Category Archives: Concert Review

Tommy Tokyo live at Smio April 5 2014 Photo Special

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Tommy Tokyo (Tommy Lorange Ottosen) with backing from Lise Voldsdal and Gøran Grini gave us a sacred evening last night in Veavågen. It was his second of two shows at Smio and the reports from the first night were very positive, “magic” was the words that kept coming up. Could he re-create the magic this Saturday night? He could, and he did. It was magic.

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Tommy Tokyo has, on his last solo album (We blister and we bleed), written songs about more personal issues than on his first proper solo album (And the Horse Came Riderless…) The first album dealt with global issues and is in many ways a protest album. It seems like Tokyo is on a journey from sonic soundscapes with his band Starving For My Gravy to global themed songs on his first solo album to the close at home and more personal themed songs on his last record.

The concert was concentrated around his last two records but we also got three re-arranged songs from his album with Starving for my gravy, Smear your smiles back on.

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It’s an exiting journey and he also gave us a taste of where he might be heading next. He sang two songs in Norwegian, two very naked and intense songs. An album in Norwegian would be very nice and the two songs, Jenta (The Girl) and Bli som ny (Becoming new or be as new) were, for me, two of the highlights of the concert.

The concert was intimate, sometimes almost “gospel like” and it felt very special to be a part of the event. We were about 70 lucky people having a wonderful evening at Smio in Vea, Norway.

So, a big thank you to the people at Smio who set up these small and wonderful events!

– Hallgeir

PS: If you use the pictures please include a link to Johannasvisions. They were taken on my trusted compact, Nikon Coolpix A.
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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 first day – a nice warm-up


It was good to be back in Bergen for another Bergenfest. The Festival area is upgraded and it looks nice and the enhanced  Magic Mirrors  is especially welcome. This Wednesday was just a warm-up with only two acts on the bill. The headliner was former Dire Straits man, Mark Knopfler. He is a solid performer, but maybe not so inspired these days… The be brutally honest [Egil] found the gig a bit boring… solid but boring nevertheless.

Our award for best concert on the first day goes to the Oregon band, Larry and his Flask. Its not an easy task to start a festival as the early act, and almost as a “support act” to Mark Knopfler. We have to be honest, almost everyone out this night came to see the famous guitar picker & thus Magic Mirrors was not packed.

Larry and his Flask gave it all and they won the audience over (after a bit of a uncertainty in the beginning). They would have benefittet with a more varied set and the two highlights for us was a good (and interesting) cover version of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Goin’ On and the one that came right after it, Slow it Down (…at least we believe that was the title). Lot’s of energy – Ian Cook (lead vocal & guitar) was literally on his toes the whole set..

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Mark Knopfler, Bergen 2013:


-Hallgeir & Egil