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)
The festival was held in a circus tent beside the hotel, and all the artists played for half an hour each. It started early, with two acts for children. First out were Meg og kammeraten min (Me and My Buddy), who – in real life – are Martin Hagfors and Hakon Gebhardt. Their show is popular among the young, and they travel a lot with it They also have careers doing “grown up” music, both as producers and performers.
Next out were Rasmus og verdens beste band (Rasmus and the World’s Best Band) who are equally popular with the kids. They are more of a straight music act, while Hagfors and Gebhardt do more talking and soem acting between the songs. Rasmus and his band have won two Norwegian Grammies and were nominated for the same with their third album.
After Rasmus came Tre Små Kinesere (Three Small Chinese), who were very popular in the 90’s, and have strated up again with the front man, Ulf Risnes, and three new musicians. The repertoir was mostly their old hits, but that works perfectly well for me, since they are really good. Check them out at Spotify.
Ida Jenshus was next, and this was her only festival job this summer. She is working on her fourth album, and she played a new song for us. Ida won a Norwegian Grammy for each of her first three albums, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she wins another one for her next, if the new song is a measurement of the rest of the album. I always love watching and hearing Ida play, and this time was no exception.
Casino Steel, or Stein Groven, as is his real name, had a big success in Norway in the 80s with his then partner Gary Holton and Kenny Roger’s song Ruby (Don’t Take Your Love To Town). Casino has had a long career, and also performed with Claudia Scott in different constellations, among them CCCP wich also included Carlene carter and John Payne. At his concert he played with Claudia Scott, and we got both Ryby and many of their duets from their collaborations.
Next artist out was Terje Tysland, an artist who started out with the band Prudence around 1970. After Prudence were disbanded, he went solo, and has released several albums during the years. He has also written some great songs, among them Heile Livet For Dæ (The Whole Life With You), which he did as a duet with Claudia Scott, like he did on the CD from 1987. The song is in my opinion the best one Terje Tysland has written, and his and Claudia Scott’s duet is one of my all time favorite Norwegian releases.
DDE is a band that started out as a Status Quo-like boogie-rock band, before they found their own style in the early 90’s with their own songs with lyrics written by the author Idar Lind. Some of these early songs, like Vinsjan på Kaia and E6 have become Norwegian classics. The band’s main composer and guitarist, Frode Viken, are recuperating from a serious illness, but his son Daniel did a splendid job in his place.
The Kids were a band who had one big hit in Norway, Forelska i lærern (In Love With The Teacher), but that was a monster hit in 1980, aided by the first Norwegian pop video that was aired on Norwegian TV’s only pop rock program at that time. The band was relatively short-lived, but the members of the band have been active since the. The singer, Dag Ingebrigtsen has had a solo career, while the guitarist and bassist started Stage Dolls after The Kids. When they played Forelska i lærern at Trondheim:Play, the tent almost lifted from the ground.
After The Kids came Stage Dolls. They had some international success in the USA with their song and video Love Don’t Bother Me, and also with Soldier’s Gun. The band is till active, and they have started a tradion of playing a double concert with another Norwegian bnd in Oslo before Christmas each year. Their concert Saturday night was a success, and they showed the audience that quality in songwriting and performance pays off.
The second to last band out at Trondheim:Play were Sie Gubba. They are roughly in the same category as DDE, straight semi-acoustic rock with some folk influences. The band is good, they have a strong connection with their audience, and they are very professional musicians.
Last out were TNT. Besides Stage Dolls, they are the band with the biggest international success. I have seen them twice before this year, and you can read my report from the first concert at Olsen here. TNT were a worthy headliner at Trondheim:Play and presented highlights from their career in their half hour concert, ending with their biggest hit, 10.000 Lovers (In One).
As a festival, Trondheim:Play was successful, with about 5000 paying guests. The plan is to do it yearly, but since it collided with the second day of the Blues In Hell festival, I hope they coordinate better next year. Both festivals are well worth attending, and they will probably also attract many of the same people. That should be a good argument for both of the festivals to choose different weekends.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.