Category Archives: Bergenfest

Bergenfest 2013: The Fourth Day – A Soulful Saturday

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Naomi Shelton And The Gospel Queens
 She took us to church, she shook us and she held us, we were taken care of, what a fantastic woman, what a great gospel revue! It was funky and it was hot, we really thought Charles Bradley would be the highlight of the day but Naomi stole the show!     Highlights:  Am I asking too much, Reach out and touch, A Change is Gonna Come   -Hallgeir
 Agree with Hallgeir…. Best concert this Saturday. A highly energizing experience & CB guesting for “Am I asking too much” (and a Happy Birthday).  Highlights: Am I asking too much & A Change is Gonna Come    -Egil


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20:30 – Magic Mirrors:

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John Murry
 «This will probably want to make you kill yourselves» John Murry is an angry motherfucker. His passive agression knows few boundaries. This night it was directed at The Ukulele Orchestra of Britain(?), and with good reason. The Ukulele people did it hard for Mr. Murry to get started on time and his set was cut short because of them. It is rude to do what they did on a tight festival schedule. That said…John Murry was great! …and very funny in all his built up and kept in agression.   Highlights: Little Coloured Balloons, The Ballad of The Pyjama Kid and Southern Sky- Hallgeir
 He stressed quite a bit preparing for the concert… (ref the Ukulele band), but did a solid job when he got going. Very naked & dark stuff…   Highlights: Southern Sky & Things We Lost In the Fire  -Egil


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15:15 – Plenen:

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Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
 This was my fourth Charles Bradley show, and it was nice to see that he has embraced the 70s style soul/funk. Love is still the main theme but now its delivered in a streetwise manner. Great start of the day.    Highlight:   Confusion – Hallgeir


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-Hallgeir & Egil

Bergenfest 2013: The Third Day – Another fine day

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 I don’t know how many times I’ve seen Tønes in concert, but it’s a lot. He never disappoints. He is a singer/songwriter from the western part of Norway, he has released music 17 years but his final break-through came last year here in Norway.This night in the Magic Mirrors tent was fun. His lyrics are often tinted with a dry sense of humour. He has a keen eye for the small stories in everyday life, and some of the stories are more bitter-sweet than humorous. It suits him very well to sing the more serious songs, and I find that I prefer the serious Tønes these days. A little bit of both is fine.He has a great band and they’ve been with him since 87 I think.The best song this evening: Min Venn

– Hallgeir

 Tønes is always a treat. Great artist, funny, always a bit nervous & always charming. Some people come only for good laugh, but these are really good musicians. If you’d be able to remove the vocal.. it would still be wonderful music.    My highlights: Lyset, Bonde & Sån av Salve.-Egil


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Rival Sons
 I should really like Rival Sons, they have a retro-vibe that should fit my taste. But…they seem like a pastiche or a parody, they give me much of the same feelings I get from Lenny Kravitz’ retro tinged soul-rock. It feels like a put-on, a posed “thing”. I saw 30 minutes and people seemed to enjoy the show.- Hallgeir

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Melody’s Echo Chamber
I like Melody’s album but they/she was much better live. I think it started too soft but after a while the “psychedelic droning” kicked in, heaven!I will be following this band and want to see them in concert again if I get the chance. This was a very good show.Highlights: The final jam, Crystalized and Be proud of your kids

– Hallgeir


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Simone Felice
 What an intence man he is Simone Felice! He put on a very fine show in Magic Mirrors last night. I saw him at Bergenfest two years ago when he visited with the band The Duke and The King. He was great then and he was very good this time. He is a charismatic performer who seems to really mean what he sings about. Great concert, best of the day for me.      The highlights: A fantastic cover of Springsteen’s Atlantic City, Do’t wake the scarcrow  and a lovely encore, New York Times- Hallgeir
Never seen Simone Felice before…. sound check was neck-to-neck with the real concert & you felt you got to know the man a bit. He seemed like a very “demanding” man to be round.. seeking attention & recognition.   Anyways.. he has a wonderful voice, a solid presence & has written some fine songs. His version of Neil Young’s Helpless was (as expected) a highlight.. beautiful.. He also gave an intense version of Bruce Springsteen’s Atlantic City .. I think “our Man” would have approved.   Best of his own material: New York Times, Don’t Wake The Scarecrow (Felice Brothers), If You Ever Get Famous (The Duke and The King).-Egil


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-Hallgeir & Egil

Bergenfest 2013: The Second day – a great festival day

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The rainy weather could not spoil this lovely day @ Bergenfest. We got some fantastic concerts & had a helluva time!

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
 What a concert! My first show with Nick Cave, he stumbled through the first songs like an over-eager kid. Then he tightened his grip, he slammed us into the walls, he held us up to God’s jugdment and we felt like beaten sinners after the mass.I got all the songs that I hoped for, the highlights for me were; a ferocious Mercy Seat and a drawn out Stagger Lee that had the most “Motherfucks/-ing” in a song ever. And by the way, he is still the coolest motherfucker on the scene.The best concert at this years Bergenfest (so far).- Hallgeir
  His presence was immediate.. he was in for the kill. Demanding & getting our full attention even though he was a bit rusty the first couple of songs. From Here To Eternity (#3) was intense, Weeping Song (#4) a bit out of focus, false start on Deanne (#6), but with Red Right Hand things got serious. Tupelo (#9) was majestic, & when he sat down at the keyboard and did my current fav People ain’t no good (#10) we were in some kind of a “Hellish Heaven”. The Mercy Seat (#12), one of the absolute best songs  he’s written, could have been better.. but still lovely. Then came Stagger Lee (#13) – best performance yesterday – a real mother fucker version (yes… he shouted “MOTHER FUCKER” at least 20 times during this one). The last three songs were good, but could not touch Stagger Lee… (than again who/what could?)

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Magic Mirrors – 21:15:

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John Grant
 I saw a John Grant solo concert two years ago (well, he had one guy on stage with him on some songs) and it really changed my view on Mr. Grant. I was mesmerised. I thought I was prepared for this years show, but when the man starts to sing everything else disappears. He is one of the finest singer/songwriters today. It was fantastic once again.GMF (the Greatest Motherfucker) is maybe the single best musical moment of this years festival. Marz was another highlight.I hope I get to see him and his very good band in a non-festival setting soon.- Hallgeir
 My first John Grant concert… and WHAOO!     Had done my job and listened to his albums, but this was WAY better than I ever imagined (even though Hallgeir had “warned” me).    The first two songs (Vietnam & Marz) was unbelievably good.. I was blown away.Then came 3 songs that, though still very good, contained too much synths/electronics for my taste.   Sitting down @ the keyboard he gave a quiet and lovely Where Dreams Go To Die (#6) – what a song! It Doesn’t Matter To Him (#7) was also brilliant.The last songs were solid, but not in the same league as the mentioned top 4.   A wonderful concert with exceptionally good sound. And listening to his albums today (after the concert) .. feels different in very positive way.-Egil


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Plenen – 17:15:

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Steve Earle & The Mastersons
Steve Earle is a hero for us at JV, in many ways he embodies all the musical styles that we write about. I have seen him before, but this was my first concert with him when he has a band with him. I had a big expectations and they were fullfilled, he told short stories and entertaining anectdotes between the tunes. It was a good concert.Highlights: Copperhead Road and The Low Highway- Hallgeir
 A real hero indeed. This was my 5th Steve Earle concert (2 solo & 3 with band), and my expectations were sky high… a bad thing.    First – 17:15, the largest stage, and poring rain.. bad, bad, bad. BUT as soon as Steve Earle’s somewhat reduced voice hit us.. things felt alright…  and one of my fav Steve Earle songs is.. I Feel Alright (Steve Earle’s top 20 according to Egil).     The band were very good & surely inspired Steve to push his performance (even though struggling with his voice).     Best songs were a beautiful This City, a hard rocking & rock solid The Revolution Starts.. (last song)a good Hard-core Troubadour The Galway Girl.
You’re Still Standing There
also needs a nod.    -Egil


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Plenen – 20:00:

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Band Of Horses
This was my fourth Band of Horses concert and as a band this is the best I’ve heard them since 2008, but even if they were good last night, it seemed like another day on the job. They’re a tight band and it’s too bad that it felt a bit uninspired. “Just another day on the job”. Not bad, but not great either.Highlights: Is there a ghost and The Great Salt lake- Hallgeir
 Seen them twice before.. the band is tighter, but it has been a while since Bridwell has written a real good song. I’m still listening to the first 2 albums.. if I want some Band Of Horses. The “hard-core” rain didn’t hep either… solid stuff, but no cigar.


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-Egil & Hallgeir