Francobollo w/ Hanne Kolsto & Lowly: The Lexington, London – live review

Francobollo w/ Hanne Kolsto & Lowly – The Lexington, London

October 30, 2014

Scandinavia descends on London, as Francobollo, Hannae Kolsto and Lowly bring the capital a taste of their respective countries scenes. Louder Than War’s Keith Goldhanger reviews.

An evening that surprises the casual punter more than a crazy dressed up zombie will with a fake blood capsule protruding from the lips. We’ve seen FRANCOBOLLO previously, LOWLY have provided us with a magnificent tune already this year and that’s enough to justify wandering along in the hope that whoever will be gracing the stage between these two artists will be equally as impressive.
This is an event brought to us from an organisation called “JA JA JA” who give us a free bag as we peruse the merchandise stall attempting to establish without the aid of our specs who the middle artist is and nodding appreciatively as we are told this information but forget as the information travels from one ear and out the next. However, not only are we tooled up with Google when we get home, we also appear to be winners of a just made-up competition that’s been arranged in the form of a free CD just for telling them how much we enjoyed the set – Bingo ! and Thank you. JA JA JA seem to be involved with a few bands located in Northern Europe and it is felt that their movements should be carefully witnessed if tonight is anything to go by.
First off and to begin the evening we get LOWLY opening the proceedings with this cracker of a tune that we fell in love with the moment our ears twitched as it was released over the radio airwaves in the Summer.


Lowly are from Aaarhus, one of our favourite Danish locations that some of us visited many moons ago and for that we are happily reminded of some of the Danish bands of yesteryear that some of us had the pleasure in hearing whilst this six piece were probably still at school. Lowly’s strength is in the female duo’s powerfully vocal harmonies. Like Abba without the cheesy bits but with drums that grind away menacingly and euphoric synths that make it all sound up to date and joyous. We like the fact that the blonde half of the duo is laughing continuously as she plays her guitar in between the shared vocals and the dark haired one is dancing like Ian Curtis whilst the rest of the band play alongside each other like they have two lots of the Liz Fraser’s (Cocteau Twins) playing side by side.

Hopefully , we’ll see LOWLY again one day.

We discovered once our spectacles were relocated that the baseball hat wearing lady in the long black tasselled cape who gave us the CD was Norwegian songstress HANNE KOLSTO

As was the case with Lowly, HANNE KOLSTO too was seeing the inside of a dark room near King’s Cross and experiencing this as “London” for the first time. It’s obvious that her visit here is something of a big deal and The Lexington is a very good venue to play host to these tunes that some of us have never had the pleasure to have previously heard. It’s synth based pop music reminds us of times like our Canadian friend JOHN GRANT who’s last album we’re still in awe of. This was the most instantly likeable track from the CD we blagged ….


FRANCOBOLO (From Sweden and based in North London) are a glorious mess who seem to fuse the wonderful happy tones of PAVEMENT with pieces of free form Jazz that are sometimes improvised to the point of collapse only to spring up again before they hit the ground into loveable choruses and verses that only the personnel up there on this stage seem to understand. It’s a great varied set that takes off in so many directions that keep the crowd transfixed and wondering just how these boys manage to dance with their guitars at ten times the pace as there own songs traval along at . We need more artists like Francobolo to be honest. Predicable isn’t a word to associate them with but they make us happy every time we see them and realise we need to spend a bit more time than we have done recently in their company.


I’m sure this is probably being arranged via the people in charge of such things who we’re told may be in possession of a new album before next year is out.

A Danish band , a Norweigian one and some blokes from Sweden ……now if I could get a dozen more and some judges I could be onto something ……

Spend a few minutes to watch and make friends with these crazy lovely people.


Each band is on Facebook: LowlyHannae Kolsto and Francobollo.

All words by Keith Goldhanger. More from Keith can be found at his Author Archive.

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Keith Goldhanger -- Spent the '90s as a frontman with London noise merchants HEADBUTT - spent the '80s in 'Peel favourites' BASTARD KESTREL. Spent a few years mashing up tunes and remixing bands as HIDEOUS WHEEL INVENTION. Is often out and about getting in the way of things and bumping his head on low ceilings - Will give your band the time of day but will dislike any band that balances full pints of alcohol on the top of guitar amps (Not keen on lead singers that wear hats either).



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