The Oya festival has a tradition where a popular Norwegian artist opens early on the last day. This year, deLillos was the opener, and another Norwegian artist, Susanne Sundfør, was the headliner on the main stage. Between them many other artists performed, and the closing artist in the tent was Thåström. The last day of the Oya festival 2015 was a perfect way to close a perfect festival. (Photo above: Thåström)
deLillos have been around for 30 years, and was one fourth of the four big rock bands in the 80’s, singing in Norwegian, together with Dum Dum Boys, Raga Rockers and Jokke & Valentinerne. deLillos have managed to keep their status, while the other bands have been in front, on hiatus, or dead, as with Jokke.
One of the hallmarks of deLillos is that they sing songs about Oslo. Sveve over byen (To fly over the city), Neste sommer (Next summer), Kokken Tor (The Chef, Tor), Min beibi fro av sted (My baby left (with the nasty boys in her band)) have all been household songs for several generations of Norwegians. At Oya we got all these songs and more. The venue filled up during the concert, and when they closed their set, it was almost full of happy people singing along with the band.
Next out was Miss Tati, who comes from Angola but live in Norway. She is up and coming and sings soul and raps with great conviction. Her music is positive, laid back, but with a distinct rhythm and some really expressive vocal work. I missed her at Bergen Fest earlier this summer, but I am glad I got to see her at Oya. For an old rock fan, it is refreshing with something else that so we written and performed as Miss Tatis’ music.
Four of the artists on the main stage Saturday was female, and two on Vindfruen, including Miss Tati. The first one at the main stage was Natalie Prass.She started singing and writing songs early and released en EP in 2009. Her first proper album, named Natalie Prass, was released this year. Her songs are sweet, and the concert was perfect for a sunny day in the park.
After Natalie Prass, it was over to Vindfruen, the secondary stage, and the two twin sisters Ibeyi. They are French-Cuban and sing in English and the language there ancestors spoke in Nigeria before they came to Cuba, Youruba. The concert started with an a cappella song before they sat down with their instrument, keyboard, percussion and electronics. They also released a self-titled album in 2015.
One of my favorite Norwegian live artists, is Bendik. She has been around some time now, and both her music and her live appearances are quite spectacular. She jumps and runs around on stage while singing or playing her guitar. She has released two CDs since 2012, the last one, No går det over, in 2014.
The last time I saw Bendik, she played a club stage at the Steinkjerfestivalen. I like her the most in a club setting, but she managed well to fill the main stage at Oya, too.
Benjamin Booker was next at Vindfruen. He is a blues and garage rocker, playing with his trio, the purest form of rock: guitar, bas and drums. He released his self-titled debut album in 2014, after having released an EP, Waiting Ones, in 2012. On stage he is energetic, his sound is gritty with distorted guitar, and his music is no frills, straight forward rock with heavy blues influences.
Next out on the main stage should have been Curtis Harding. He cancelled a couple of weeks before the festival, and Ibibio Sound Machine stepped in. I don’t know much about Curtis Harding and less about Ibibio Sound Machine, but they really impressed me with their musical and rhythmical fireworks. They have also released an eponymous album in 2014, and you should give it a listen, as the band is well worth it.
Beglomeg is a weird band from Oslo, performing in tasteless clothes and costumes. The name of the band means “Look at me”, and it is difficult not to when they are on the stage. Their music is a personal mix that is hard to describe. The closest I get is surf, but that doesn’t cover it either. You can check ut their CD Eurokrjem and see for yourself.
Emilie Nicolas is educated at the jazz line at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim. She became a name n the music scene when she did her very personal cover of Dum Dum Boys’ song Pstereo for the Pstereo festival in Trondheim, which is named after the song. Since then she has released a critically acclaimed album, Like I’m A Warrior and held concerts with great success.
The critics were divided after her concert yesterday. I liked it, first of all because Emilie Niclas has a unique and expressive voice, but also because her songs are meditative and floating, and I like that she doesn’t do any tricks, but is herself on stage.
The headliner on Saturday was Susanne Sundfør. has been one of our leading artists for some years, and now she is getting international notice, too. I have always thought her to be a bit stiff and uncomfortable on stage, but lately she has improved a lot. I saw her at Bergen Fest two months ago, and liked it,. At Oya on Saturday she was even better, with great moves.
Susanne Sundfør’s band is excellent, giving her music the full sound it deserves. I couldn’t see the whole concert, because I had one more to see before I went home, but the response from the audience while I saw her, was wild. I would estimate it to be around 12000 people in front of the stage, the rest of the audience having gone to the tent stage. I will see Susanne Sundfør again at the Pstereo festival next weekend, and I am looking forward to it.
The last artist playing at this year’s Oya festival was Thåström. He is a Swedish punker who played with the left-wing punk band Ebba Grön in the late 70’s before he and two of the other members of the band formed a new band, Imperiet. For the last 15 years he has been a solo artist.
On stage, Thåström is spastic, totally in his own world and one of my favorite live artists. He is still a punker, and his songs are straight on with lots of energy. With a full tent of enthusiastic fans, this was the perfect end to a highly successful Oya festival 2015.
All pictures are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.