Posts Tagged ‘Bergen’

Swans in Bergen

May 8, 2015

Friends have been talking about Swans for years, but I haven’t paid attention. Yesterday, however, Swans had my full attention when they played at USF Verftet in Bergen, and it was a grand time. Gira (frontman and protagonist) is the kind of guy that says ‘Let’s play the same chord for ten minutes and see if anything happens.’ And something happens, ofcourse (he ain’t stupid). Parts were magic. And loud. If you happen to be deaf, no worries; Swans made sure to feed the music directly into your spine (unless you are an invertebrate). Otherwise, the stuff is difficult to describe. Not strange, perhaps, with a young Gandalf on guitar, a long-haired Viggo Mortensen on percussion, gong, pipes, trombone, various strings, including a stringed wooden beam that looked like it once washed up on a beach in Transylvania, Francis Begbie on steel, and a hard-working and surprisingly normal-looking comp. Gira himself looks like a forgotten cousin of Mr. Sandman. Dynamic and prog-like avantgarde-drone-jam stuff with a physical presence. In other words, exactly the kind of music I would have made if I was a musician (read one of my research papers; the parallell is obvious; creativity takes many guises). Swans played for two and a half hours, they played perhaps six ‘songs’ (who’s counting, anyway?). The final number lasted more than thirty minutes, including a ten minute noise wall. When we came out, the rain had stopped.




Motorpsycho in Concert: 20th Anniversary Tour

October 21, 2009

Alright, I’m back in Norway and Bergen. On Saturday, I attended Motorpsycho’s concert at Verftet in Bergen. Motorpsycho is out on their 20th Anniversary Tour through Norway and Europe. For reasons unclear, I was totally unaware that MP played Bergen on Saturday. A good friend, however, got in touch to confirm I was going! Strike of luck.

It was a fantastic concert. The definite highpoint was the last encore ‘The Golden Core.’ MP hasn’t played the song in almost 10 years, I think (partial evidence from the MP setlist archive; they did play it the night before in Stavanger, however). I’ve seen Motorpsycho live a number of times through the years, and ‘The Golden Core’ was the first song on my list of songs I’d like to see them play. Other highlights were a dynamic ‘Greener,’ the old and dear ‘Taifun,’ and an incredible ‘Superstooge.’ Snah is just an amazing guitarist. The outro of ‘The Alchemyst’ and the audience-sung chorus on ‘You Lied’ also gave me the chills. It was a fantastic way to get back to Bergen, spending the day with the family and the night with a high-powered Motorpsycho!

Motorpsycho, Bergen 2009

Motorpsycho, Bergen 2009; I'm in there somewhere.

Well-Fed Norwegians

September 29, 2009

Reporting on the Norwegian election, the Economist has an amusing description of Norway and Bergen (my hometown) in particular:

Norwegians […] seem a largely content bunch. Why wouldn’t they? A stroll through Bergen, Norway’s second city, reveals handsome, well-fed citizens who work in designer offices or high-tech fishing vessels, relax in art galleries and theatres, and enjoy pristine scenery. Education is free and health care is heavily subsidised.

Dungen + The Soundtrack of our Lives

February 27, 2009

Last night, I attended a double-concert at USF Verftet in Bergen with the two Swedish bands Dungen and The Soundtrack of my Life. Earlier, I’ve mentioned Dungen as my new favourite; I’ve been aware of Soundtrack for a while, but have never listened very much to them.

It was a great experience. Dungen did both old and new songs; I was naturally more familiar with the older ones and enjoyed them sligthly more. The guitarist did a lot of truly impressive guitarwork despite seemingly having problems with the equipment from time to time. What I missed was maybe a second guitarist that could make the sound picture more complete; particularly when Gustav (the front man) was not playing his el-piano. Soundtrack did an amazing set, combining both acoustic and intense, electric moments.  My personal highpoint was when they played a Nick Drake cover. It worked surprisingly well in an upbeat rock setting and demonstrated once again to me Nick Drake’s genius.

Below is an acoustic version of Dungen’s ‘Det tar tid,’ performed in the narrow corridors of an old theatre; enjoy!