Friday, 27 February 2009

Thomas Dybdahl will be playing in London

I found out today that one of my favourite Norwegian musicians, Thomas Dybdahl is playing at Borderline in London in May.

Of course, I rushed to the ticket website and typed in my details as fast as I could when I found out. I think my keyboard got a little confused by the sudden change of pace. I definitely didn't want to miss out on this one.

I have seen the band Thomas Dybdahl plays with, The National Bank, before, but never had the opportunity to see him play solo. I guess I had to go to London to experience him live.

Here is a little video featuring a song he most likely will be playing when he enters the stage in London.

I hope you like it. From Grace is one of my favourite Thomas Dybdahl songs.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Rachael Yamagata at Water Rats: Pictures

Here are my pictures from the Rachael Yamagata gig at Water Rats. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Rachel Yamagata at Water Rats

I was a millimeter from not going to the Rachael Yamagata gig last night because of a throbbing headache. The great memories from the last time I went to the Monto Water Rats to see Jackson United, persuaded me otherwise. I'm glad I went.

Rachael Yamagata has a unique ability to communicate her music. During the ballads, the only sound filling the room was her voice and the piano or the guitar. An intimate venue like Monto Water Rats makes her music come to its right.

The audience was so into it, that it proved to be comedy gold when a bottle fell to the floor and broke the mood for a split second.

When talking about the male musicians in her band, she said "They play chick music." Maybe her music is chick music, but I saw just as many men as women in the audience last night.

Rachael Yamagata has a beautiful voice that suits both the ballads and the uptempo songs. One of the highlights for me was Be Be Your Love. Some of the songs from her upcoming album were also played. If those songs are anything to judge the new album by, I'd say it sounds promising.

At the end of the night my headache was played away by Rachael Yamagata and replaced by a content feeling that I had attended another good gig.

A Rachael Yamagata gig fits like a comfy hoodie that you would very much like to wear on a relaxing night.

Monday, 23 February 2009

London African Music Festival

The 7th London African Music Festival is being held at the Southbank Centre 11-13th of September this year and I will definitely be going.

Artists such as The African Jazz Allstars, Rachel Magoola and Claude Deppa will be playing.

Check out the video for a taste of what the African Jazz Allstars might perform.

It will be interesting to see if the African rhythms will suit a body from one of the most northern countries of the world.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Open mic night at the Hope & Anchor

A friend asked me to go to an open mic night at the Hope & Anchor in Highbury last night. Of course I said yes, as it would mean an evening of just relaxing and listening to music. The Hope & Anchor in Highbury does open mic nights every Wednesday where young and not so young people can show their talent.

The first guy performing does songs with a touch of humour to them. One of them is about working shit jobs, which makes the audience giggle.

The second act is two women who play very peaceful music. One of them plays the piano, while the other one sings. They play the sort of music you can sink into and take in.
Not everybody is as talented as those women and some of the people performing could do with a bit of practice. I still applaud their courage to go up on stage and show their creative ability. Just that is something I would never do.

The atmosphere in the basement of the Hope & Anchor is calm an familiar. A lot of the people there seem to know each other from before.

Open mic night is a bit like a new sweater. After having worn it a few times and it's really comfortable, you get into the habit of wearing it all the time.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

I danced to Alkaline Trio at Koko

Broadway Calls was the first band to enter the stage at Koko last night. They got a good response form the crowd.

The Audition, the next support band, seemed to have a love-hate relationship with the crowd. Some people jumped around while singing all their songs. Others were not pleased, booed the band and made remarks to the band about going to a place well known for being extremely hot.

While standing squeezed in between people, I heard people talking about that the band had actually had been booed off stage the night before. The singer had apparently thrown a hissy fit on stage after that.

Next up was Alkaline Trio, headliner for the night. They went on stage with high energy and played a mixture of new and old songs. Calling all Skeletons, a song off their latest album Agony and Irony was the song chosen to kick the show off.

From the fire of the audience, it's clear that Trio has quite a few hardcore fans in the audience. A lot of people know every word to every song and I spotted at least to men with Alkaline Trio tattoos.

Among my personal favourites, were I Found Away, This Could Be Love and Help Me. They all made me dance, sing and bang my head to the beat.

Turns out a t-shirt soaked with sweat is a good fit for me.

Alkaline Trio at Koko: pictures

The pictures I took at the Alkaline Trio gig are in the slideshow. I hope you like them.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Alkaline Trio: a postboarder's perspective

The Alkaline Trio UK forum is a postboard for old, new Alkaline Trio fans and people who are there just from habit. I had a chat with them to find out what kind of music they're into and what they like about Trio.

"We're all really into mid 90s dance music and Chris de Bugger," one of them jokingly told me.
"Aqua all the way," another poster added.

Most of the people I talked to on the Alkaline Trio postboard listen to rock, metal and indie. Among the bands they mentioned that they like are Tellison, Brand New, Bon Iver, The Mars Volta, Funeral For A Friend and Enter Shaikari.

A few of the posters have seen the band several times, up to 20. Among the favourite Trio gigs they have been to are the Camden Barfly gig and the concert at London Astoria in 2005. I doubt I will ever get to go to 20 Alkaline Trio gigs, but hopefully the one I'm going to will be equally good as the other ones.

"I always have an amazing time at Trio gigs- I get sweaty like you wouldn't believe and I sing my little heart out," a poster explained to me, a newbie to Alkaline.

"I saw them in 05 at the Astoria, I was so soaked in sweat," another poster added.

Some of the posters will probably be at the gig at Koko tonight too, singing their hearts out and being soaked in sweat.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Ida Maria at Koko: pictures

Next up: Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio is a punk rock band from Chicago, consisting of Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant.

The band released their first album in 1998. After that further four albums were released before their album debut for a major label in the summer of 2008, Agony and Irony.

Agony and Irony has a heavy theme of duality, such as light and dark. The song, Help Me was chosen as their first single off the album. Check out Help me in the video.

Since the beginning of February, Alkaline Trio has been touring the UK and they will end their tour in Britian by playing two shows at Koko in London on the 16th and 17th of February. I will be at the second gig at Koko. After leaving Britain, they have a couple of shows planned in Australia.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Ida Maria made Koko dance and cry

The stage is dimly lit when a woman wearing a red blazer and bright red shoes sits down behind the drum kit. She tries the drum sticks and hits a few beats, noticeably out of her element.

She puts away the drum sticks and moves quickly to the microphone, where she looks at home. The rest of the band walks on stage and they immediately start playing their first song.

Ida Maria doing her thing

Ida Maria had an explosive start when she entered the stage at Koko. She kicked off the show with Queen of the World, an upbeat song that sets the mode for the concert with its catchy beat. The crowd was into it from the beginning, singing and dancing along to the music.

The ballads in between the upbeat songs work well because Ida Maria has a powerful voice. One gets the feeling that she is trying to tell a story to the audience with every ballad she sings, and she is for the most part successful at it. Songs like Stella and Keep me warm are definitely highlights.

At times, some of the ballads are not appreciated as much by the audience since they are not so familiar. It would have helped to have a more extensive back catalogue to chose songs from to keep the flow of the show.

For one of the final songs, I like you so much better when you're naked, Ida Maria brought out a couple of dancers on stage, popular to the male members of the audience. The song has a high energy and the performance was just as energetic.

The final song, before the encore, Oh my God is performed with power and authority. When the band walked on stage again for the encore, the mood is completely different. Ida Maria ended the concert with the heartfelt ballad Leave me, let me go that captured the audience, as most of the rest of the show did.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Waiting outside Koko for Ida Maria

Koko in Camden, London, UK

Some of the first people in line for the Ida Maria gig at Koko were some young women from Sweden, Germany and Norway.

Clearly excited, they explained to me that it was one of them who had suggested a girls night at Koko to see Ida Maria.

Annie, Kristina, Annika and Julika outside Koko.

"I like a few of her songs, especially Oh My God," Annika from Germany told me. Oh My God has previously been number 3 on Spin Magazine's list over songs to download. Annika came up with the idea to go to the gig, that way they can experience the song live.

"I had no idea that she comes from Sweden," Annie said, not knowing that Ida Maria is from Norway. Even though the knowledge about the artist maybe isn't that great, she enjoys the music. "I really like that I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked song," she told me.

About the venue, they all agree that "Koko is a cool location." One of the girls has been to another one of the NME Shockwaves gigs at Koko, a tour in connection the music magazine NME's awards. The Ida Maria concert is a part of that tour.

Usually, the girls don't go to a lot of gigs, but their plans for the night is to listen to some good music and have some fun.

"I expect the gig to be both energetic and laid back," Annika explained. Let's hope Ida Maria lived up to their expectations.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Another gig: Rachael Yamagata

Rachael Yamagata is an American singer-songwriter who also plays the piano.

Her music can be described as blues rock. After releasing a self-titled EP, she released the album Happenstance in 2004. A second album followed in the autumn of 2008, when Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart was released.

Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart is a two-part album. The first part is a lot darker than the challenging rock songs of Teeth Sinking Into Heart. The two parts represent the emotions surrounding complicated relationships.

Rachael is currently touring for her new album. She will play two gigs in London before playing a few shows around Europe. I will be at one of those gigs in London

Sunday, 8 February 2009

First artist out

The first artist I'm going to see is Ida Maria. She is a Norwegian musician from a small town called Nesna.

Nesna is as different from London as you possibly can imagine. It's town hidden by a fjord in the northern parts of Norway, close to the place where I use to spend my summer holidays. Her birthplace is part of the appeal of the gig for me, as it is seeing music from home in another country.

Ida Maria became well known in Norway when she won two national music competitions for unknown artists in 2007. After winning those competitions, she got airtime on Norwegian radio stations. Since then, her popularity has been expanded to other countries, such as the UK where she has played various festivals and concerts.

One of her most well know songs is "Oh My God".

It will be interesting to see how she is welcomed when she enters the stage at Koko.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Music project. Get on it!

Welcome to the Try On New Music Blog.

I have a project. I want to see and experience music from as many bands and artists, from as many genres and countries as I possibly can. Local or well known bands. Jazz, electro, goth, pop, metal, indie, classical, hip hop. You name it, I want to see it. In seeing the artists, I will hopefully meet a lot of people interested in music and discover the culture surrounding different bands and genres.

To experience as varied music as possible, I need YOUR help. Suggest bands or genres I can check out and I'll "try on" as many of them as I can.