Sindri Snær Sigfússon’s band, which started as a one-man-project and grew to an Icelandic-collective of up to seven people, performed their first show in Vienna at Chelsea, one of the concert venues in the Gürtel area. From there we hopped off to the lively Brunnenmarkt, situated only a few blocks away. There, Seabear settles themselves in and began to play “Arms” behind a fruit and veg stall, filled with autumnal chanterelles and exotic mangos. Women in headscarves doing their shopping, an enterprising Turkish fruit seller ballyhooing his goods, an old hat-wearing building super leaning at the stairway, a young Asian schoolboy tiptoeing through the picture, workmen sipping their beer at a sausage stand, masons sitting on a scaffold calling out “Super!”, and a black-haired and dark-skinned boy holding his shopping bag—they are all of them getting their bit of the fluffy Indiepop, Lofi-Folk sound of this Nordic looking quartet. Despite the national radio station fm4 breathing down Sindri’s neck – he is meant to hurry up for a pressing interview – he manages to keep his stoic face. After having finished “I Sing I Swim”, Sindri says, “I kind of have to run to that thing” and rushes off.
Brunnenmarkt (meaning fountain market) is the city’s largest street market. It was formed in the late 18th century around a fountain that channelled water to the Hofburg (home of the President, formerly the Emperor). Intra-urban Naschmarkt might be Vienna’s best known market with international, but increasingly touristy flair. Yet Brunnenmarkt, situated outside of the Gürtel, is the better local supplier, due to the large immigrant population which surrounds the immediate vicinity. You can find numerous Turkish shops, restaurants, and, most notably, fruit and veggie stalls, which sell all kinds of local and exotic foods at a bargain price. And should you catch the peddlers before they close their tents for the evening, you may snatch up their goods for at an even greater bargain price. The lively market stretches all along Brunnengasse, where at its northern end it has all but fused together with the smaller Yppenmarkt. The area emits a lively Mediterranean atmosphere, and is home to some of the best kebab houses in town.