I just would like to introduce my dear, lovely friend Tora, who so kindly decided to share with us an amazing experience she did in Norway, the country in which she lives. This girl, one of the most talented young photographers I know, is worth to be checked out on her FB page, in which you can find the link for her photo-portfolio.
A few weeks ago, I came across a very fascinating underground concert arranger, called Havresekken – translates to “the bag of oat” or “the oat bag”. Its motto is, originally in Norwegian; “Once a month, we give you artists you didn’t know you liked, songs you haven’t heard, in places you didn’t know you’d enjoy.”
In the beginning, Havresekken only announced concerts, not specific artists. This worked as an original and interesting way of telling the audience to come; those who initially went to the shows learned how good the acts were and spread the word.
Only lately have they begun “announcing” the artists beforehand, meaning they give a brief and descriptive presentation of them. I can’t decide on whether that is good or bad…
The best part about Havresekken?
At the end of the show, the attendees are the ones to decide which act gets the most money. This is done with a big bowl of rye, and one glass container for each act. On the way out, one fills the spoon up and shares it between the three glasses, the spoon having the equivalent value to the ticket money you paid.
Havresekken is genre-neutral, meaning one can expect literally anything ranging from free-blues to electronica to rock to… you name it, in one concert.
The venues are usually small, relatively unknown locations within or outside of Oslo’s central borders, such a an abandoned petrol station, a museum, a public cabin out in the woods or, as this time, a motorbike clubhouse. As is standard at concerts, the doors opened an hour before the concert started.
The clubhouse is a two-storey building with the stage downstairs and a small bar with couches upstairs; a good place to sit down with friends for a chat.
This was the 13th Havresekken event, and my, was it good!
The first band, playing a happy and upbeat combination of electronica, rap and something I cannot properly describe, kicked off the concert on a tiny stage in a room that is usually full of Harley-Davidsons. Using various rhythmical instruments, the musical result is not something one’s necessarily heard before!
The second act of the evening was a Moroccan soloist playing nomad music, taking us on a travel going from south to north in Morocco. He played and sang traditional songs, creating an incredible feeling of actually being there, in the desert of Marocco. He told us (the audience) of musical traditions there, and the instruments he used; how one can hear one specific type of music in one family’s house, while the neighbouring family plays completely different music. He also told us all of the camels, and how they walked and “sung”.
Back in the 1600’s, there was a period of time in which all forms of music were banned from British cities and towns. During that period, musicians hid instruments e.g. under their coats, and went to places where people gathered. This happened to be pubs, and this last band puts up a show like the ones they did back then – with dancing (step-dance), singing and real fun entertainment. The musicians of this band are professionals, usually touring and playing with orchestras. In total they were two violinists, two guitarists and a drummer. At the end of each song, the violinists had play-offs/show-offs, competing with each other – at one point, this lasted as long as one minute. Jokes, and an organized sing-along at the end, as well as a speech on beer and whiskey and a tale of a harper, were big parts of the show.
And now, the last joke of the evening;
«There was a man who kept tuning his violin, day in and day out.
After a while, she told him to stop. He did not listen, and his wife was going mad from the constant sound of the violin’s strings.
She kept on begging him to stop, but her words fell to deaf ears. He did not stop.
Eventually, she said, gun in hand; if you don’t stop now, I’ll shoot!
Still no reaction.
She went into the bedroom, closed the door and fired the gun.
The door opened, and the man stopped tuning his violin.
Her face peeked out from behind the bedroom door, and he asked; what happened? Did you miss?»
I have my doubts about whether or not this joke is to be considered funny now, but at the time it was funny enough for everyone to burst out laughing.
If you happen to be in or around Oslo, I would highly recommend you go see a Havresekken event!
You can see all my photos from the evening at http://www.flickr.com/photos/oenskje/sets/72157627981897409/