The first gig of Airwaves Saturday was (yet) another trip to see Reykjavik!, this time in the main record store, Skifan. This one was physically slightly more restrained than the main venue shows, partly due to the lack of things for Boas to climb on and partly due to the presence in front of the stage, then centre-stage of the drummer's young son (pictured). Musically however, this was again up to the normal very high standards. The set was again concentrated around the just released new album, "The Blood" although the band did comply with a loud (how else to get heard at a Reykjavik! gig?) request for a rendition of "Beautiful Boys". So that was the final look at Reykjavik! for this year's festival, thanks boys - and thanks Haukur for the CD. I never did get the chance to pay you in beer, but I will...
For the second time at this year's Airwaves I managed to just miss a set by Bob Justman (sorry Bob, I'll try harder next time I promise). However, this was just in time to catch one of my long-time favourite bands, Jan Mayen (pictured). Brilliant guitar pop was once again to the fore in their show - to be honest I've seen them do better shows (maybe they suit a smaller venue?), but they can certainly create a great wall of sound and 'Nick Cave' was the live highlight it always is. Dikta were on next with their strong set in the vague mould of Coldplay. Dikta's show only really came to life once or twice, particularly with 'Just Getting Started' and they're clearly a local favourite, loads of people all around seemed to know every lyric.
It was international acts all the way in the Art Museum, and with an intriguing enough line-up we settled in for a couple of hours. Just after 10 the very hotly-tipped Faroe Islanders, Boys In A Band took to the stage to the sound of Bjork's 'Declare Independence' for the biggest of their 7 shows of the week. You see, their idea is to unify their country with Iceland and they connected with the audience excellently throughout. They threw a heap of flags into the crowd, got us all to tell them our names on the count of 3 and got a Mexican wave going. Fine work indeed, and the music was fabulous too - a rocking party made up of parts of The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and dare I say something like ACDC and hair metal outfits. With good banter, good tunes, good presence, they set the standard very high and the two more established acts of the night rarely came close to matching - and when they did it was more to do with crowd reaction than anything else.
CSS were the first and as a vastly experienced festival favourite did a thoroughly professional job. Their set flowed, lovefoxx bounded and bounced and the crowd danced and went crazy only once twice ('Music' and 'Let's Make Love') although my highlight was 'Paris Hilton' (and I don't say that often). After their set I bumped into top man, Matias Tellez whose set I had so enjoyed on Friday in Organ. He was looking forward to a good night out, despite a taxi taking him and the band off to the airport at 4.30am. Hope he made it! Back into the hall for the arrival of US trendies Vampire Weekend who, like CSS before them, didn't live up to the standard set earlier by Boys In A Band. I preferred them to CSS however, probably because they have the better songs in my view, as like the Brazilians they churned out a well-drilled faithful set. Couldn't help thinking the time may have been spent better taking in the night's strong looking line-up in Idno.
Ah, you can't get it right every time with so much to choose from and with no regrets at all it was off to a very busy Nasa next where we couldn't actually see UK dance band, Robots In Disguise, and the sound they were making kind of washed over without making much impression. Finally, at just before 2, FM Belfast (pictured) arrived on the Nasa stage to a reception fitting for one of this place's current favourite party band. As on Thursday, they worked their magic with great songs, huge energy and seeming near chaos! Their visuals let them down though, unless the backdrop was meant to say, "Please clean air filter", but nobody cared at a party this good. Certainly one of the more likely to make a breakthrough abroad by the time Airwaves 2009 comes around.