¥ What makes man different from others – is that he is aware of himself, he is able to reflect upon himself and analyse how his environment influences him. Millions of years of evolution has passed and the exploration of consciousness seems to have been forgotten – Are you ready to expand your consciousness ? ¥ – Nordic Giants
Seven gigs, in seven cities. Seven new films, and seven songs, remixed and reworked with the intention of exposing people to seven Depths Of Consciousness. We were on hand to witness number five of seven.
To the rear of the stage , a full size screen, towards the front a light box, simultaneously projecting a series of films, quotations and graphics. To the left, synthesizers. The right a drum kit,and a lone guitar, and microphones. Lots of microphones. Adorned in feathers, furs and bones, our protagonists are seated at opposite sides of the stage. The look is shamanistic and adds yet another intriguing facet to the proceedings.
Throughout the set there are no words from Loki (keys) and Roka (drums), this tour see’s them doing away with guest vocalists that have often featured in the past. Instead we get a full on assault of the senses as the music melds perfectly with the visuals.
As a band, the duo are often in shadows, bursts of light hint rather than illuminate the players. Loki remains seated, turning occasionally to take up the trumpet. Roka’s drumming style could be described as ritualistic as he stretches his arms and body high above the skins.For the odd track he takes to the stage front to play a guitar, decorated with feathers with a bow.
Is this music as art? Or art as music? Whatever you want to call it, you’ll be hard pressed to find a live act that uses the combination of visual and aural media to such outstanding effect. It’s difficult to fully reflect the experience of the show in words. It’s more than a band playing to a visual backdrop. The timings of the beats, and changes of pace from the musicians is choreographed to compliment the visuals, and with that we include the lights as much as the film. The set has a dystopian feel. At times it’s very, very dark both in mood and light, but there are also brief moments of humour, whilst maintaining an ever present feeling of the ethereal. People are genuinely stood awestruck by what they are witnessing before them.
The encore see’s the duo return to the stage, but rather than take up the instruments they wait as another short film, probably the most challenging of the evening plays out. The screens show what appear to be people running away from something and towards each other. Finally the image on the screen pans away to reveal a man, the one in the film, trussed up in a cell – a figure enters and puts a cattle gun to his head. The screen pans out further to show an increasing number of cells all containing people trussed the same. The figure with the cattle gun is seen moving from cell to cell coldly executing one after the other. Poignant and shocking it leads into the final track of the evening.
As the show ends, both members take a bow as they receive the genuine accolades of the crowd. Before leaving the building, one has to check your senses, refamiliarize yourself with the fact that it is a Monday night in Leeds. It’s been a trip. Intriguing, informative, challenging and totally absorbing. Nordic Giants live, an experience that will be hard to forget and one that everyone should experience at least once. Definitely one of the best gigs of the year.
GALLERY: just click on any pic to see full size)
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