In Norway she is often described as the true queen of live performances; her deeply moving songs and her intense and genuine personal presence, balanced with a level of professionalism that is second to none, amounts to a live experience that is consistently beyond what most concert-goers dare to expect.
Her special hand with the live format was captured on her first ever live album, which came out last year. Celebrating her twentieth anniversary as a performing artist the album was a brilliant testament to what so many live reviews have stated again and again; that hearing Kari Bremnes is a treat that should feature among the doctor’s prescriptions. The album reaped absolutely stellar reviews across the line, and it was said that at last it was possible to bring her special live persona home.
Not that her studio albums lack the special flare that is uniquely Kari Bremnes: From her solo debut in 1987 twelve albums have ensued, and taken as a whole her discography constitutes one of the most precious musical treasures Norwegians of today have. This is true in terms of critical acclaim and sales, but perhaps most poignantly regarding the individual songs themselves and the way they are not mere pieces of music but vehicles of something more, of Bremnes the person, of a special time, and of special experiences. Her songs and her performance have the ability to draw people in so that hearing her music becomes a very personal experience for the listener.
But Kari Bremnes appeal is not restricted to Norway and the audience that shares her language. She has also found a large and enchanted following abroad, especially in Germany. Despite missing out on most of the lyrics (even if Bremnes intersperses the Norwegian with some English when she plays abroad) the Germans have taken to Kari Bremnes in a way which is surprising both in terms of numbers and regarding the affection that critics and lay folk alike express. Over the seven or eight years that it has taken Bremnes to establish herself as an artist in Germany, she has sold more than 100 000 records there, and aptly enough much of Last years live album –which was released in Germany in November- was actually recorded on tour there.
On January 15th Kari Bremnes returns to this country of such warm and heartfelt response for a ten day tour, which starts out in Hamburg and terminates in Hannover on the 25th.