Jarle Bernhoft is one of Norway’s best musical performers, and definitely our most versatile male singer in the loosely defined pop jazz soul styles. He has played in bands in all these styles during his almost 20 year career, and has excelled in all of them. His last three studio albums, the first of these from 2008, have been dedicated to modern soul. They have also given him both well earned commercial and artistic success. These days he is on a tour with his band, and last night he played at Sentrum Scene in Oslo.
The year 2014 marks the 200 year anniversary for the Norwegia constitution and our independence from more than 350 years under Denmark. There have been many celebrations during the year, and this weekend marked the end of the celebrations, with – among other activities, the festival Eidsivablót. A blót is a pagan ritual to the Norse gods and the spirits of the land, and was celebrated by the Norwegian Vikings 1000 years ago with sacrifices, food, drinks and a party. The 2014 version of the blót had viking games, food, drink, and party, and instead of sacrificing animals, we got concerts by Wardruna and Enslaved, plus Skuggsjaa.
Trondheim has got a new festival this year, Trondheim:Play. The first version of the festival was held on Saturday, both as an independent festival , but also as an opening celebratiuon of the new Scandic Lerkendal Hotel. The line-up was local bands from the region that have got nationwide success, plus two bands who have had international success. (Picture above: Tony Harnell from TNT)
Blues In Hell is a Norwegian blues festival that has a long history. It started as a hotel festival, then it became a Music Fest, with artists like Snoop Dogg, Dimmu Borgir, Turbonegro and Bob Geldoff. After the Music fest went bankrupt, the Blues in Hell Festival came “back” to Hell Station as an outdoor tent festival with the Magic Mirror as an important ingredient.
Jane’s Addiction have been on a tour for some time now, celebrating 25 years since they released the ground breaking CD Nothing’s Shocking. The tour started in May, and they have played several venues in the USA, O2 in London before they played the Parken festival in Bodø, Norway and last night they played in Oslo.
In the 70s we had four big rock bands in Norway which stood out – Popol Ace (earlier Popol Vuh), Aunt Mary, Junipher Greene and Ruphus. Aunt Mary played harder prog rock, while Junipher Greene, Popol Ace and Ruphus played a mix of prog and sympho rock. All the bands stopped playing together in the late 70s, but all of them have had reunion concerts in later years. Yesterday night I saw the Aspaas Larsen band at the Olsen Bar in Oslo, with three of the original members of Ruphus.
The Pstereo festival 2014 is over, the sound has died and all the people in front of, on, and behind the stages have left. I have attended the festival every year since 2009, and this year was the overall best. Not necessarily the best artists, but the whole atmosphere, the setup and the attitude. Here are my best shots of the bands I saw at the festival. (Picture above: Ingrid Helene Håvik from Highasakite.)