Iceland honours Sjonni during first rehearsal


As has become customary Iceland's rehearsal began with what the guys in the arena are calling a "micro sound check" where each individual artist has to sing in order to set the levels. This is this followed by a sound check rehearsal of Coming Home

Sjonni's Friends came on stage equipped with all manner of instruments... A piano, drum kit and a selection of interesting guitars. 

After the sound checks, the actual rehearsal began. The guys are all wearing jeans, white shirts, blue ties and grey waistcoats with black piping. They all look very relaxed on stage and seem to gel well together. 

As the first camera rehearsal begins the stage lights up in shades of orange and green with what looks to be graphics of mechanical cogs in the background. The colours work very well with the performance as a whole as the song is a mid-tempo number with elements of pop, jazz and folk. As the song progresses the speed at which the graphics rotate changes and the colours move between green and orange. 

Vocally the group were very strong and all the harmonies worked very well. The camera work was also very good, complimenting the song extremely well. The so-called "spider cam" was used for a lot of the performance, where a camera suspended from four wires can move at great speed and gives good vistas of the stage. 

Some pictures from the Icelandic rehearsal:

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A video from the Icelandic rehearsal:


Iceland brings six lead singers to Düsseldorf. Pálmi Sigurhjartarson in the group tells of their wish to pay homage to the late Sigurjón Brink, originally meant to be the artist for his self-penned song.

"We are honouring his memory here and making people know that he's still with us. We brought his music and will let people hear it. We're here because of him," Pálmi says. He turns grave talking about his friend. The group emanated determination when arriving backstage.

"We're doing fine! Very excited, and I think we're ready," Pálmi says.

After touring the city and playing some golf, the team is now ready to get down to work. The stage performance has required a lot of planning.

"We've put a lot of effort into our rehearsals at home. Since we have six singers on stage, we're switching lines all the time. It took some time to get the sound right, and even more so the cameras," he explains.

See some pictures from backstage below:

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Press Conference

The press conference started with the Head of Delegation introducing the band and describing their long journey from Iceland to Düsseldorf.

The initial topic of the conference was of course Sjonni, who passed away in January. His wife was also at the conference and described her feeling. She said about her experience, "It's very emotional; I'm very happy but also sad."

She went on to say, "We have to live life, we have to enjoy it, we have to seize the moment and tell our loved ones how much we love them". 

The band were also discussing their previous experience with the Eurovision Song Contest and how Sjonni and some other members of the band have been in the Icelandic preselection previously, but were unfortunately not successful at qualifying. "This year Sjonni would be so proud that we made it", they said.  

When discussing the rehearsal, the band explained, "It was a great feeling to be on stage, and it went very well". The band were also asked about the expectations of qualifying as in the past three years Iceland has qualified to the final, to which they replied, "this is the first time that there is not much pressure from home because people know where we are coming from". 

All members of the Icelandic delegation seem to be very fun-loving and laid-back, enjoying the interaction with the press and fans in the hall. The conference was fun but also very emotional, when discussing Sjonni and how he inspires the group. 

Sjonni's Friends are a group of incredibly talented musicians and they naturally brought their instruments to the conference, playing Waterslide, the song they entered into the Icelandic final in 2010. This very popular with everyone in the conference. 

To finish off the guys sang a chorus from Coming Home to finish off the conference.

Take a look at some pictures from the Icelandic press conference:

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The story of Sjonni's Friends

When Sigurjon ‘Sjonni’ Brink sadly and unexpectedly passed away on the 17th of January this year, his wife and friends came to the joint conclusion that Sjonni would have wanted his song to remain in the competition, so they agreed they would carry on and perform Coming Home in his memory. Six of Sjonni’s closest musical friends collaborated.

Guitarist Vignir Snaer Vigfusson produced the song along with Sjonni; drummer Benedikt Brynleifsson and piano player Palmi Sigurhjartarson also played their part in the end result as they were Sjonni‘s co-members in the recently formed band Rokk.

The other three friends who took on this project also have a long history together: Guitarist Gunnar Olason had played gigs on and off with Sjonni for many years; bassplayer Hreimur Örn Heimisson was a long-term friend, and singer Matthias Matthiasson has worked with Sjonni both on and off stage.

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