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MMMMM.. Sugarcubes.

May 5, 2007
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:The lead singer is a cutie, and she can really sing!

Cons:Einar's vocals on the other hand....

The Bottom Line: Take a trip through time, back into the history of Iceland.


I can hardly wait 'til May 8th for Bjork's new album Volta. It is too warm to freeze my self ala Eric Cartman for the Nintendo Wii, so I decided to go the Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) route, and use a time machine to move forward. The trouble with this, is that sometimes things go wrong, and I found myself transported back to the late 80s for a SugarCubes Concert DVD.

Live Zabor is a 2006 DVD release of Live Sugarcubes performances culled from performances at the Astoria in London, UK, Auburn, Alabama US and Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Sugarcubes was one of the first music groups to put Iceland on popular musics map. They have a cool punk pop alternative like sound, but for me, the draw of the band is their female lead singer. She is a diminutive sexy pixielike powerhouse who yells out the lyrics to the bands songs. She has a voice unique in rock music. In a word, she is Bjork.

So what do we get on Live Zabor

The DVD is a mix of live performances and comical interviews. There are a total of 15 songs performed live and several interviews.

The DVD starts off with an interview with Einar about Planets which naturally kicks off the live performance of the song planets. Thanks to the time traveling capabilities of video, we get to see 23 year old Bjork singing her heart out, dressed in a simple dress and very little makeup. She dances around and cavorts on stage like she is fully enjoying herself.

Cowboy was performed next, but I am not a fan of Einar's screaming heavily accented vocals. In fact, all the songs that Bjork sang, I loved, I wasn't as crazy about the ones that she didn't have lead vocals on.

The songs performed herein are Planets, Cowboy, Mamma, Cold Sweat, Cat, Birthday, TV, Delicious Demon, Motorcrash, Plastic, Eat the menu, Speed is the key, Deus, Luftgitar and the icelandic version of Birthday. The bands performances of the songs are a lot of fun to watch, the whole band is full of energy, and you can see how the Sugarcubes caught the attention of the world with their infectious energetic sound. The sense of humor is evident here to. On the song Cat Bjork is shouting out the lyrics singing about her warm beautiful kitty, Einor throws a huge inflatable monkey at her. I'd quote the lyrics, but some the word filter doesn't allow, and the others are in Icelandic.

The "interviews" on this DVD aren't real interviews, just conversations with members of the band about various topics. Many serve to introduce the songs. No surprise, I found Bjork's to be the most entertaining as she explained her fascination with television, and proceded to take the back off to see what made it tick. She then looks at the circuit boards and explains how they remind her of a little model of a city with houses and buildings in her charming Icelandic accent. She then discussed a poet that told her about TV and its little screens that send out one big picture and how that scared her. Ah yes, the seeds of Bjork's unique view of things are clearly visible here. The band launches into its song TV next.

Video Quality This is good high quality video shot in the 4:3 standard aspect ratio. Cinematography focuses on the band using fade outs and tight shots to follow the singers, and musicians of the band. The stage seemed quite dark though, and not much of the audience was shown. I would have enjoyed seeing how the audience reacted to young Bjork.

Audio Quality The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo only, but it is good quality.

Summary Whether you love the Sugarcubes or you are in love with their singer, Live Zabor was a pretty good concert, and captured a slice of Icelandic history. I gave it four stars.


Recommend this product? Yes

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