that excitement and room for interpretation. We churned through the set and ended on the rocking number, Days n Daze. From that moment they cheered for more and more! We stood there knowing that we could leave on that high point or risk playing an unrehearsed song. They continued to cheer and it was thrilling. We were to play 2 days later, and that was to be our encore.
After the show we were all congratulated and continually asked what a Texas band was doing in the Faroe Islands! It won’t be the last time we are there, that’s for sure! Outside I met 3 young fellas, that had come to film us that night. The 3 of them, Peter, Runi, & Bjarne, would become some of our closest confidants, and that night they expressed their desire to film and document our entire stay.
It began at 7 in the morning the next day. We arrived at the national radio station, Kringvarp, where we first greeted Petur on his scooter waiting in the cold. I asked Petur how he managed to wake up and he replied “I didn’t”. He had stayed up all night to make sure that he was here to film us. We performed our soon to be new US single, Dance the Night Away, in a stripped down version of 2 acoustic guitars, violin, cello, and flute. I did a short interview on the air with Gudrid Hansdottir to promote our final show at Perlan the next night and off we went. We had a few hours to kill before we performed at the local record store, Tutl, so we walked around the city with our new friend Petur.
The in-store performance was also a stripped down affair. We were blessed with beautiful weather and as a result had a lot of walking traffic come in the store to hear us. We sold more than a handful of CD’s and were asked to sign 4 of them! It was great promotion for our show the next night.
The show at Perlan was an 8 band bill that went all night! We were scheduled after midnight which was great, because in the summer, apparently people don’t come out until after midnight! This was it for us so we wanted to leave the crowd with something they would remember. 1 minute before I walked on stage I randomly overheard someone saying they were a singer and wished they could grab the mic and start singing. I pulled him aside and asked if he wanted to jump up on stage and do a group vocal. The girl next to him asked if she could as well, and I said “Sure, anyone can! Tell any of your friends.” Four songs into the set and I yell over the mic for the guy to come up on stage and he gives the signal to all his friends as well, and a flock of singers jump on stage. Everyone on stage was having such a good time and they all sang along to the catchy chorus of our new song, Songs of Forgiveness. This got the crowd going and after a couple more songs, I just let it go. I told the crowd to just get back on stage and dance around and be a part of the band. We took it from there! I know it’s on video somewhere! What a way to go out!
Getting lost and missing your flight…that’s right it wasn’t all over just yet. The last 24 hours was a crazy 24 hours. In the afternoon Gudrid took us on a hike around a mountain. It was such an amazing view and experience. I felt like I was back in the 1500’s or something! The town that we walked to had only a handful of old houses and an old cathedral that was never finished. But it was here where we realized that Alexa was missing! Josh said he saw her walking pretty far behind but figured that she would see us descend down from the mountain. It was getting rainy and cold, so who better to call then our camera crew! Josh was to walk from the ending point to the starting point and I gathered the camera crew to go on a journey of looking for our lost violinist. 6 hours later we got a phone call that she had crawled down a mountain and asked a Russian tourist to just drive her to the nearest town. How she communicated, I’m unsure, but we had started to worry. Now it was Josh’s turn to pull and Alexa. As we were going down for bed at 2 am, Josh pulls me aside and tells me that he never bought his ticket from the Faroe Islands to Iceland. But he said not to worry and that he would just buy it at the ticket counter. Can you guess what happened? Yep, he got left behind! It was an issue with his card apparently. It’s one of those moments that you think only happens in the movies. I mean, you never want to leave your friend hanging in a foreign country with no money! It just adds to lore of The Noise Revival Orchestra coming to the Faroe Islands. It makes me wonder if coming back would ever top our infamy, for whatever reason we are infamous! But seriously, a special energy and gravity is tugging at my body and soul to return! The story continues…