Saturday was the closing day of this year’s by:Larm. The festival, including the conference has been a success with lots of people visiting the venues and high quality booking and also seminars. The official numbers and evaluation isn’t done yet, but having attended all 17 by:Larms since it started in 1998, I feel safe to say that this must be one of the best. (Picture above: Deathcrush)
Except for the weather that has been rainy and cold, but luckily no snow, everything has run smooth and professional. The last day was also the best, musically, for me with new jazz, punk, Swedish pop and well played 60’s retro.
First out was jazz band Pixel with Ellen Andrea Wang on vocal and stand up bass. I saw her perform at a TONO celebration recently and was impressed, both with her playing and singing. She is also an accomplished songwriter, and got a prize from TONO in 2013 for Innovator of the year. The band is bass, trumpet, saxophone and drums, and they deliver high energy and funky jazz with an extremely precise and tight playing. Something to look out for.
Next out was Swedish artist Oskar Linnros. He is a hit machine, having provided hits for artists like Veronica Maggio, Timbuktu adn himself for many years. His song “Från och med du” was one of the most played songs on radio in Sweden in 2010. His show was high tempo, quite polished, highly professional, and it never got boring because of his catchy songs. His music is made for warm summer nights, but they worked well on a cold and wet winter day, too.
The next band is one I had heard about, but never seen live before. Frk Fryd come from Stavanger and is an all girl band. Their style is hard rock with elements from the new wave movement from the late 70’s. They sing in Norwegian and they are tight and well played. Rockefeller was filled up with an enthusiastic audience that liked what they heard.
After Frk Fryd it was back to the Wimp tent for the trio Deathcrush. I tried to see them on Thursday, but the venue they played, Mono, was filled to capacity before they went on stage, so I didn’t come in. Last night they played a bigger venue, and they showed why they are one of the most exciting live band of all the bands I saw at by:Larm this year. THey have toured extensively already, and will be seen on many festivals, in Norway and abroad, this year. Their style is pinky with a highly visual stage show, and I look forward to see more of them.
My last band on this year’s by:Larm was Death By Unga Bunga. They are a 60’s retro band, both in their music and in their singer’s clothes and hair style. The band have many live gigs and it is easy to understand why when you see them live. Vital, a good grasp of the 60’s style, and songs that combine retro with modern. My only gripe is that they use a Nord keyboard instead of a Vox organ!
By:Larm is an important festival in Norway, and their Nordic perspective makes it more interesting. Going from national to a Nordic does also mean that fewer Norwegian bands get to play, but that also means that to get there, you have to work harder and show that you have the talent. I have seen many bands that will certainly have a future on the live scene these three days. Sassy Beat, Emilie Nicolas, Frk Fryd, Ondt Blod, Pixel, Deathcrush and Death By Unga Bunga. Off course I didn’t manage to see all the 110 bends, but of the 22 acts that I saw, these were my favorite Norwegian acts.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.