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I didn’t know what to expect during my week in Iceland, but I didn’t expect to find a punk museum. My knowledge in Icelandic music is limited, but I am a big fan of Björk’s albums, especially Verspitine. I haven’t listened to anything by her band The Sugarcubes, but that all changed when I set foot in Iceland.
I’ve been working on entries about my time in Iceland. In my last one, I said I planned to go here since I walked past. After visiting, I thought the place was so special that it deserves an entry of its own. It’s become one of the highlights of my stay in Reykjavík. Of course, the Northern Lights and Golden Circle are delights in themselves and are worth a view.
The M&M man covered in newspaper, vibrant pins, and strong messages all over the staircase made it impossible not notice the place. The interior of the staircase made me think of an underground station in London. Straightaway I thought of my mother and her friends, who are big fans of The Six Pistols. I believe the place used to be an old public toilets, I only guess this because of the crossed out WC sign. Could be wrong though, but from what I’ve seen, it feels like the most logical option.
It’s a bit hard to tell from the picture above, but it has a poster saying why they charge an entrance fee. It’s 1000 IKR to get in, I personally enjoyed it and thought it was worth the money. As a music fan, I enjoyed the experience.
Headphones on the Ceiling
Coming down the stairs you’re greeted by posters, newspaper clippings, and headphones hanging on the ceiling. There’s also a drum kit in the main area, and the guys are happy for you to take a picture of you there. My favorite part of the place is the hanging headphones and how each one represented a different record. You knew which one you were listening to because it was glued to the ceiling.
The main exhibition itself really had a genuine 1970s punk vibe. This cubicle stood out for me with the headphones in the toilet. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t work. I thought the posters were cool and thought it was a nice touch that it had facts written in both English and Icelandic.
Björk and The Sugarcubes
One of the cubicles had a TV in it that featured some clips of Björk during her time in The Sugarcubes, something that I thought was nice as I learned the Icelandic punk scene helped father her career. It isn’t a dedicated space just for Björk and The Sugarcubes, as it features other bands from the scene as well. Despite this, I think other Björk fans would enjoy this.
Sex, Drugs, & Ice n' Roll
The poster above is something I’ve seen for sale in some of the shops that sell Björk’s records. It’s a very nice poster that I think many fans of her music would like to hang on their wall.
In total, I think I spent about half an hour in the museum. I really like what they’ve done to the place. The atmosphere was lovely and I enjoyed trying out different bands from Iceland. If you’re a big music fan, then I think you will love the place. I think they have really made the most of the small space they have. It genuinely feels like a band’s secret rehearsal spot. When the doors to the museum are closed, I can picture a band breaking out the drum kit in the middle of the night.