The aptly named Frost Festival takes place in February - amid the bleak Danish winter - offering a series of curated events scattered throughout Copenhagen. According to its organisers Frost is all about “creating new concert experiences in alternative locations… churches, museums, strip clubs, theatres and the botanical gardens.” These concerts bear a truly unique character that many festivals would be envious of. Clash tagged along and witnessed performances by a wide-ranging mix of Danish and international artists.
Frost kicked-off alluringly with Austrian electro prodigies Elektro Guzzi playing in an admittedly unusual setting: a Zoological Museum hall packed with two huge whale skeletons and a series of dinosaur relics. The Austrian ensemble used traditional instruments to produce a well-orchestrated minimal techno cocktail. Acerbic alpine beats echoing through a haunting Jurassic mausoleum and mingling with a flock of Copenhagen post-hipster levellers.
Los Angeles bred song writing duo Foxygen have gathered a lot of international hype in recent months. Consequently the proposition of a free show at Bremen Theatre left more than 200 queuing outside its doors in subzero temperatures. “This is not rock ‘n’ roll, this is corporate conglomerate bullshit,” shouted singer Sam France and provocatively set the tone for Foxygen’s shambolic extravaganza. While France - a cross between Mick Jagger and Jim Morrisson – easily became the centre of attention; multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Rado led a seamlessly tight band and offered a flawless live show.
Female avant-garde ensemble We Like We provided with their otherworldly noises and violin stabs the most fitting opener for a very compelling live experience in Copenhagen’s Diesel House. The house was built in order to host a mammoth-sized B&W diesel engine from 1932, which apparently for more than 30 years was the largest diesel engine in the world. Renowned Danish art-pop collective Efterklang chose this special location - perched on that very diesel engine - to perform for the very first time as the original trio - Casper Clausen, Rasmus Stolberg and Mads Christian Brauer. The set remained scarce and predominantly electronic - based on field recordings from their recent trip to Svalbard. The lucky few attendants were even treated to some new material. Everyone listened in reverent silence to a band that currently is at the top of their game.
Since their formation in the late ‘90s Copenhageners Speaker Bite Me have acquired a cult status in their homeland. Their music resides in the sonic territory between Slowdive and Sonic Youth. For Frost they saved a special performance of their critically acclaimed 2000 release 'If Love Is Missing It Must Be Imposed'. SBM were markedly in great form and their gloomy, claustrophobic anthems captivated those long-time fans who gathered in the beautiful church on Blågårds Plads.
The gig opened the hotly tipped Broken Twin (stage moniker for the extremely talented Majke Voss Romme). With a pristine voice and a bunch of slow-burning, violin-laden sorrowful compositions in her arsenal she’s bound to achieve great things.
Words and photo by Vasilis Panagiotopoulos