Sólstafir at The Old Blue Last, London - live review

Iceland’s expansive rockers get intimate

Solstafir live at The Old Blue Last, London

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

Sólstafir’s expansive, spellbinding post-rock has captured the hearts of UK fans of multiple genres, so it’s surprising that their London date on this tour is in a tiny venue. For the lucky few who snapped up tickets before they sold out in minutes, it’s a chance to watch a band playing in a venue far smaller than their stature warrants. Decked out in their instantly recognisable Icelandic cowboy-meets-Field Of The Nephilim garb, the four-piece manoeuvre onto the tiny stage before the sweeping instrumental Náttfari leads them into the rousing, post-punk opener from new album Berdreyminn, Silfur-Refur. It’s likely many here haven’t heard Berdreyminn yet, so tonight’s set is more of a greatest hits. You can hear a pin drop when charismatic frontman Aðalbjörn ‘Addi’ Tryggvason’s voice wafts over the audience for the soft tones of She Destroys Again, while the title track from last album Ótta prompts cries of joy from the audience as guitarist Sæþór Maríus Sæþórsson dons a banjo for that riff, and the emotion-drenched Necrologue is dedicated to a late friend who took their own life, delivered with a heartfelt message on mental health by Addi. Ending with their two arguably most popular songs, the mesmerising Fjara and Goddess Of The Ages, they announce they’ll be back in November. But guaranteed, it won’t be as intimate an experience as tonight.

Hannah May Kilroy

Hannah May Kilroy has been writing about music professionally for over a decade, covering everything from extreme metal to country. She was deputy editor at Prog magazine for over five years, and previously worked on the editorial teams at Terrorizer and Kerrang!. She currently works as the production editor for The Art Newspaper, and also writes for the Guardian, Classic Rock and Metal Hammer.