It’s high season for tours and promotion, and Norwegian bands and performers are no exception to this. September and October are packed with gigs and performances from Norway to China - we give you the highlights.
Traditionally, early autumn is peak season for bands and performers on the road. As of writing a wide range of bands are out there playing stages from here to China. The level of international touring for Norwegian bands and performers has grown considerably both in regards to territories covered and size of venues played. Gone are the days when a minor international club tour by any Norwegian band would make headlines in the national press – it’s now regarded as common for most bands on the semi-pro to pro level to extend domestic touring with at least some dates abroad.
MIC strives to track as much as we can of Norwegian bands’ international activities. Here are some highlights from the MIC calendar:
Portrait of David European tour
The one-man project Portrait of David tours Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Belgium these days. Ola Fløttum aka Portrait of David’s sole member is an ex-Salvatore member and The White Birch founder as well as a vital contributor to platinum-selling Norwegian popsters Briskeby. Portrait of David’s universally acclaimed debut album “These Days are Hard to Ignore” was released late last year on German label Glitterhouse.
Flukt in the US
Traditional Scandinavian music meets classical and bluesy streaks in a trio of fiddle, accordion and percussion to produce a tremendously compelling and driving sound. This, and the purest of tunes and the simplest of moods, is what constitutes the mastery of Norwegian trio Flukt (the name means "soaring"). Some audiences have likened their concert performances to a great bird taking flight in an eclectic atmosphere of folk music. Flukt play a variety of dates in the Eastern US and the mid-West in September in support of their latest release “Drufiacc” (2L).
More info on the Norwegian US embassy’s portal.
Sheep in the UK
Up-and-coming Oslo rockers play seven dates in the UK this September. Based in Norway's capital Oslo, the three core members of sheep has been walking the cold streets a couple of years looking for the two missing pieces to make something good, much better.In October 2003 they finally got their hands on two members from a punk rock band from Oslo with the catchy name Dogpile (RIP). Finally the line-up was complete, and while you are reading this, these five young ones are pouring out good music heavily influenced by bands such as Fugazi, Sonic Youth (guess you never heard that one before?), At The Drive In, Husker Du, Nirvana and more. If you haven't heard these bands a good hint might be up-tempo songs, with hard hitting drums, good riffs and a shout -singing vocalist.
More info on the Norwegian London embassy’s portal.
as well as the band’s site.
One of Norwegian jazz’ flagships, Come Shine, are as of writing in South Korea to play the Jarasum Jazz Festival. Further down on the tour calendar we find appearances at the Copenhagen Jazz House (Oct. 7), a mid-October promo tour in Spain as well as concerts in Singapore and Vietnam in late Oct. early Nov.
Sondre Lerche in the UK
Sondre Lerche has had a strong US/Canadian focus over the last year. He now returns to the UK to play some key gigs in London, Glasgow, Cardiff and Liverpool.
Susperia all over Europe
Norwegian metallers Susperia have confirmed details of a major European tour in support of the recently released 'Unlimited' album. The band, Athera - vocals, Memnock - bass guitar, Tjodalv - drums, Elvorn and Cyrus - guitars, are set to team up with fellow Norwegians Mortiis on a double headline package under the banner of 'The Unlimited Grudge Tour 2004'. Starting in the UK on 15th September the tour will run through 19 countries finishing in Belgium on 14th November. The tour will be one of the most extensive undertaken by the band and will be the first chance for many European fans to see Susperia since 2001, when they toured with Dimmu Borgir, Destruction and In Flames.
Gisli in the UK
Hailing from Iceland and living in Norway, Gisli recently played a successful gig at Glastonbury Festival 2004. Said Noizy Music Online on the performance: "Icelandic Rocker Gisli bursts onto the scene with his outstanding E.P Passing out with a diverse set of laid-back, charming yet funny songs. Gisli started music at an early age, he drummed in the punk band “Pornshot” then decided to go solo displaying his amazing talent in all area’s of music. Gisli is said to have the same qualities as the band Beck and could be set to follow in their footsteps providing us with original musical talent. After his tour he left the U.K in wonder and anticipation. He is set to release his debut album “How about that to follow” out in June and with slot at Glastonbury, Gisli is definitely on his way to the top.Although 'go Get ‘em Tiger' isn’t the work of an A class Rap artist the lyrics leave you in utter hysterics. Gisli’s interesting varied style of soft rock/ rap with a possible hint of indie is definitely something to watch out for.”
Amulet in Germany
Hardcore veterans Amulet promote their latest international release "Daggers & Dynamite" out now on Beniihana Records. The Oslo collective are set to play a long string of gigs in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Austria and the Czech Republic.
Secret Garden in China
Eurovision Song Contest winners and a Norwegian music export mainstay for nearly a decade, Secret Garden take their lush sonic landscapes to a new Chinese audience this autumn. The ensemble have a new compilation out now on the Asian market : “The Best of Secret Garden” (Universal) – currently no. 12 at the Billboard New Age charts.
Ricochets in Germany
Supporting their fantastic “Ghost of our love” album, Ricochets aim for a bigger audience as they launch a German/Swiss/Austrian tour in late September. A few quotes from international media: From start to finish "The Ghost…" is a consistently impressive and emotive album and with every languid throb, every shit kicking stomp and every gut scraping holler they offer a lesson to The Coral, The Bandits and every other lame 60's revisionist..." (This Is Not TV - UK) "...cool exercise in evolving retro!" (8/10 Rock Sound Magazine - UK)
Bonk in China
Says the band on themselves: “Bonk is not Norwegian for the sound of a car smashing into the front of a bank, nor does it mean hurtling over a fjord in a burnt-out speedboat, strangling the bad guy to get the girl, but somehow in the shape of a single album, those clean-living folk from the land where the sun never sets have made a sound which feels like doing both things at the same time, naked. Drawing on influences as disparate as Tamla Motown, Norwegian Death-Punk, and The Who, Bonk is the sound of a culture hell-bent on putting litter into bins and the rock into punk.” A string of very successful domestic festival dates are now followed by a tour to China that sees the band play in Beijing and Shanghai.
Kings of Convenience in Scandinavia, UK and Germany
The masters of the stripped-down acoustic guitars/vocals set-up gear up for gigs in Scandinavia, UK and Germany in support of their acclaimed “Riot In An Empty Street” (Virgin) released earlier this year.
There’s a tremendous amount of activity not covered by this article – visit MIC’s calendar for the full picture.