Manchester Albert Hall
Live Review
Nov 2018
Having had three weeks to reflect on their gig at The Albert Hall the realisation is that Wardruna are clever.
In a world of constant over stimulation Wardruna, strip things back.
Wardruna have no guitars. As a result the sounds they create are heard more clearly, the tribal drumming, the droning horns (some of almost inconceivable size), the use of voices be it single, duets or harmonies. All take turns to play centre stage and without the distraction of guitars, first your ears and then your body resonates in a different way.
Wardruna have simple visual aesthetics. Single coloured lights reveal a stage empty other than the band and their collection of replica instruments from simpler times. The backdrop implies a modest representation of nature. On the few occasions they do use a strobe the effect is vastly more impactful than expected, the body squeals with delight at the sudden bright assault on the visual senses combining with the increasing volume of the aural rhythms based around the syncopated tribal drumming.
Wardruna have a noble mission. To bring back the oral tradition of storytelling. The continuation of community through song and spoken word. To witness them live is to start to understand that this is a good thing. Experiencing Wardruna live, you feel connected. Connected to those around you that shared the experience of the gig, but also connected to something ancient within the essence of yourself.
Wardruna are special. Despite the protestations of their main man Einar Selvik, they are all about the Vikings, or at the very least about our ancestry. In a time of increasing cyber reality, Wardruna provide a welcome alternative, a beautiful conduit to the spirit of humanity.
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