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Trondheim Calling 2015: Day 1, Carnival Kids, Trondheim Calling 2015

Trondheim Calling Day One: Carnival Kids, January 29th, 2015

Feb 04, 2015 Photography by Laura Studarus Trondheim Calling 2015: Day 1
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My invitation to this year’s Trondheim Calling came with a warning—it’s a hell of a long way from Los Angeles to Trondheim, Norway. A shade under 24 hours of travel time to be precise. But what the curators of this year’s festival (Riot Factory—a record label that boasts stand-out Scandinavian acts such as Ice Cream Cathedral, Highasakite, and Angelica’s Elegy) failed to realize is that I am great at air travel. Sure I’ve cringed my way through an awkward massage, and laughed in the middle yoga class, but put me on a plane for an extended period time, and I’m the poster girl for zen. (I should really consider putting this fact on my resume under “additional skills.”)

Cut to me staggering out of the Trondheim airport with a cup of coffee in hand and a big smile on my face. The city, Norway’s third largest, tops out at 180,000 residents. Nestled in a series of mountains and dusted with snow, it felt postcard perfect. (I suspect my announcing that fact, coupled with slipping on the ice, and losing my gloves, quickly outed me a Californian.) Yes, I had packed my rose colored glasses.

The festival’s main area was tiny, only a half-dozen stages scattered around the city docks. That meant it was easy to run into friends while hopping from show to show—thus making the sense of bonding even strong. (Looking at this now several days later, the lens of memory smeared with jet lag, late nights, and Nøgne, the description seems almost impossibly quaint.) But regardless of the dusting of nostalgia we all felt by the end of the weekend, the scale was appropriate. Aimed at airing the best in upcoming Norwegian acts (none who’s name would ring a bell stateside—yet), there were no strangers at Trondheim Calling.

Our first evening started with a panel discussion on the future of the music industry in five years. (News flash: none of us on the panel—which included a record label owner, a booking agent, and a band manager in addition to me as the print representative—have any idea. But we’re all along for the ride.) It was one of the many conference-style events aimed at throwing delegates together and encouraging them to exchange ideas. (Ideas, an currency that unlike the falling Norwegian Krone, never fails to retain its value.)

The music portion of the evening was fairly light, which is good because at that point I was feeling like I had left my head back at my final layover in Oslo. Aiming to inject some energy into my evening, I caught a set from English/Norwegian quartet, Carnival Kids. Admittedly I am a pop girl at heart. (Electro, folk, happy, sad—I’m all about the pop.) But before I went down the ABBA rabbit hole, I spent my college years mainlining The Get Up Kids, Dashboard Confessional, and pretty much every other band that emerged from the Kansas City scene. So while Carnival Kids aren’t exactly “my thing” per se, their energetic performance borrowed from so many memories it was impossible not to experience the warm glimmer of enjoyment. Frontman Eric Molumby gave a neck vein-bulging, impassioned performance of songs from the band’s debut Here They Have Guns, backed by guitars and drums turned up to ear-splitting levels. (What’s Norwegian for “These amps go up to eleven?”) Norwegian crowds to seem to be big on the whole dancing or moshing thing (both with would have been appropriate) but there were definitely a few swaying fans in the crowd. Easily a happy highlight of the first night in Trondheim.

Check out photos of Carnival Kids and Barren Womb here.

Check out Carnival Kids’ mixtape here.

(www.facebook.com/trondheimcalling)

(www.facebook.com/carnivalkids)




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