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monacle review of 'heima'

no place like heima

in august 2006, iceland's biggest band, sigur ros, closed their 13-month world tour with a two-week mini-tour of their homeland or heima. the album they'd been touring for a year was called takk and this seemed a nice way of saying thanks to grass-roots fans for their support and the grass roots, shale plains and geysers of iceland for their otherworldly inspiration.

dean deblois, fan and film director (oscar-nominated for lilo & stitch), was invited along to record this small country's big event. being sigur ros, of course, the band were wonderfully wilful no lazily-conceived 4-night residency at the reykjavik superdome for them.

instead, deblois records a bewitching musical exploration inspired by a geographical and social one as the band perform in a disused fish factory in the icy wastes of djupavik, rework their back catalogue in front of a community hall in gamla borg and brave the highland wilderness for a gig in front of no one but their crew. intercut with the band's reflections on touring and the nature of "home", the result is a beautiful, spellbinding exercise in keeping it simple.



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