Månefestivalen 2018 – Saturday with Thåström, local heroes Equinox and more

Thaastroem 28072018-12Saturday in Fredrikstad was again a hot day, although not as hot as the day before. The humidity was higher, though, making it feel like almost as hot. The sky was partly cloudy, which helped with the heat and also made for better conditions for photography. The program varied from the combination of hip hop and punk, a jazzy trio, theatrical indie, trash metal, prog metal and Thåström.

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The first band came on stage already at 2:30, and the festival has obviously learnt from other festivals in putting a big name on first. That way you fill up the venue earlier instead of the usual situation that many come at the end of the night only to see the headliner.

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The opening act on Saturday was OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningene, which is the rapper OnklP three of the members of the punk band Oslo Ess plus two other musicians. The band had a big hit with Styggen på Ryggen four years ago, a song about anxiety. The band has released three albums and an EP since then.

OnklP & Slekta, as they are also OnklP og de Fjerne Slektningene 28072018-08

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called, are a good live act. OnklP’s lyrics are a mix of typical hip hop lyrics, but also very personal, like Styggen på Ryggen and also En til (One More), about the problem with not taking another drink, and another whatever. The musicians in the band are all more than competent, and they have the right punk attitude to their playing.  Hip Hop and punk is an unlikely mix, but it works like a charm with OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningene.

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The second band on Saturday was Ystrøm Unit. They are a trio, guitar bass, drums with excellent musicians from Fredrikstad. Their music is a kind of funky jazz, with more emphasis on melody lines than on chords. The band was a nice change from the rest of the bands that play at the festival, and we got some good cover versions of songs like The Beatles’ Come Together and Jimmy Webb’s beautiful The Moon’s A Harsh Mistress plus many more.

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Moviestar was the most spaced out of the bands Saturday. They are a trio with actress Victoria Winge in front. Their live act is a mix of a performance and a concert and with weird lyrics. You can hear their special mix on their debut album Stupid People / Happy Lives.

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Chain Home 28072018-20Chain Home fans

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After Moviestar we got two local metal bands. Chain Home was first. They are young, between 18 and 21 and ave just released their debut album, Instincts. I did like them, what they lack in experience they compensate well with youthful enthusiasm. And they are good instrumentalist, as most metal musicians are, and played hard and tight. I am looking forward to hearing more from them.

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Equinox are local heroes in Fredrikstad. They existed from 1987 to 1995 when they disbanded and released five albums plus two EPs. Last year they announced that they would be playing at the Tons of Rock Festival in 2018, and they were also announced for Månefestivalen.

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Their music is a mix of trash and prog metal. You can check out their artist page on Spotify to hear more of what they sound like. Good old school metal, but with more melodic lines and rhythm changes than usual in trash bands. The venue was packed in front of the stage, since this was their first concert in 23 years in their hometown. I saw them at Tons of Rock, but the concert yesterday was better with less nerves than at ToR.

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Thåström is a Swedish legend who started out as a member of the punk band Ebba Grøn 1978 to 1982. After the band disbanded in 1983, the remaining members started a new band, Imperiet. The were one of the biggest bands in Sweden in the 80’s. Thåström’s first solo album came in 1989, and except for a side project, Peace, Love and Pitbulls, he has performed solo with a band since then.

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I saw Thåström at Bergen Fest in June, a concert that got top reviews in the newspapers. There the heavy rain and wind stopped before the concert, and it was a perfect moment with Thåström and his band. They were good at Månefestivalen too, but it seemed to me they lacked that little extra that we saw in Bergen. On a side note, the heavy smoke on stage made photography quite difficult, but it looks good for the crowd.

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All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.

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