A first for me – two Norwegian groups in as many months, though it’s fair to say that the electro offering from Tromsø natives Röyksopp is about as far removed from the set I witnessed by countrymen Combichrist last month as Norway is from Melbourne.
Comparisons therefore end here. Not that there were any to start with really. Other than being Norwegian… and dressing up.
Carrying passports bearing the names Torbjørn Brundtland and Svein Berge , Röyksopp kick off their Big Day Out sideshow at Melbourne’s Palace complex to a packed crowd on the lower two levels. It’s a crowd that are aged the other side of thirty to many other Big Day Out revelers, but treated to Röyksopp’s first Australian tour since forming in 1998, they were in great voice. Not to mention armed with some pretty decent moves.
The opening was epic – emerging through the smoke and backlit lights, the duo, joined by a couple of bass players in costumes that probably wouldn’t have got you into Stylus back in the day, kicked off almost ten minutes of building electronica. 2005′s Alpha Male was lapped up by the crowd.
Happy Up Here followed, with Berge stepping out from behind the wall of synths to prowl the stage. Plenty of the sounds are pre-recorded, but Röyksopp seem to have the balance right between being true to the sounds and putting on a live spectacle for their fans.
A huge highlight tonight was the inclusion of The Alcoholic, the first time anything from Senior – 2010′s ambient follow up to Junior – has been played live. It’s a welcome slowdown to a frenetic first hour.
It’s a brilliant venue for the Norwegians with a dedicated local following, and by far the best Norwegian act I’ve seen this year…
Photos taken for Tone Deaf