Kvelertak – live review
We reviewed Kvelertak last February in Oslo. Since then they have become the band that everyone is watching with their AC/DC on steroids gonzoid metal punk about to make a big breakthrough. Ted Dahlin reports on a live gig from the Norwegian band who are about to tour the UK.
Kvelertak is a Norwegian punkrock/metal band that originates from Stavanger, Norway. They describe themselves as a “brutally catchy punk rock/metal band with a taste of groovy darkness. I caught up with them at their sold out gig at the Student Union in Trondheim on Friday. The band consists of:
- Erlend Hjelvik
- Bjarte Lund Rolland
- Maciek Ofstad
- Vidar Landa
- Kjetil Gjermundr
- Marvin Nygaard
I had a little chat with Erlend Hjelvik, frontman and vocals, just before the gig started. He is dark and stocky and everything you would expect of a heavy metal singer. His hair is long and dark and his facial hair is wild and reminiscent of Viking pillagers. He greets my team cheerfully and tells me that they are playing a gig almost every night on their tour. They travel around in a huge band bus that houses them all and they sleep whilst several drivers take turns in driving them through the night to their next venue. It is mainly to sold out concerts around Europe.
KVELERTAK, KVELERTAK, KVELERTAK!! The crowd scream and leave us in no doubt about what it is they want. We have just seen the last of three warm up bands leave the stage and it is empty and dark and the whole place is buzzing with anticipation. At 11.30 pm the first band members enter the stage. Guitars are plugged in and tuned and the drummer hits his drums a couple of times making those of us nearest the stage jump. Suddenly the lights go on and Erlend Hjelvik enters to the blasting sounds of their first song MjÃÂ¸d (Viking expression for beer). The crowd go wild and I feel my heart beating to the rhythm of the drums and bass as the sound is very loud. Fans start jumping up and down and pressing hard forward towards the pit in front of the stage where my photographer is standing. Arms are in the air making the traditional thumb and little finger that we associate with heavy metal. Hjelvik sings in Norwegian with his unique voice that seems to rasp your soul. He has “it”Â in buckets and we find ourselves mesmerised by his performance. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes before he removes his t-shirt and leather vest and faces the audience topless and covered in tattoos. We go on from one song to the next and he head bangs his long dark hair to the frantic beats. The fans mainly consist of young men in their 20’s. Some eager fans throw plastic cups filled with beer towards the stage, hitting those of us standing there in the back of the head. I see one photographer turn and look in to the audience irritably holding a wet camera.
One hour later Hjelvik and the band leave the stage to screaming and clapping fans after giving us an almost euphoric experience that nobody wants to end. It is an impressively energetic performance and I am impressed Hjelvik can deliver night after night. The band Kvelertak are soon coming to England. If you want to see them you had better be quick. The London gig has been sold out for a month now.
- 21/11 O2 Academy 2, Oxford
- 22/11 O2 Academy 3, Birmingham
- 23/11 Empire Music Hall, Belfast
- 24/11 O2 ABC 2, Glasgow
- 25/11 The Roadhouse, Manchester
- 26/11 The Underworld, London
They are well worth the ticket price and remember their name because we haven’t heard the last of these guys. And remember, you heard it here on LTW first”Â¦”Â¦.
Photos by JBD