The second day of Steinkjerfestivalen was sunny and with more people than ever. It started early and the last band finished 10 hours later. This year will probably be the most commercially successful for the festival of all the ten years, and I am very happy for them. Musically, Saturday was like Friday, a mix of different styles for people in all ages. A local festival can’t be programmed like a national festival, and both have their charm. Yesterday we were served dance music, male choirs, hard rock, 80’s heavy rock, Creedence covers, rap mixed with punk, electronica and musical humor Who can complain about that? (Photo above: Gabrielle)
I started out with the Creedence cover band Young Fogertys. They are a trio, like Creedence Clearwater Revival after Tom Fogerty had quit the band and the continued as a trio. John Fogertys are actually a very good cover band, with a genuine understanding of the original songs. Front guy Ole Petter Andreassen is active in many bands, among them as a drummer in Black Debbath, but his main instrument is guitar, which he shows in grand style with Young Fogertys. If you close your eyes, you can almost forget that John Fgerty is not on stage.
After Young Fogertys, my next artist was Gabrielle. She is popular in the dance musk style, having had big success with songs like Ring meg (Call me) in 2011, for which she won a Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannprisen) The single was also at that time the most streamed Norwegian single. This was the second time I saw Gabrielle at Steinkjerfestivalen, the first time was in 2012. Her music isn’t my personal favorite, but she has a very professional and active show, and specially the younger audience love her.
After the sunny concert with Gabrielle, I went in to the dark club stage to see Yuma Sun. This was my first encounter with them, and I definitely want to see more. Musically they are in the same landscape as Tom Waits, 16 Horsepower, Nick Cave and Kaizers Orchestra, but with a bit more electronica than those. Their music is dark, which fit well with the club.
Out again into the sun, now in the company of OnklP og de Fjerne Slektningene (Uncle P and the distant relatives), or just OnklP og Slekta (Uncle P and the relatives). They are a mix of the rapper OnklP and two of the members of Oslo Ess. Musically they also mix those two styles, hip hop with Norwegian lyrics and modern punk. The result is surprisingly successful, and the band had an instant start with the song Styggen på Ryggen, where OnklP raps about his own anxiety (Styggen, or “the bad man”) that clings to his back (Ryggen = the back). The song was my favorite Norwegian song last year, and is still one of the best rap songs in my opinion.
Svartlamon Hardkor have been a regular at Steinkjerfestivalen, usually opening the festival at the club stage. This year they had Mannskoret, their brothers from Oslo dressed in black suits as guests, and held a concert with them at the tent stage. I saw their joint concert in Oslo earlier this year, and the concert yesterday was just as fun as in Oslo. Where Mannskoret perform Norwegian rock classics and traditional Norwegian songs for male choir, Svartlamon Hardkor counters with brash humor, with plump and sometimes almost obscene lyrics, but also serious attempts at Mozart’s Requiem.
The band many of the attendants were waiting for Saturday night, was Europe. They are the band behind The Final Countdown from 1986, which is still one of the most played song on radio world wide. The band is still active, with the same members as in the 80’s, and they did a more than acceptable gig at Steinkjerfestivalen. The singer Joey Tempest has understood how to communicate with his audience, posing with his microphone stand during the whole concert, an generally giving both the audience and the photographers a good time. And of course when the finished the concert with The Final Countdown, everyone were satisfied.
From Europe it was back to the tent for a quick look at Bare Egil Band, before I went down to the club for Bendik. Bare Egil Band (Only Egil Band) is one of singer and songwriter Egil Hegerberg’s many band constellations. Bare Egil Band is a hilarious band with surrealistic lyrics performed with some of Norway’s best live musicians and this time with Egil in a dress. He usually cross dresses when he is Bare Egil. He usually writes songs about the towns he plays, and they are not necessarily very flattering for the place. But the audience love his songs, and when he finishes with his classic, Sko (Shoes), you can see lots of shoes held up in the audience.
Bendik is Silje Halstensen, who started s a band, but is now a solo project. Musically she plays modern pop music with a mix of electronica and electric guitars and drums, and her live show is an active performance with her jumping and running around on stage with her guitar while singing her strong songs with a certainty you usually find in someone many years older. I liked her performance at by:Larm earlier this year, and I liked the concert at Steinkjerfestivalen yesterday.
The second headliner Saturday night at Steinkjerfestivalen was DumDum Boys. I saw them last weekend at Tons of Rock too, and even if they have played together since the early 80’s, they still sound fresh and tight, and not tired and old. Their concert is a mix of their older classics like Splitter Pine, Metallic Hvit and Slave, plus newer songs like Enhjørning. Musicaly they still have their punk background, and they have kept their same sound all these years. Live they are one of Norway’s best live bands, and the venue was packed until their last song ended. A perfect way to close Steinkjerfestivalen 2015.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.