Following strong reviews in the UK press as well as a very successful spring tour, Madrugada take a break from studio sessions to play key UK dates this and next week. A revised version of Madrugada’s acclaimed third album “Grit” was released in March on the UK market by Music For Nations to rave reviews. The band is currently working in an Oslo studio on a follow up to their three preceding and extremely successful releases.
Key festival gigs
Madrugada have now confirmed a headline show in London - as well as a support slot with Auf Der Maur in Nottingham - to follow their Reading and Leeds Festival debut. Madrugada will headline their own post Reading come down party at the Camden Barfly on Wednesday 1 September. Tickets are available from
TicketWeband are a mere £5. Tickets are expected to sell out soon for this show. The band are playing on Monday 30 August in Nottingham supporting Auf Der Maur at the Rescue Rooms as well. Judging by live reviews following Madrugada’s UK gigs this spring as well as a week in New York this winter, the UK audience will be in for some intense shows. Festival gigs in Norway this summer solidified the image of an in-form band that’s eager to deliver.
The Times' Martin Aston was sold after listening through Madrugada's third outing "Grit". The revised version of the album that was originally released domestically in autumn 2002 is awarded five out of five starts by an enthusiastic critic.
Quotes from the review: "According to the boys in Madrugada, if your band hails from the Norwegian port of Bergen you will sound melodic and sweet (see Röyksopp and Kings of Convenience). Oslo, meanwhile, is a haven for punk. But if you're from the north's ragged archipelagos, where winter and summer extremes compete to send people mad, then you stand a great chance of turning out music that is as intensely dark and broody as Grit. Darkness defines this band, from their name (it's Spanish for the hour before sunrise) to their love of rock's choicest dark forces, such as Nick Cave, Iggy Pop and the punk-blues legends the Gun Club. Recorded in Berlin, Grit, their third album, should launch Norway's biggest rock band worldwide. It really is that good. Sivert Hoyem leads the way, though his mahogany voice and fine poetic line in paranoid disaffection is matched mood swing to mood swing by the guitarist Robert Buras. While Ready and Lucy One are full-tilt Iggy Pop-style rockers and Blood Shot Adult Commitment is a gritty, menacing beast of a song, Madrugada excel at slowburning languor. I Don't Fit and Belladonna sound like Nick Cave fronting Crazy Horse, but these tracks are bettered by a strings-driven Majesty, a throbbing Hands Up I Love You, a swampy Got You and a ghostly, aching Ready to Carry You. Don't bother visiting Detroit for the current hottest source of bluesy rock — Madrugada's tiny home town of Stokmarknes is where it's at."
The Sunday Telegraph's James Delingpole is equally pleased: "Loosely translated from the Old Norse, Madrugada means 'mighty, magic-mushroom-ravaged wlf that devours all in its path'. No, I just made that up, but they come from Norway, and their music does indeed sound gloriously majestic, druggy and all-consuming. In fact, to see them live has leapt to the top of my list of New Year ambitions because apparently they're great. They're most often compared to Nick Cave, which is vaguely true in that they're dark and brooding but with very pretty tunes, and occasionally you'll get these twangy Western-style guitars cutting through the Nordic bleakness. The singer has a handsome, weary, tobacco beaten voice, not dissimilar to Mark Lanegan's, and sounds particularly fetching on the achingly lovely ballad Majesty, which, along with slow-burn, throbbing epic Belladonna, is the track most likely to smite you dead of joy."
Q Magazine's Cila Warncke awards the release four out of five stars and declares "Crikey! It's Norway's answer to The Hives! A bunch of bored Norwegians desperate to escape the mind-numbing ennui of small-town life, Madrugada arrive in a thrilling squall of garage rock. On its own, the visceral opener Blood Shot Adult Commitment spits more raw emotion than The Hives' entire back catalogue, while, elsewhere, there's raucous Jesus and Mary Chainesque noise (I don't Fit, Lucy One) and brooding ballads (Majesty, Hand's Up –I Love You) that are pitched halfway between Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. Let's hop Howlin' Pelle is taking notes".
The Evening Standard's John Aizlewood joins in: "Stirring!" is his conclusion.
Madrugada's Grit was released in the UK on March 1 on Music for Nations/EMI
Also watch out for Madrugada vocalist Sivert Høyem's solo album “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Opposition” that was released by Virgin/EMI on the domestic market in March. The album's first single "Far from here" has seen heavy domestic airplay and international interest is picking up.
Madrugada guitarist Robert Burås also has a solo project up his sleeve. The aptly titled project My Midnight Creeps has garnered very positive live-reviews and is rapidly gaining a loyal domestic crowd. A band to watch.