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Silje Nes @ Garage, Bergen 17th Feb 2011



At last Tuesdays Norwegian class we were asked to sit in groups and talk about what we liked to do in our free time. All in Viking of course! One of the girls, Lizz, in our group was telling us about how she likes going to gigs and she would be going to one in a couple of days time.

Hmm, I thought! I was yet to head to a gig here in Bergen and was getting withdrawal symptoms and enquired further, still talking in norwegianese. The artist is a young lady by the name of Silje Nes, who is a Norwegian born and bred multi instrumentalist. Who plays all of the instruments on her albums but tours with two others as part of a band.

The basement in Garage is one of Bergen’s most prolific gig venues with several gigs held there every week.

It’s my fist time downstairs however, and the room is sparsely packed with space for everyone to sit should they wish. This really is the perfect way to hear Siljes music, which at no point is grandiose or overbearing but thoughtful and embracing.

I have to be perfectly honest when I say that I didn’t know her songs well enough to recall the set list, and that is my bad, but its good just to go to shows based on a recommendation and see if they live up to expectations. This gig certainly did.

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Silje, who is Kylie’s Norwegian counterpart, and the guys stroll onto the stage and she thanks everyone for coming before sitting into the first tune, played on a nylon strung acoustic guitar, violin plucking and a small glockenspiel and programmed beats courtesy of the drum machine. I’m fairly certain that this song is “Crystal” from her latest album, which you should be hearing now!

I’m amazed about the number of instruments that the three of them used and the different ways they added sound to music, I counted 12, which ranged from the standard guitars drums and bass to a mini broken tambourine to a sushi roller and most bizarrely the hairs on the drummers forearm! Why not I guess!  

Lizz was yabbing on about some such something or summat, I think that got sorted though!?