One week ago today I spent the evening listening to Sigrid @Motion in Bristol. During one week in Bristol we had World Happiness Day and #vårjevndøgn, Sigrid and Susanne Sundfør. And right now is the night before the clocks are put forward. Where I grew up, in a Norwegian village, we had light all year around, but no direct Sun from November, and it wasn’t back shining on our house in the valley until last days of January every year.
Sunshine came to Bristol with Sigrid last Saturday. Another #HAPPYDAY, and a reason to celebrate #WomansDayEveryDay after two Norwegian artists have visited the city this same week in March. Pretty cool!
Whilst #SusanneSundfør is not so jumpy and happy, and creates a more characteristic ‘Nordic Noir’ stage atmosphere, Sigrid is the other end of the scale. Happy, fresh, natural and energetic! And some of THE BEST beats!!
It was biting cold and moving into snow. We Norwegians normally like that! And Sigrid didn’t disappoint as she typically pointed out that “we Norwegians wear #wool” (and then we mean wool: 100% wool!). Details important to us wool enthusiasts, and the fact that she showed everyone her wool base layer on stage was no disappointment 🙂 She continued the night with her happy moves, her happy energy and her happy beats in front of a pretty full #Motion nightclub venue.
On a different note I was feeling slightly ripped off because tickets were now available for £13 and I paid £50 because the concert originally was going to be at #Thekla, a much smaller venue, something somebody had taken advantage of reselling really expensive tickets because they sold out fast! Bugger. And then, they changed the venue! But apparently this happens quite often in Bristol, I’ve been told, concerts moved around the city depending on ‘size’. We bought the one brand of canned Beer and Cider on sale and got on with it.
This all didn’t matter when Sigrid started singing! The band slightly anonymous in black in the background. They left Sigrid to do showbiz. Big colourful boards behind, made me think of Scandi and Nordic interior design known through it’s simplicity.
After all it is impressive how she manages to carry this show by herself. She has no dancers on stage with her. This is personality and charisma! And talent, of course. She is a good singer. I didn’t feel the sound picture as a whole was optimal, the band and choirist didn’t quite manage to pull it off in unison, and I had a feeling that some of what I had seen in her music videos or heard on the radio was better. Not so unusual though and this doesn’t mean she’s not good live. Sigrid’s best songs are really the best hits! And she’s a winner. My favourite at the moment: Dynamite! Giving an important message to women; that they are not mostly about pleasing others and making everyone happy all the time. Be Dynamite – completely legitimate also for women! I like it.
Early in the evening she introduced us to some of her not so well known music, carrying on to the hits! Strangers, Dynamite, Don’t Kill My Vibe, her new Raw, one after the other.
Sigrid is great when it comes to creating a relationship with her audience. Somebody shouted: «You’re gorgeous!» and she had to restart a song. She thanked the audience a lot, and we felt that it meant something. This is charming and she was adressing her Bristol audience, not just one more venue with people in it. This is one of her strengths as an artist and entertainer. Her act feels quite personal and authentic. She is also a bit different to the typical female pop singer act when it comes to style and moves. To me she represents a new generation of women, not so much ‘Second to the Man’, but without playing it all out as simply an act. She has grown up with more freedom and opportunities to grasp and take, I think, than generations before her in a Norwegian context. Sadly, many artists change a lot through early professional well meant advice and commercialism, in the end they can end up unrecognisable just to sell more. I think Sigrid will be able to resist some of these forces. Something ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ is evidently a result of, but we all know how hard it is. And of course anyone would change going through what she is at the moment.
As a Norwegian I can feel the vibes of excitement as she is right in the middle of her breakthrough! Right now. One of the reasons why I couldn’t miss this concert although my companion was sick in bed at home. And here in the UK we have already realised how big she is becoming as Strangers was used in the intro for the TV screening of BAFTA!
I knew three songs from before: Strangers, Don’t Kill My Vibe and Dynamite. They are still lifting the show and the atmosphere. The age group in the crowd was mixed, and I am especially glad to notice her teenage fans (typical mother of a teenager) as I basically think Sigrid is a great role model for lots of young people. Her unconventional moves around the stage communicates and states: confident, as well as not simply displaying a super confident successful woman at all times. It is more subtle and complex than that. What I mean is that she doesn’t ‘feel fake’. Something she is also signing about in her songs quite a lot, the questions of fake friendships in ‘Strangers’ and “I can never fake it (…) I just wanna be pure” in her new ‘Raw’. With the funkiest beats she pours out her energy, her love for music and her performance reaches out to the people. She is ‘The Woman in the Room’ taking up all the space that she needs! A Star is born and I hope the future is bright and happy for her 🌟 I can’t wait for the school run and rocking in the car with my kids to her music.