Besides all the amazing headlining acts at this year’s Roadburn Festival, there are also so many bands in the smaller venues that it would be remiss of me not to mention some of my favourites. Scott H Biram was the first of these, shaking up the Stage01 with music a mixture of amazing Blues, Punk, and Heavy Metal, in a one-man and mostly acoustic format. With an instrumentarium of four battered Gibsons and an electric plank, Biram kept the audience entertained with stories and anecdotes and his wonderfully collection of songs. On Friday Einar Selvik gave a presentation about the origin of and ideas behind Wardruna, as well as the way he approaches making the music. He also demonstrated a number of the instruments he uses. The presentation was at the same time informative and endearing, and knowing how much effort goes into the music makes it sound even better.
Possibly my favourite show of the entire festival was Pekko Käppi & K:H:H:L. Playing the Jouhikko (bowed lyre) and electric cigar boxes, this eclectic trio makes some astounding Finnish-language blues music. Pekko explained all the sing titles and subjects to us: “This is a song about a woman accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. It is a happy song!” The live rendition of ‘Anna Orjan Ulvoa Kuuta (Let Your Slave Bark at the Moon)’ was certainly the most spectacular blues performance I have ever seen. Another show I really enjoyed was the Experimental Black metal by the Belgian act Briqueville. They played the entire shows in black hooded robes and golden plague masks, which gave an atmosphere as if you were present at a ritual of a dark cult, especially when the black robes were backlit by red light. The music is dark and moody, very melodic, and the sound is very well balanced and satisfying. They only have an EP out so far, but if they keep up this level of work in their upcoming album I think they can go far.
WORDS BY LORRAINE LYSEN