I went to a rock club the other night, Verkstedet in Hausmanns gate, The Workshop. The band on stage was Laserstråle, Laser Beam, from Oslo, an original band, maybe even you could say experimental, but for me, clearly recognisable in the rock genre.
I’ve never been a real rocker, but I regularly enjoy the attitude of people who are.
Curiosity, being able to kill the cat, also feeds it sometimes.
The kind of noise I usually enjoy the most is an orchestra at full blast, and the noise that comes out of a rock band is something else. As a sensitive philharmonist I sometimes feel I need some kind of ear protection on rock concerts, not so much physically, actually, but mentally, but the original approach of this band and their ability to establish their own world on stage I enjoyed without reservation.
It is also interesting for an outsider to find out that things live in this noise too, bodily things, maybe, or something else, well worth exploring and, if you like that sport, defining and ruminating on.
If you are a consensus seeker like myself, you may conceive it as violence, and traditionally, of course rock was meant to be some kind of a rebel music. But somehow, today all lifestyles seem to be so established in themselves that no hostility towards the neighbour is really necessary, as long as you have some possibility of living life like you want it to be.
This means I can go from the Concert house on Thursday, enjoying Mahler or Mozart in an academic or ancient fashion, to Verkstedet and related places on Friday, experiencing the breakdown of at least some elements of what I heard the day before. Not to say that both Mahler and Mozart isn’t able to do almost the same to me, it depends on the way it’s played. Still, there are of course differences.
Anyway, I can later go home, after a concert like this, and write something, not necessarily contrary to what I heard, but somehow incorporating some of it and excluding other things, on my own part.
Then, of course, I meet with some of my friends now and then, who feel that for them, rock or whatever they call their world is mainstream culture, and we drink and eat and discuss whatever is on our minds. Then we go home too late or too early, but at least satisfied to live in a fairly friendly neighbourhood.
The band consisted of so-called amateurs, so I was told, except the singer, but this was in itself not really important because what they did was interesting to me, to the point of changing my mind and make me consider, just like all good art is able to do. Some of the noise, as I said, the impact of the whole soundscape, contained really interesting stuff, and the presence of a trumpeter and a keyboardist who made in itiatives in different directions and made the soundscape varied and interesting.
The female lead singer was also good, touching real clarity at some points, which I love, leading my thoughts to one of my few hobby horses in rock, the way the lead vocal in Steeleye Span did her things, an English folk rock band from the seventies. She has a clarity and Deutlichkeit of a good trumpeter, which contrasts beautifully with the roughness of the band. The soundscape this evening, though, was too often a little muddled, also sometimes leaving too little space for both the singer and other soloists. Being a little more chamber musical, listening more to each other, I feel could get out even more of the good ideas that are already there, make them more visible. Of course, the venue is small, but still, you sometimes had the feeling that solo ambitions should sometimes be more subsumed into the total concept.
But this was not a problem all the time, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself as a tourist in another new world for me. The band has got a good overall concept, with many possibilities of further development.
Mozart can be hilarious, but sometimes I need a violent ball too. This wasn’t even so much of it, compared to what it can be, only the style of rock in itself is usually a little like that – for me.