Norwegian bands Blind Archery Club and The Margarets create stir at In The City in Manchester, Europe’s biggest city-based music festival and industry convention.
Two Norwegian bands feature at this year’s ITC, where they’ve had a rare chance to present themselves to the often picky and slightly xenophobic British music media and record industry. Both bands, Blind Archery Club and the Margarets, appeared in advance on BBC’s list of bands not to miss. Of Blind Archery Club BBC muses that “they make epic tunes topped off with emotional guitars and clapping; not unlike The Flaming Lips, but with better vocals.”
According to the Norwegian daily newspaper Dagbladet the concert last night, at Manchester’s Squares venue, exceeded expectations. Keyboarder Anders Finslo relates that the concert was a smash; that they’ve always felt that their music would be right for a British audience and that this was confirmed when they managed to get the whole crowd clapping from the first tune.
BAC’s debut album was released in Norway in February of this year, with very positive feedback across the line; critics calling their music sophisticated, bittersweet pop-rock with complex harmonies and a nice summer-sky air.
The other Norwegian presence at ITC, also on BBC’s list, was the Margarets. This band has a quite unusual bio, which is now the subject of a short documentary entitled “When the wind calls your name” made and screened by Manchester local TV-network M in advance of ITC.
The Margarets are all related, hailing as they do from a tiny Island of the Norwegian west coast. There they connected to the greater world, predominantly Britain, via records and magazines received by mail-order. And having little else to do (the story of remoteness and music repeats itself) they formed a band in the mould of the inspirations from overseas. But when they moved form the island the band dissolved. -Until one day they all found themselves together in Oslo and decided to make it known to the world that there once was a band called the Margarets. The ensuing record “What kept you” (2002) became a big seller in Norway, and the little musical family suddenly found themselves in the place they’d dreamed of years before.
BBC describes their wind-swept, “it’s raining but we’ve got Rickenbackers,” music as “a tasteful, melancholy amalgam that reminds of Interpol fronted by Lloyd Cole.”