Time to get Lokal

Andrew Christopher Anfinnsen, has always been in love with music and connecting people. So much so, he is embarking on creating a local’s hub – the Lokal Bar.

Anfinnsen spent much of his childhood in Switzerland after his family moved there from Drammen when he was seven. When it came time to further his studies as a young adult, he decided to return to Norway, and landing in Trondheim, it just fit. He’s been here ever since.

Anfinnsen was looking for a way to insert himself into the city as he didn’t have a network to call his own yet. He found himself joining Studentersamfundet and spent four years in the bustling atmosphere that provided him with both a social and cultural community. Anfinnsen jumped into every opportunity working behind the scenes and then in booking and promoting the many events happening there. All the while he was studying to earn a Bachelor’s in Media Studies at NTNU. 

By the time he had been in the city five years he had landed a professional gig booking concerts for BrukBar. “Like my taste in music at that point, I started out with putting on indie rock shows – until I discovered how exciting club music and DJ culture could be, with all the great nights out at Supa club in the basement. Marius Thorvaldsen (runs Work-Work now) and Svein-Erik Ihlen (started Diskoteket) were in charge back then, and I picked up a lot from them in terms of musical variety and booking skills. A few years later I was booking both live shows and club nights for a living.”
“Everything got kind of shook up when BrukBar moved in with Blæst back in 2014 though. A lot of people were sceptical to the venue “merger”. For me, and a lot of happy punters, it turned out to be a great though short-lived adventure. We had a blast (pun intended) with some of the most exciting live bookings in recent years as well as bigger club nights.” You can see the memories flooding back to Anfinnsen when you hear him speak about these sorts of days.

But it isn’t just the moments inside the club that he remembers with such fondness.. In asking Anfinnsen about his standout moments he has a moment of indecision. “There are so many to choose from! Last year, I was asked to program the newest stage at Pstereo called «Forte», focusing on DJs and danceable sets. On that Saturday, the festival had its rainiest day ever. Turns out, Trønders in colorful rain ponchos make for a happy dance crowd! Everybody lowered their guard and really let themselves loose”. One can only imagine, if having not been there, the sight that must have been and how it speaks to the magic that music has.

“Another more personal moment was when the excellent Sun Kil Moon, or Mark Kozelek, played Blæst in 2016. It was the night after the very tragic and horrific nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.” This is when you can see that the job of a booking agent becomes more than just someone plugging musicians into empty venue spaces. “Kozelek is known for his direct and poetic lyrics, and he performed a song he’d written the same day on his flight to Trondheim about the shooting. It made for an intense moment with a spellbound audience. The song was aptly named «From Bergen to Trondheim» and was featured on his next album. Though I wish there was a less tragic context to that performance, the connection that was made between artist and audience that night was so heartfelt and strong, which is what live shows should be about.”
When you put all his experiences together is it not surprising when Anfinnsen says that he saw something missing. He wasn’t alone in this either. “Me and a group of friends had been looking for a spot of our own after BrukBar / Blæst closed down, but it’s not easy to find available spaces in Trondheim. By the time we found something suitable, we were itching hard for a new kind of club. Some friends even started moving away for lack of good places to go out! So that was the time we figured – we have to do this.” Thus, the concept and plan for Lokal Bar was hatched.

“The ‘gang’ behind Lokal Bar is myself, Aleksander Schei and Jørgen Sellevold. We’ve known each other for several years, crossing paths working with various club nights, events and festivals, eventually becoming good friends before deciding we wanted to start something together. Then there’s our investor Halvår Sivertsen, who we are incredibly lucky to have – he shares our values and has excellent taste in music! Our first employees as bar managers, Morten Prytz and Caroline Sørensen Skaget, are also well on their way to shape the concept along with us.” His excitement for this project is very evident. 

When asking about the concept for the location, famously home to Frakken and the old D12, be prepared to be wowed. “Lokal Bar is going to be bigger than the name suggests.” Anfinnsen says proudly, “We’re spreading three distinct concepts over two floors. We’re creating an intimate craft cocktail bar, with just enough seats for our bartenders to stay in touch with everybody. It’s going to be lush with a lot of greenery, and a great spot to take your date while expanding your palate on drinks.”
“Then there’s the former piano lounge,” he continues, “which we’re turning into a small stage with a well-assorted beer and spirits type of dive bar atmosphere. We’re hoping to do 1-2 shows every week – indie, hip-hop, electronica, jazz, everything goes. But it’s meant to work as a relaxed watering hole most weeknights as well.”

The basement is still the spacious place it ever was and enough so to be considered one of Trondheim’s biggest nightclubs. On weekends, the walls will be shaking with the sound of big, big subwoofers, and the ceiling lit up by a pretty ingenious lighting design. Considering how to cover multiple genres they are going to spread the nights evenly between disco / house / techno and hip-hop / r&b / the rare pop night. On weekdays, they intend to experiment with the room as an all-purpose event space.

As if that is not enough, in a very clever move they have found a way to make sure that Lokal Bar shares one license allowing guests to move about with beer or cocktail in hand. They realized they could have opened three different places around town, but what fun would there be in that?

Anyone embarking on their own business adventure can’t solely rely on the love of it alone though. As Anfinnsen puts it: “It’s a pretty big step for us from being somewhat idealistic music promoters to running our own place. That’s probably the challenge I’m looking forward to the most – nailing the business aspect of it while retaining our values and ideals. It’s important for us to keep a friendly and familiar vibe for our staff as well as a safe space for our guests looking for something different than the often brash and vulgar vibe of mainstream clubs. If we can achieve that, stay true to ourselves while drawing out a big enough crowd to keep us going as long as possible…

I’ll have a toast to us!” 

Midnattslauget

Midnattslauget/Maskinmassakren

Get to know one of Trondheim’s most eclectic group of musicians, working tirelessly to bring the clubbing vibe back to the city. This crew, two of which were interviewed here, arrange intermittent concerts with extensive lineups, and an occasional festival, throughout the year, having held around a half dozen already, under the flag of Maskinmassakren.

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

Perhaps the greatest story is how the group began its formation: a chance, Trøndersk meeting at the Roskilde music festival in Denmark.

“I got lost in the crowd, and far away in the midst of all of it I heard someone singing Rosenborg songs. So I thought, well, if it’s not my friends it’s at least someone friendly and headed in that direction. I found this guy [pointing to his partner in crime] and we’ve been friends ever since.” – S

The sound of each of the musicians involved in the group, and the eventual creation of their very own concert platform, evolved from trends in the clubbing and electronic music scenes in Trondheim; trends that they didn’t really identify with and branched out into their own thing.

“At the time there were a lot of underground raves around and outside of Trondheim. We felt like they staled a bit music-wise. The people that arranged the events seemed to be more keen about creating a place to just go and party and get sh*t faced. And we figured that it wasn’t going anywhere and decided to just do it ourselves.”

“The clubs scene has been stagnant for the last 10 or so years. There were a lot of cool DJ’s and lots of new and creative music. But then something happened, I don’t know, but it lost its identity a little bit and everything just became the same, everything sounded the same wherever you went – and it has stayed the same ever since.” – A

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

What has emerged from this unique collection of artists is the one of a kind concert series: Maskinmassakren. Each edition of the concert sees a new line-up of experienced and up-and-coming artists; each bringing with them their own take on electronic music.

“One of the things we focus on is to highlight both established and up and coming artists. So we always reserve at least one slot at on the schedule for a new, local act. This also helps us keep a variety to sound at each event.” -A

“We give people who don’t really get recognized for their music a stage to play on.” –S

Photo: Torleif Kvinnesland

UFFA has become the stage for the Maskinmassakren concept, with the electronic music clashing slightly with the punk roots at UFFA. But variety is the spice of life, and while some people might have been skeptical of the success of electro in a punk arena, the shows have been a resounding success.

“The UFFA crowd has come around to the idea. After the first concert was such a success, we don’t even have to ask to use the stage now!”

Looking to find some new music to groove to, or want to check out one of the coolest concert venues in Trondheim? Keep an eye out for the next edition of Maskinmassakren!

Pstereo 2017: Day 1 gets twisted

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It’s that time of year again: summer coming to an end, the sun is shrivelling up, streets filling with students… all of which can only mean one thing. Pstereo is back.

Every year the same. Back to work, start thinking that this year’s summer fun is all over and then BANG! Up comes Pstereo and brings those summer vibes right back. The fine weather yesterday helped get day one off to a flyer. Time spent with good friends, music, food and drink. This is what August in Trondheim is all about.

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My performance of the night: Kano. Perhaps not a household name, but in the Grime scene of the UK, and especially London, Kano is considered somewhat a legend. Regarded by many as one of the early influencers of the genre, Kane Brett Robinson (aka Kano) brought over 10 years of experience to stage. The crowd was a little hesitant at first but many loosened up during one of Kano’s most familiar tracks, P’s and Q’s. He ended his performance with getting down from the stage and doing an entire song as part of the crowd, Kano made sure he left an impression.

Pstereo (and Trondheim) are still getting used to Thursday night starts – for those of us due in the office on Friday morning it’s a game of stick or twist. If you can hear my raspy voice through these words, and feel my struggle at getting out of bed this morning, you’ll know I twisted. Looking forward to checking out the new Forte club concept tonight. See you at Pstereo later for more twisting :p

words by Matias Bretteville-Jensen

all photos by Mr Yoshi @yoshi2406
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Pstereo 2016 – day three

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The curtain came down on Pstereo after a full three days with luminous sunshine and left most of the town in a blissful hung-over state. The List was present throughout the festival, though by day three we were getting a bit knackered… So when The Lumineers showed up with too complicated restrictions for our photographer he decided to give it a miss. You got a photo of the bar though didn’t you Andy!? 😉

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The free event Familiekonsterten during daytime Saturday is an annual event appreciated by many. It gives the young families of Trondheim the opportunity to partake in the festival, offspring in tow! Yeah, it’s not the same as actually being child-free and drinking beer throughout the evening, but for a couple of blissful hours it feels like you’re in a European town (the weather helped!). Since this is a family friendly event, it came as somewhat of a shock when Daniel Kvammen asked everyone to sing along to his chorus on Karmafae. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard someone being able to get all the adults at a concert shut up and look at each-other – is he actually just singing “Faen Ta” time and time again? The answer is yes – perhaps not the best choice of song for a child-friendly event…
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Astri S put on a great concert, and had the crowd happily swaying along.

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We do have a photo of the lovely The Lumineers banner, sorry we couldn’t do much more than that. But we can however tell you that the show was pretty magical; serene and lovely, and when Wesley Schultz jumped off stage and came singing through the crowd it wasn’t far off one of those scenes when girls start taking their panties off and throwing them at him. That guy’s definitively got the charms and the makings of a singer-songwriter to go down in history.

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Dumdumboys put on a nice show and for the first time in their career dedicated a whole set to just one album, from back-to-back they played songs from their 1990 album “Pstereo” in honour of the festival’s 10-year-anniversary.They laughed and joked about it on set, saying they weren’t entirely sure how they’d let themselves be persuaded to do so. Regardless, they played to a full crowd as pretty much every festival-visitor gathered around the main stage for the round of off Pstereo 2016.
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Thank you Pstereo – this was an awesome year and everyone at The List is looking forward to the next one already!

Photos: Andy Natt
Words: Ida Bondø Lee-Wright

Olavsfestdagene – Joan Baez

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Olavsfestdagene continued tonight with a moving and memorable concert by the American folk singer and activist Joan Baez, in the imposing Nidaros Cathedral.

This beautiful voice has been charming crowds and leading protest songs for over 50 years, and the woman behind it has led a colourful and involved life. She is often referred to in her capacity as Bob Dylan’s ex-lover and one time collaborator, but Baez embodies much more of the American folk scene than her relationship with its chief protagonist. Indeed her set tonight was steeped in the tradition of coffee shop musicians sharing (and sometimes stealing) one another’s songs. She covered a whole range of old and new, including Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Anthony and the Johnsons, John Lennon…

Many of these songs never really had any owners anyway, a sentiment which suits Baez’s open heartedness and goodness in spirt. She spoke lovingly about the current refugees crisis and wove in some stories about her history in the protest movement. You would not believe she is 75, and when she played House of the Rising Sun, the years rolled back in the audience too.

Opportunities to take photos were pretty limited by the organisers, but here is a selection:

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All photos by Wil Lee-Wright

Take 6 take over

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Last night’s Take 6 concert was moved to Vår Frue church, on account of the ongoing strikes at many of the hotels. But to be honest, we can’t think of a better location for this American acappella longstayers. Here are some shots from the experience – be sure to check whether what you are seeing tonight at jazzfest has been moved or not.

Personally I love the chance to see great music in unusual places – and the evening light creeping in through the church windows gave the whole concert a fresh feeling. So nice to go out without a jacket! Tonight, however, we recommend a concert at a classic venue, the home of jazz in Trondheim, Dokkhuset. Mats Eilertsen is one for all you jazz enthusiasts our there. The”‘Musicians’ musician” (7pm). He is accompanied by Trio Medieval, an ensemble from Voss who specialise in medieval and folk music. Trio Medieval will also be hosting a free workshop today, going on now!

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presented by Ernst
presented by Ernst

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some enjoyed it more than others!
some enjoyed it more than others!

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All photos Wil Lee-Wright Photography

Jazz Fest warming up

DDB Lady Day Shot 1a by Mark Higashino kopi

There is a shedload going on this month; the start of an epic spring-summer for music in Trondheim. The wise man might be tempted to pace himself, but we never claimed to be wise. Instead we are readying ourselves for a week of world class music, night after night, with the return of Trondheim Jazzfest.

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Trondheim’s very own international jazz festival has been around in one form or another since 1980 and now it’s back with a boom. The List spoke to Ernst Wiggo Sandbakk, Jazzfest’s general manager, with responsibility for the festival’s artistic content.

“Trondheim has a high international standing in the world of jazz, not least because of the success of Jazzlinja at NTNU (a programme which offers education in a creative jazz, started in 1979), which has delivered forerunners for new European jazz for decades.”

“We’re working on making Jazzfest an established destination, though we are quite different from other festivals in general. I think we have an excellent festival programme, because we have a large proportion of homegrown productions, as well as commissioned works and world premieres: collaborations playing together for the first time, etc.”

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This year’s Jazzfest kicks off with what promises to be a spectacular performance with the three-time Grammy Award winning American jazz singer, Dee Dee Bridgewater, pictured above. Her glittering career has seen her share stages with greats such as Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon and Max Roach, but tonight it will Trondheim’s leading professional big band, Knut Lauritzen Big Band, who have that honour. We think it will hold up, but you will have to be there to experience it for yourself. Olavshallen from 8pm, some tickets still available.

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Alternatively – or additionally, if you choose to ignore the pacing yourself advice – check out Karl Bjorå’ Aperture at Bar Moskus at 10pm.

The List will blogging daily throughout the festival, with photos and reviews from the day before, and tips for the good times still ahead. Like our Facebook or follow this blog to stay up-to-date. You can also heck out the website jazzfest.no for programme information, tickets and details about the conference, consisting of seminars, workshops, “artist talks” and a panel discussion.

Let it Burn – Lee Scratch Perry at Brukbar/Blæst

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What song were you singing when you got home last night? That’s what we want to know. Blood blood blood, blood and fire… that’s what I’m saying. Hear me now!

“Shut up!” screams my wife. “It’s a Monday night!”

Great privilege to witness and shoot the mighty Lee Scratch Perry at Brukbar/Blæst last night. Probably the busiest we have ever seen the club, and let’s not forget … it was a Monday night.

The legendary Jamaican producer and pioneer, accompanied by longterm associate The Mad Professor, pulverised the crowd with his dub and reggae machine. There was a wait for the 80-year old upsetter to take the stage, and you have to forgive us non-believers for suspecting that he might never arrive, whilst Mad Prof laid down the remixes (or should I say RIMIXes?!).

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But then a suitcase appeared, a bunch of bananas, a glass of champagne and the lights went up. So did the lighters, on several occasions, but not in a Michael Jackson sort of way. And then Perry, adorned with mirrors, shaman-like bangles and red beard dye, took to the stage.

It was a visceral and eccentric performance, and there is nothing like an old dude strutting his stuff and having the time of his life. It gives you hope, pure unadulterated hedonistic hope, hope of a life lived to the full and happy future. Perry had plenty to say too – mostly about how cigarettes give you cancer. Though that was about the extent of the family-friendly content. I’m pretty sure everyone shared a favourite moment during the concert, but I aint gonna write about that now. Let’s just say it was an “I was there when..” sort of thing.

Lee Scratch Perry is the creative effort which helped unleash Bob Marley on an unsuspecting world. A humble songwriter for the likes of Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and King Tubby, who has remained committed to experimenting with the musical form. In the 70s he started the infamous Black Art studios and collaborations with many of the greats followed – Max Romeo, The Congoes, the Abyssians , Delroy Wilson, The Heptones and even the Clash.

Perry later burnt down the Black Art Studios in ’84. Having witnessed last night I’d say it’s likely that many buildings he enters suffer similar fates. Blood blood blood, blood and fire… mercy lord!

Haile Selassie.

(all photos by Wil Lee-Wright)

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