The first day of the new music festival in the far north highlighted Drake’s influence on Iceland, but it was two veterans who really entertained
What Rolling Stone calls the “hippest long weekend on the annual music-festival calendar” starts in a toilet. Specifically, a converted former public convenience, one level below ground on Bankastraeti 2 in Reykjavik, at the Icelandic Museum of Punk, a tiny collection of narrow corridors and antechambers smothered in punk paraphernalia. Iceland has a proud punk tradition and a history of resistance that leads all the way up to the current Pirate party – Björk, the country’s most famous daughter (sorry, dóttir), started out in an all-female outfit called Spit and Snot – but this is a more neatly codified presentation of the unruly form, with its Crass badges and ever-so-anarchically daubed imagery on the walls.
It’s fitting, then, that one of the festival’s star turns, the former Johnny Rotten, should make an appearance here. At the top of the steps down to the loo-museum, separated from the pouring rain only by an awning, he approaches the mic in his baggy suit, cigarette in hand, ostensibly to do a reading of some sort, but actually to offer the random thoughts of Chairman Lydon to a drenched audience of, well, dozens.
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