In Norway we have had a showcase festival since 1998, by:Larm. It started out in Trondheim the first year, and was arranged in different cities around Norway the first years. Since 2008 it has been arranged in Oslo. by:Larm has been a successful festival and conference, getting international attention. In 2011 the first edition of Trondheim Calling was arranged. Not in protest to by:Larm, but as a local alternative in Trondheim. During these five years Trondheim Calling has grown to be a very interesting festival with showcases from up and coming bands and interesting seminars with a talk with Keith Harris as a highlight. (Photo above: Biru Baby)
The singer of Sibiir, Jimmy Nymoen took a walkabout
When by:Larm started out many bands in different styles applied to play. In later years fewer bands have been allowed, and mostly bands and artists who have moved past the up and coming stage. This means that Trondheim Calling fills an important role, making place for many of the bands who don’t play at by:Larm. Another good thing at Trondheim Calling is that a high percentage of the bands actually play instruments, not just Macs!
The keynote speaker, Per Borten
I saw 17 bands during the three night festival. Musician and front man of Spidergawd, Per Borten, opened the festival, and he played a song afterwards. After Borten, I saw Red Mountain, Black Moon Circle and El Caco on Thursday night.
Per Borten with band
Black Moon Circle
Friday I started out with a powerful concert with Erlend Ropstad – in many’s opinion the best concert at the festival. After him I saw a good concert with Unnveig Aas, one of our new, talented singer songwriters. Vidar Vang is a veteran, but he has revigorated his act with a very good new album and a fresh live show. Then over to a new venue to see a band many people talked about, No. 4. After them I saw Ine Hoem before I went to yet another venue to see one of my favorite live bands, El Caco. From there I went over to year another venue to see one of the headliners of this night, Bendik.
On Saturday I started with a talk with Keith Harris, Director of Performer Affairs and also former personal manager for Stevie Wonder. Mr. Harris had some good stories to tell, and everyone enjoyed themselves. My first concert of the evening was Bokassa. The rest of the evening I saw mostly hardcore, punk and metal bands. Anti-Lam Front, ATTAN and SIBIIR. All of them great bands that I haven’t seen before. I closed the night with two big and positive surprises. First the Samii band Biru Baby, which was my definite favorite fram the festival, and after them the duo Pil & Bue (Arrow & Bow), which was just the right band to close a successful weekend for me.
Pil & Bue
Pil & Bue
Pil & Bue
This was my first visit to Trondheim Calling, but it definitely whetted my appetite for more. The whole festival was well organized, the organizers are friendly and helpful, and the concerts are arranged at venues that have live music also outside of the festival. The conference program is also well planned and obviously useful for all the young and hopeful musicians who also attended the festival.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.