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LIVE: Daði Freyr / Blusher – Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, 26/11/2023

Just like the local football team, whose best season for 40 years was disrupted by the dreaded pandemic, (Wolves’ first European campaign for four decades ending behind closed doors), Daði Freyr must have felt like his chance had gone after a double dose of Eurovision bad luck; in 2020 his song ‘Think About Things’ would have been one of the favourites to win when the competition was cancelled due to COVID. With the contest’s return the following year, the pandemic struck Freyr’s band which meant that their 2021 entry, ‘10 Years’ could only be shown on video (it still took Freyr’s native Iceland to a creditable fourth place). In the meantime though, Freyr’s popularity and reputation has grown and thus he regularly plays at good-sized venues like tonight’s recently refurbished Wulfrun Hall.

The hall is already full of Daði Freyr fans when support Blusher, all the way from Australia, take to the stage to present half an hour of tuneful, polished pop, which sits somewhere between Chvrches and mid-period All Saints. The trio of Lauren, Jade and Miranda all sing both together and solo and swap instruments during a performance that showcases their hook-laden, sparkling songs in front of an appreciative audience. They could well make a splash in 2024.

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Tonight’s stage has an impressive backdrop of a huge Daði Freyr face and hands, in quite an unflattering ‘Morph’ plasticine style (there’s a reference for the kids!) that is emblematic of Freyr’s self-deprecating sense of humour. There’s a roar as he strides out onto the Wulfrun stage, tonight aided by just two band mates, rather than the extended line-up of his ‘Eurovision only’ group Daði & Gagnamagnið. The three (completed by Pétur on guitar and Ylva on percussion and keys) are a formidable unit; Freyr himself will play keyboards, bass and guitar by the end of just the third song! He seems very happy to be here, opening with ‘Thank You’ from this year’s I Made An Album. It’s an ideal opener, building slowly before exploding into life. He introduces the band and includes “big Daði” (the stage set!) and “sexy Daði“ (himself!). He endears himself to the crowd by saying “It’s like coming home” – not because he has been to Wolverhampton before, but because he was apparently in the same maths class at school as former Wolves striker Jón Daði Böðvarsson, whose name will come up time and time again in the hour or so ahead, as unlikely as that may seem!

There’s an early outing for the lively ‘Skiptir ekki máli’ from Freyr’s debut & Co. but the lion’s share of tonight’s songs will come from I Made An Album. However a unique surprise is thrown in with a bespoke song for audience members Catherine and Emily, who Freyr strikes up a conversation with between songs! It’s typical of a show where the bits in between songs are shown to be an integral part of the Daði Freyr live experience. Freyr’s easy chat with the audience is natural and unforced.

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’I’m Fine’ draws a little audience participation, while fellow ‘new album’ track ‘If You Want To’ bounces along with a Depeche Mode swagger. ‘10 Years’ is given an expectedly enthusiastic reception but the biggest cheer of the night is reserved for the closing ‘Think About Things’, a great synthpop single that is maybe not what a lot of people would expect from a ‘Eurovision song’. After just seconds away, Freyr is back for a frantic solo guitar-and-vocals run through, of all things, McFly’s ‘Obviously’ before the rest of the band come back for a closing run through a version of Atomic Kitten’s ‘Whole Again’.

On this evidence, there’s a lot more to Daði Freyr than those Eurovision moments; expect him to be around for a while yet!


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God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.