Brighton, May 10-12

Norway at The Great Escape

by Webmaster, 02.05.2012

Six Norwegian acts take the stage during this year's The Great Escape in Brighton.

The Great Escape festival has become known as one of the most important showcasing arenas for the international music scene, working as a collection ground for key representatives of the music industry. And this year’s Great Escape festival is a truly great one for Norway, with six Norwegian acts taking the stage. 22, Young Dreams, Philco Fiction, Razika, Like Spinning and Jarle Bernhoft are all part of the official festival program together with the Swedish Karin Park who is based in Norway and the partly Norwegian band All We Are.

There is also a Norwegian delegation of nearly 20 industry professionals headed to Brighton for the event to take advantage of the great networking possibilities and the conference. The Norwegian presence at The Great Escape is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy.

The travel party includes representatives from these companies: Phonofile, Stageway, Made, Waterfall, Brilliance, Spoon Train, Splendour, Your Favourite Music, Liquid Chili and Propeller Recordings, as well as the Royal Embassy and Music Export Norway. Please email uk(at) to if you wish to get in contact with anyone in the Norwegian delegation.

Also, Norwegian technology pioneer Dagfinn Bach of Bach Technology will be interviewed in the keynote MusicTank presents Your Favourite Track May Destroy The Planet, which is followed by a panel discussion about the energy costs of digital music consumption.

The Guardian New Band of the Day and other presenters

Paul Lester is the journalist behind the Guardian’s daily column ‘New Band of the Day’, which introduces the latest up-and-coming band of his choosing. He also contributes to The Sunday Times, the Daily Express, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Q (magazine) and GQ (magazine), amongst others. For this year’s Great Escape he has used his experience with new musical talent to curate the gigs for the ‘New Band of the Day’- stage. Here the Guardian will be showcasing 12 bands over three nights - Razika, Philco Fiction and Bernhoft are amongst the chosen acts to perform. This means that 25% of the line up for this stage is Norwegian.

The Great Escape festival hosts a several stages like this, promoted by various music publications, record labels and other music related organisations. This year Young Dreams are playing Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar presented by the independent online music publication ‘the Line of Best Fit’ and 22 are performing at the music magazine ‘Rock Sound’s stage and at Komedia, presented by the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM).

All We Are is part of the Something/Nothing Records-showcase which is in connection with Alternative Escape and 22 is also giving a show at Alternative Escape presented by Best Before Records.

Presenting the bands

22 is back at The Great Escape. The four-piece have been compared to Mars Volta and Muse, their sound best described as progrock/pop with their melodic tunes and heavy guitar.

These days the band is launching their first worldwide release – a double CD/DVD of their debut album ‘Flux’, which they are currently promoting in Japan and Europe. 22 is releasing this record via the site which encourages the fans to pledge their fandom to help get the album released and get access to extra material such as exclusive t-shirts and signed posters.

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In 2010 the band Young Dreams uploaded some tracks on facebook and instantly caught the attention of both national and international press and blogs, including The Guardian, Rough Trade and The Fader. Producing a mix of dreamy pop, psychedelic rock and tropicália infused with classical elements, the band has released two 7” to rave reviews - their debut album is to be released later this year. The album is mastered and mixed by Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Garbage, Goldfrapp, Grizzly Bear, Interpol and Mogwai), and will be released on Tellé Records. Young Dreams was, together with Razika, brought to London by Øyafestivalen and Music Export Norway to showcase, playing at KOKO for over 1700 people and the Lexington for mostly industry professionals.

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Karin Park is a native Swede currently based in Oslo, where she has had the chance to embark on a musical career. Her sound has been called dark and enchanting, and not without reason. Inspired by artists like The Cure, Depeche Mode, Björk and PJ Harvey the music is centred on a steady beat with a soft vocal weaving through the electronic embellishments uttering hypnotic and dark lyrics. Karin Park new album ‘Highwire Poetry’ will be released on the 28th of May, which includes the track ‘Restless’ recently released as a single with a remix by Reuben Wu of Ladytron.

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From Norway’s capitol Oslo hails Philco Fiction, an electropop-trio which delivers an astonishing mix of haunting vocals and smooth, yet upbeat electro melodies. Approaching the worldwide release of their record ‘Take it Personal’ the band has received a great amount of attention in the UK from being picked as the New Band of the Day by the Guardian in January to blog posts about their videos for the tracks ‘Finally’ and ‘I Want You’ more recently.

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Philco Fiction’s manager Ruben Nesse has in connection with the new album release and the band's many concerts in the UK in fact decided to take part in Music Export Norway’s relocation programme. This allows him to temporarily relocate to London and work from MEN’s office whilst getting travel support.

- The relocation programme is a fantastic opportunity to improve my relationship with the UK music industry and further develop the connections I have gained already. Philco Fiction is playing the Great Escape festival and other London concerts, and the album is released internationally in July, so it is important to be on the scene. It will also be important for the international advance of our other artists such as Tomorrow We Move to Hawaii and Social Suicide, which are beginning to get a foot in the door of the international music market, he says.

Razika is a five-piece girl band which was featured with Young Dreams on two occasions in London when the Øya festival showcased Norwegian talent in collaboration with Music Export Norway earlier this year. Their ska-pop 2 tone music has received great reviews both in Norway and the rest of the world, being praised especially for their youthful charm, upbeat sentiments and catchy songs by both the US Pitchfork Magazine and UK’s Drowned in Sound. Since the debut album Program 91, Razika has been around the world showcasing in London, Berlin and in Austin, Texas at SXSW.

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The one man-band Bernhoft plays with jazz, pop, hip-hop, soul and funk creating a musical experience that has earned him world-wide recognition. He has been present on the music scene for a number of years and has known both national and international success as part of the rock band Span and as a solo artist. In 2011 his album ‘Solidarity Breaks’ was released to great reviews and standing ovations. His video ‘C’mon talk’ has gained almost 3 million views on youtube, he has appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show in the US, won the Norwegian Grammy for Best Male Artist and was granted the Statoil grant of 1 million Norwegian kroner (approximately £100 000).

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All We Are is a partly Norwegian band formed in the summer of 2011 in Liverpool, immediately going on tour with Stealing Sheep and releasing their debut EP, which got great praise from BBC 6 Music DJs Tom Robinson and Marc Riley. They deliver melodic folk-inspired pop inspired by artists like Bon Iver and Joni Mitchell, as well as Brazilian classical music. Having released their second EP ‘We Hunt’ this April, All We Are is embarking on another extensive tour, including two unofficial gigs at the Great Escape festival, and slots at Liverpool Sound City and Fusion Festival in Germany. They are also set to release a mini-debut album in late September.

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Like Spinning is based in London, and consisting of members from both Norway and UK. They've been played on BBC Introducing with Tom Robinson on Radio 6, they've played the Communion night in Bristol, and lately they've played at venues like Slaughtered Lamb and Old Queens Head, the latter as support for Emily & The Woods. Over the next couple of months they're playing at The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City, and they've been booked to Hop Farm Festival this summer.  Like Spinning released their debut, self titled EP in 2011, and the double single Forces / My Window January 2012. Both releases can be heard on their website After summer they're going back in the studio to record for a new release, to be released early 2013.

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