Sunday, March 16, 2014

march: iceland and norway

full post on its way. about norwegian bands on the radio and icelandic bands in the flesh. well, just one:

more soon.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

finnish february

february is so finnish, i gave it a hashtag.


(go search for it in twitter and see if i'm not telling the truth)  (ok, so i did, and i didn't even find my usages of it... doh... but there are a few tweets that still remain with my invented hashtag!)

so, after having written about the new album of delay trees (a band from finland) for NV at the end of january (see here), this inspired me to focus all my attention on finland during february. for the OFPM show this week (on fri 7 feb), the tracks i will play are gonna be from finnish-only bands, and actually features bands all off the same helsinki-based label (soliti):

-black lizard (FI) - desolation kids
-delay trees (FI) - the howl
-black twig (FI) - pastel blue

then, on the saturday night of this very weekend (8 feb), i am going to see this man playing. that man being spencer krug aka moonface, who currently resides in finland.
post-gig edit: this gig was my favourite so far of this year (not that i've been to many!), and mr krug didn't disappoint delivering one of my favourite albums of last year. it's been stuck on repeat even moreso since seeing it performed live.

now the question remains, will i get to see this band live this year:

(and no, the rest of february wasn't particularly finnish, but at least it got off to a flurry at the start)


Saturday, January 04, 2014

looking back

it is around this time of year that i stop and ponder the year just gone, although as i've said before i am not so fond of writing lists (but i manage to do it sometimes, see here and here).

in 2013, i don't think i went to as many gigs as usual (there was a lot i didn't get to, despite having a ticket: my biggest regret? probably not getting to phosphorescent at bitterzoet for no good reason in particular other than sometimes i'm not in the mood to go to another gig on my own; & i was sad i didn't get to hear efterklang call my name out at the amsterdam gig in january!), and i certainly didn't take as many photos at gigs as a result, but i did do more writing/talking about (nordic) music, so it's not surprising a couple of my lists are nordic-related (yeah... i don't 'do' lists ordinarily, but if i'm going to, i may as well not do one, or two, but three!! right??)...

my top 5 gigs:
-volcano choir at paradiso (this gig was bonkers, they practically raised the roof!)
-efterklang at eurosonic (little did i know this would be my last time seeing them!) (pic of my first NL show)
-daniel norgren at paradiso (small room) (pics) (this gig was life affirming!)
-asgeir at bitterzoet (i'd been impressed at eurosonic but this was more intimate, and i got some great shots!)
-burning hearts at nordic delight festival (pics) (i loved their 2012 album and was finally happy to get to see them live, not once but twice in february!)

(& if it wasn't for the 'sound of the dutch underground' night at melkweg, i wouldn't have discovered nouvelle vague, my new fave dutch band)

my top 5 (recorded) musical moments of 2013 by nordic artists (see more explanations of this list here):
-indians (DK) - somewhere else
-alice boman (SE) - skisser
-daniel norgren (SE) - buck
-small feet (DE) - liar behind the sun
-junip (SE) - junip

my top 5 (non-nordic) records of 2013 (listed alphabetically):
-daughter - if you leave
-moonface - julia with blue jeans on
-phosphorescent - muchacho
-tunng - turbines
-volcano choir - repave

(& special mentions to these nordic albums: sin fang (IS) - flowers; tilbury (IS) - northern comfort; & this is head (SE) - the album id)


Thursday, December 12, 2013

nordic songtresses

this month so far, it's been all about nordic songstresses.
at the start if december, i featured three lovely ladies (and their bands) with these tracks on the radio:
-sumie nagano (SE) - show talked windows
-ice cream cathedral (DK) - an armful of rubies 
-therese aune (NO) - in my quiet place

&  then a few days ago, i wrote an article about therese aune's album, an extract of which is below:

therese aune: billowing shadows, flickering light
Therese Aune (photo courtesy of artist)
Therese Aune is a musician who hails from Norway. Her voice has a haunting quality, that also soars with cinematic grace before taking dramatic twists and turns. These changes of direction are evident on a number of tracks, with my stand-out being ‘In My Quiet Place’. This has all the elements of a track to accompany a film sequence of running through a Nordic forest in a snow storm, which is almost precisely how the video captures it, except the running is swopped for cycling and the forest for a fjord in the rain. I wouldn’t mind that being my quiet place to escape to, or any of the locations that feature in the video actually (which all can be found around Stavanger, in southern Norway).

(a full version of this article can be found on NV here)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

icelandic adventure

iceland airwaves really can change your life... as I go onto describe in more detail here (that article is also like a commentary of 'how i came to be doing all this nordic stuff')... for which i have come to realise, iceland airwaves really does have a lot to answer for.

this was my third time in attendance, and actually, if it wasn't for the photos, i might not have remembered too much about the festival this year... which has more to do with the icelandic adventure that me & my flatmate had whilst exploring the westfjords during the week before the festival (this is a whole different story which one day i might pen somewhere, i will create a 'comicstrip' to summarise it - which is kind-of ironic cos it wasn't at all funny at the time - but let's see if that ever gets online anywhere... if so, i'll link to it at a later date).

anyway, long story short - there was snow, mountains, blizzards, northern lights (wow!), more blizzards, closed airport, cancelled flights, etc. which all led to us missing a few days of the festival. and then when you eventually get back to civilisation, it takes a little while to adjust... but you don't have too long to adjust otherwise the festival will be over!!

musical memories
anyway, needless to say, fun was still had. i was super happy to have finally got to see pétur ben perform (altho after the recent interview i did with him, i was slightly disappointed not to get to say hello) (altho with the shortened stay in reykjavjik, i didn't bump into half the people i had hoped to). also happy to have got to see vök for the first time, and pascal pinon (how had i not caught them previously??), plus gruska babuska (who i'd previously received a package from delivered to amsterdam, containing a very lovely scarf!). my highlight tho was definitely kippi kaninus on the saturday night. not sure why. it just made me happy! as did catching the kafibarrinn choir at loft hostel (and chatting to olafur arnalds after the show, who i missed seeing play due to cancelled flights!).

also was super delighted to have got to see john grant (finally!) & conor o'brien perform (& to meet the lovely donal lunny!) at the young hearts showcase, and to hang out with adrian crowley but i was super unlucky with timings each day and didn't actually get to see adrian play!! (again, how did this happen??). then, all too quickly my festival was over but i was happy with my last shows: packed into kaffibarrin, firstly for snorri helgason (the only time i caught him, so happy i managed it!), then i saw hjaltalín (for the first time)... literally up close & personal... squeezed down on the floor at the very front. boy that place can get packed! good spot for pics tho. ;)

& with that, i'll now let the photos do the talking!


Saturday, October 12, 2013


sometimes i wonder how i started writing for a nordic-related (dutch) website (NV), and how i became a nordic correspondent for a (uk) radio show (OFPM). but hey ho, probably best not to analyse these things...  altho that is exactly what i have been doing recently whilst pondering about my nordic musical choices, which will be published only somewhere soon (edit: now available here).

i go to iceland soon, getting excited already! post-trip report on my return.

oh, & i've done some interviews with icelandic artists recently, for NV:
available now: peter ben
coming soon (edit) online too: tilbury

altho of course i do also cover the other nordic countries, and sometimes i share the same bands on both the radio & website - after all, my contributions to both are about new discoveries i make, so why be selective for one community. it's all about sharing the nordic love!

for instance, I wrote about postiljonen (NO/SE) last month (here), and i featured them on the radio back in august. & in the same show, i also shared the sounds of tempel (SE) who this month i interviewed for another website (the reykjavik grapevine's website for iceland airwaves music festival) which will be online soon (another edit! go here for the interview!).

all my articles for NV can be found here:

& all my selections for the OFPM* radio show can be found here (just the songs, none of my babbling):

*Orange Flavoured Pipe Machine is the radio show that airs every friday night at 10pm GMT on Sine FM (available online/via tunein app) with the super dj jon kelly at the helm. i take over the airwaves for about 20 minutes on the first friday of every month. the shows are also available to listen again here:

& that is the end if this nordic broadcast! :)

tilbuy, one of the bands that i played on my very first OFPM appearance! :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

carmymac birthday gig & quick summer update

september - william tyler @ paradiso
i've had a summer with only a few gigs and numerous missed encounters (so the 'summer update' will indeed be quick). i did have some great gigs in august (see below). & i just this minute hopped, skipped and a-cycled back from my september 'carmymac birthday gig' where william tyler - the 'sprankelend snarenwonder' ('sparkling strings miracle') - entertained and wowed and transported me somewhere heading midwest, probably around mississippi. no singing, lots of stories and a sprinkling of magic. (also no photos, not taken my camera out of my bag for a while now. it will be back sometime i'm sure.) for now, here's a video instead (& hopefully a link to another, new video session can be added here later...):

august - alice boman @ malmo festival
maybe this should just be an entire video blog entry (with other people's video, not mine). cos i didn't take any photos at alice boman's gig either, which i travelled all the way from amsterdam to malmo to see. i wasn't disappointed. great to get to meet alice, and tom (from this is head), and magnus (from adrian recordings) after the show. i only missed out on getting to meet jasper (who filmed this video):

august - nils frahm & anna von hausswolf @ grachten festival 
a sunny sunday afternoon gig on some forbidden terrain in amsterdam. it was pretty awesome. only a few pics to remember the day by. and maybe a video or two if i can dig any out. (coming soon)