Whaling In The North Atlantic
Avían Í Afganistan

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Benni Hemm Hemm

There are a lot of convenient locations where we are used to meet bands for setting up a video session – concert venues, hotels… It’s just a further step in recording a band’s tour life when filming Benni Hemm Hemm on the way from the hotel to their van before heading on to the radio station. Touring is a mix of marking time and constantly being on the move. The parking house represents both worlds. In this artless setting the band that is originally from Reykjavík and now starting of a (half-)Scottish version from Edinburgh (Benni and Eiríkur still speaking their mother tongue in the video) sparks a musical charm bomb in all its simplicity. “Whaling in the North Atlantic” – sung by the name-giving songwriter Benedikt H. Hermannsson – does not contain more lyrics than those already said by the title. Yet the electrifying composition of this song (named after a book published by University of Iceland Press on the subject of commercial whaling) with the repetitive, onomatopoeic lyrics immediately fills out the whole arch of concrete with a great portion of atmosphere. For “Avían Í Afganistan” performed on the terrace the guys pulls out their tough-looking sunglasses while Emily on double bass stays squinting in the June sun. What a warm, bright sound!


  • Posted: October 3, 2009
  • Camera: Michael Luger
  • Sound Recording: Matthias Leihs
  • Post-Production: Michael Luger
  • Photography: Simon Brugner