Sigrid! Ambassador For Happy Norwegian People

A92D4FD7-AA51-44C8-9C9B-EF34FB03F87DOne 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!!

4552947A-779F-4E21-88F8-12D9BDDC46AAIt 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.


Susanne Sundfør In Bristol #Colstonhall What A Magical Voice Sounds Like!


Susanne Sundfør cannot be accused of being an ambassador for Norway as one of the happiest countries in the world. Her music is dark, blue and melancholy. The atmosphere – a cross between jazz and electronically fuelled sounds -lifted us into unknown places by her voice. It’s simply magical!

In a landscape of folklore, “tusser and trolls”, forests and water sounds combined with jazz and electro ecco – it’s big, it’s bold and she is very confident. Sundfør has originality and what I would call a ‘different’ voice. The live stage performance clearly brought out the most powerful in it! It is astonishingly beautiful.

After a rather mediocre warm up act, it is not difficult to understand that Susanne Sundfør is the strength and powerfulness of world class, again – especially her vocal. Wrapped in a somewhat fragile but strong and confident expression and showcased through her flow like, floating motions, witty comments and musical expression on stage. Supported by musicians clearly mastering it all. Together with Megan Kovacs and Jesse Chandler, the three of them alternate between piano, synth, organ, strings, flute, clarinet, saxophone and more. A bit messy on stage, but as a musical picture it is #PicturePerfect !

Today was a day of bad coughs and almost fever for Susanne Sundfør, but that woman can still sing! I am completely new to her music and instantly a convert. Feeling a bit ashamed and ignorant to the Norwegian musical scene as she has recently been in the media headlines because she lost out on the main Spellemannsprisen 2017 (equivalent to Brit Awards here). Previously Sundfør has rejected the category of “Female Artist of the Year” because she does not believe in categories based on gender. More about that on her Instagram or Twitter.

The title of her last album “Music For People In Trouble” sounds to the point from what I manage to catch up from this concert. Not believing in love, warnings of nature destruction and the longing for a secret lover, “good luck, bad luck”, all in her songs. I captured “snow falls” in one of them and got completely mesmerised, hiding tears from my companion on the night. It was magical, that’s the only world for it. I got the feeling of being spellbound (‘trollbundet’/Trollbound in Norwegian).

“The Sound of War” being one of my favourites of the night:

 “And the snow falls down/ Your footsteps on the ground/ Are lost in the silence”

It was probably the mentioning of snow. Later I even thought I could hear her sing something about Norway’s Oil in one song…

«Bedtime Story»

Verse 3

“And when the nights are cold and strange and all the birds are gone

And all the oil’s been spilt, and left us on this Earth alone

I’ll think about the time you reassured me you were mine

Oh, what is love but a frail little dreamcatcher?”

Despite this capturing and to some extend narrowing in on a contemporary sociopolitical situation in Norway, I was a little disappointed by her lyrics. To match the music, I thought it was not quite there, but some was, don’t get me wrong! Overall, I would have expected something deeper, sounds a bit pretentious, but I want it more meaningful with fewer clichés. If this had been mainstream pop, I probably wouldn’t have questioned the lyrics so much. This expectation comes from the depth and mood of the atmosphere created on stage, fuelled by the music and Sundfør’s divine voice which just takes it all to a higher place! Thank you Susanne Sundfør, great night in Bristol!


And I’m sure we will get the happy vibes from Sigrid on Saturday@Motion 😀