The stage is set for by:Larm ’09

With next week's by:Larm fast approaching, we bring you some recommendations prior to Scandinavia’s most important music festival and convention kick off.

The Whitest Boy Alive 2009

by:Larm means ”city clamour”. After ten years of beating around the bush, which, it has to be said, was much of the point, the festival and music convention finally arrived in Oslo last year. In many respects Oslo is the only city in Norway, for unlike what many Norwegians like to think city status is not something that can be bestowed, it is a matter of size, pulse and infrastructure. And the reason for bringing by:Larm to Oslo is simply that it is really the only form that can hold the content.

Oslo, “musical capital of Scandinavia” according to the organizers of by:Larm, has more venues than all of the other cities (towns?) which have hitherto hosted by:Larm put together. So notwithstanding the grandness of the above statement there is no need to doubt that this year’s event (as last year’s was) will be one of unprecedented size and public appeal. And if we are to believe the organizers by:Larm has become the most important international showcase for Nordic artists.

Check out by:Larm’s live schedule here.

by:Larm also puts on a number of interesting seminars and debates in English. View the programme here.

What bands to watch then? Here’s a list of acts we will be check out during the cold and snowy (according to the weather forecast) February days:


New album in the works – will she make it this year? And, more importantly, will she sing in tune live?


Beautiful debut album – how’s the live version of those mesmerizing tracks?

El Caco

With their fifth album out now, the hard-hitting trio can hardly be described as newcomers or up-and-coming. However, with a new drummer injecting a fresh dose of vitality and a stunning album doing well on the domestic market, El Caco has proved that they’re back with a bang.

Eva & the Heartmaker

Infectious domestic radio hit Superhero has firmly established duo Eva & the Heartmaker (consisting of vocalist Eva Weel Scram and guitarist/producer Thomas Stenersen) in the ‘band to watch’ sector. They’ve proved their worth on the nation’s airwaves, how will they hold up confronted by an audience of beard-scratching music industry execs?


Austrian electronica producer par extraordinaire teams up with UK/Norway jazz/improv combo Food for a highly anticipated gig.

fjorden baby!

Straight outta Loddefjord, Bergen comes fjorden baby! as Norwegian-language rock’s saviours. Hailed as one of the nation’s finest live acts, fjorden baby! is a must see, even for those who do not master all nuances of the collective’s Bergen dialect.

Harrys Gym

NME and ranked Harrys Gyms 2007 by:Larm gig in their top five lists. Rumour has it that the 2009 version of the band is even better.

John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen

Another of Loddefjord’s finest, John Olav Nilsen & Gjengen have cut their teeth on the Bergen live scene before bursting onto the larger stages of Oslo and Trondheim as well as the country’s festivals with great success. Don’t’ be put off by the language barrier – some messages defy borders.


No further intro needed – Lindstrøm knows his way around a studio , but can he transfer his knob-twiddling skills to a live setting?

My Little Pony

Prime ambassadors of Oslo’s thriving indie scene, My Little Pony’s Belle and Sebastianesque pop classicism could be a welcome alternative to louder by:Larm acts.

New Violators

Having played CMJ and SXSW (as well as by:Larm back in ‘07), New Violators are finally poised to release their debut album. New tracks are a must-listen.

The New Wine

One of ‘the second Bergen wave’s finest ambassadors. The outfit has performed with great success in the UK as well as at this year’s EuroSonic.

Petter Carlsen

Carlsens’ debut album,’ You Go Bird’ (mixed by Michael Ilbert (The Cardigans, A-ha, Supergrass)), sees its release in March, but the hype is already strong. Carlsen, who hails from Norway’s extreme north, possesses songwriting skills that has earned him a MySpace Award, a number of festival appearances as well as a major label contract.

The Whitest Boy Alive

With a new album to be released later this year, this live favourite is a must-see. Fronted by Erlend Øye (Kings of Convenience), The Whitest Boy Alive put the term ‘White Man’s Funk’ to shame.

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