Live review SYKUR @Barfly, Camden

Look To The Northern Bytes

Some gigs you are there because you love the band, they may even be mates and you’re there to support them. Then there are others, where faith skips along with you to a lovely new discovery. Faith, evidently is from Iceland, and likes Camden, a lot.

So we’re in the Barfly in North London. We’ve pinballed between a few pubs on the way, and are now waiting to see a mate-of-mates band. I don’t know anything about SYKUR (translates to sugar) except they are from Reykjavik, Iceland. Then they start playing, and I want to know everything.

Sykur Live ReviewIn their most base form, they an ‘electro’ band. But then so are Orbital and Underworld, who fundamentally changed my life when I saw them for the first time. I saw those bands in the early to mid nineties, so pretty early in their careers.

But seeing comparative fledglings SYKUR was like (in the most complementary way possible) seeing a bunch of friends jamming together in a garage, compelled to create/nurture/release the beats in their head. They are doing it clearly because the love it. Thankfully, they seem to have brilliant taste in music too.

There’s something about homelands of desolation, whether it be natural like Iceland or industrial man-made like Detroit, Manchester or Sheffield etc, that forms the seed for uplifting/poignant house/electro music. Maybe it’s a direct reaction against the bleakness, or in the sparseness of beauty, what beauty there is becomes clearer, or necessity means you will create it to fill the void.

There were hints of ’80s electro pop thrown into the mix, very fond memories of Human League/Dead Or Alive floated by. And some loving beats reminiscent of The Pet Shop Boys and of course the aforementioned Orbital/Underworld. The new addition of singer Agnes brings a jubliant voice of a fun loving youthful Bjork. All combined in a very fresh, glacial pure good time goodness.
Shed Those Tears (Original Mix) by SYKUR

The sound system in Barfly didn’t do justice to the music SYKUR make, but that doesn’t stop you feeling what is going on. You are compelled to dance, to appreciate the moment that is around you. The varied crowd clearly enjoyed the show, including a couple of members of Snow Patrol standing beside me. Everyone having a very good time reacting to the optimistic beats. Later I suggested (begged) Gary and Johnny (Snow Patrol) to get SYKUR to remix one of their forthcoming songs that they had stunningly played on Later With Jools Holland.

‘It could be the next Screamadelica’ I proclaimed. Johnny came back with, ‘Oh we played with them (Primal Scream) in Brazil the other night’. Can SYKUR take us ‘Higher Than The Sun?’, I don’t doubt it at all……Now, if that isn’t Faith…..

The new single ‘Shed Those Tears’ is out now. Check SYKUR.com for details.

Born in celtic lands, nurtured in art college, trained by the BBC, inspired by hunter s. thompson and released onto the battlefront of all things interesting/inspiring/good vibes... people, movies, music, clubbing, revolution, gigs, festivals, books, art, theatre, painting and trying to find letters on keyboards in the name of flushthefashion. Making sure it's not quite on the western front... and beyond.

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