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A 7-piece band featuring the premier talents of a young generation of folk musicians, Frigg have developed a blend of their own called Nordgrass, a mix of Nordic folk and American bluegrass. Prepare for perfect power-folk!
Hot fiddles from cool Scandinavia – this will be a hair-raising, voice-losing, heart-burstingly beautiful gig full of traditional Finnish tunes with Norwegian detours – on the band’s first UK tour.
‘ Frigg’s an unfailingly exciting live band, a world-travelling ecstatic wall of four fiddles in unison and harmony backed by chugging, tight and never thrashed guitar, cittern or mandolin and double bass in big, swingy, all-carrying original tunes at the prow of the Kaustinen sound ’ fRoots
Fast, furious and fun, the innovative young combo features the virtuosic talents of three members of the famed Jarvela family from the central Finland village of the same name in the municipality of Kaustinen – siblings Alina and Esjo Jarvela and their cousin Antti, the band’s frontman. The three are from the family’s fourth generation of famous fiddlers though Antii turns his hand to the double bass in this unstoppable, high-energy line-up.
Boasting several multi-instrumentalists, the four front-row fiddles and double bass are complemented by Petri Prauda’s cittern, mandolin, bagpipes and jawharp, and Tuomas Logren’s guitar and dobro.
Drawing first and foremost on the folk music heritage of their homeland, their fjord and forest-imbued Nordic tunes are peppered with innovative infusions of world music styles from Celtic to Balkan and Americana, making for a truly distinctive, irrepressible and life-affirming sound.
Anda Union With Frigg, Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow
Friday 1 February 2013
Rob Adams, www.heraldscotland.com
It says much about Celtic Connections’ promotional clout that two groups with not exactly household name status making their debuts together at the festival should attract such a good attendance as this in the face of strong opposition up the road from the fairly heavily marketed BBC Folk Awards.
And next time, you can be sure both Finnish fiddle troupe Frigg and Mongolian folklore specialists Anda Union will be headlining to even more people.
The Mongolians have some Scottish friends, having created quite a stir at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, and as they did there, they brought a marvellous sense of a long and still vibrant tradition with their bi-tonal throat singing, brilliantly atmospheric arrangements and dramatic songs of love, battles and charging horses superbly depicted by vigorously bowed two-string equivalents of the cello. In their formal costumes they look quite serious but there’s mischief at work here and their playful dialogue as well as the soulful keening of their solo singers, their extraordinarily rich vocal and string harmonies, masterly flute and percussion and general joie de vivre deservedly took a trick with the Fruitmarket crowd.
With music containing familiar dance metres and occasional bluegrass and Cajun flavours, Frigg may not be quite such an exotic proposition but their superbly matched four fiddle frontline, buoyant string rhythm section and dynamic arrangements, complete with humorously choreographed movements, proved irresistible. Their attention to detail, particularly in the variety of endings, is especially admirable but overall they produced a level of accomplishment and musicality that puts them easily in the front rank alongside recent Northern European visitors such as Väsen.