Last weekend I had an exciting experience at the Norwegian town of Røros, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites with a history as a mining town from the 17th century. Here the Norwegian glass company Riis Glass held its 145 year anniversary party with a few of Norway’s best music artists. (Photo above: Åge Aleksandersen and Sambandet)
Frithjof Riis singing Something Stupid with Miss World 1990, Mona Grudt
Riis Glass is lead by Frithjof Riis, the fifth generation owner of the company. Besides leading the company, he is also a patron of visual art and music. At Ferstad gård in Trondheim, he has built a gallery, Galleri Lilje, where he holds several exhibitions every year. This spring I held my third exhibition there with concert photos. Riis is also a singer songwriter, and he is a regular guest at concerts and festivals during the year.
The Difference in the Røros Church
The guitarists Snorre Tømmerås, Arne Jacobsen and Stein Olsen
The program for all the staff at Riis Glass on Saturday was impressive. The first concert was held at the Røros church, a wooden church from 1784 with the band The Difference. They had a short career from 1966 to 1969, but made some songs, Ballad of a Broken Heart, Tree of Love and You among them, that are still some of the best rock songs from the 60’s in Norway.
The Difference is still semi-active 50 years after and they sounded really good in the church. Three of the members made a Christmas TV calendar series as the Travellin’ Strawberries in 1994. Specially the singing, both solo and harmony at the concert was top class. It was great to hear a band live that I have only heard on vinyl when I was young.
At the evening, there were a lot of musical and other entertainment during the dinner, among them Frithjof Riis singing Something Stupid with Mona Grudt. After dinner we got a full concert with Åge Aleksandersen og Sambandet with Terje Tysland as a special guest. Åge Aleksandersen is one of Norway’s most respected artists with a 50 year long career, and his band Sambandet is a rock solid 9 piece band comprising of some of our best musicians.
Skjalg Mikalsen Raaen
Åge Aleksandersen’s career started in the band Prudence in the small town Namsos in 1969. The band toured all over Norway and became one of Norway’s best rock bands from the early 70’s. Together with Åge Aleksandersen, was Terje Tysland as a guitarist and singer. The two had some fights, and after they broke up, they didn’t talk together for several years. Except for a few reunion concerts during the years, this was one of the few occasions where Aleksandersen and Tysland were playing together on stage.
The concert had many of Åge Aleksandersen’s greatest hits, some of which have become classics, like Lys og varme, Levva livet, Dains me dæ and Rio de Janeiro. Terje Tysland contributed with three of his best songs, with the the duet Heile livet with him and Åge Aleksandersen as the highlight, introducing it as a song about the two of them.
Kåre Kolve, Skjalg Mikalsen Raaen and Jens Petter Antonsen
I have seen both Åge Aleksandersen and Terje Tysland live on several occasions, but not playing together since the last time I saw Prudence in 1973. To me this was a night to remember, the band playing perfectly as usual, and seeing Åge Aleksandersen and Terje Tysland together singing Heile livet was a great bonus.
I was paid by Riis Glass to photograph the concerts this day.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.