2003 - November 4.
Advertisement in Sandefjords Blad, Saturday November 1. 2003
Article in Tønsbergs Blad, Wednesday November 5. 2003
Translation by Dag Sirnes:
New success for Silje
Silje Nergaard with
bands and strings
Reviewed by Svein Berg
Last night, she once again took over Nøtterøy Kulturhus, and that exactly on the day seven months after she was last on this stage, Silje Nergaard. Then seated, for special reasons. That concert was the last before she went on maternity leave. The concert yesterday was the first outside Oslo after little Karla (4 months) was born. In the preview it is said that Silje loves her audience in Nøtterøy Kulturhus. Flattering of course.
After yesterday's meeting, you can safely say that love is pretty mutual. All seats were occupied, and more than that. Over 400 listeners, in other words. Most recently, the audience was captivated and excited, perhaps mesmerized, for whatever reason: the songs perhaps, or the accompanying lyrics, or her soon playful and effortless, soon inviting and seductive performances. Probably a combination of most of the above.
Regardless: Silje Nergaard (37) is a rather unique and special musical personality in the Norwegian music sky. This star has been bright and sparkling for quite a few years now. And still does. She is constantly evolving, she is constantly adding new ale to her growth.
As many as 11 of yesterday's 15 songs were taken from her latest CD "Nightwatch" which was released as recently as a couple of weeks ago and which immediately set a Norwegian record: 27,000 copies after only being out in stores for a week. Self-composed songs with lyrics signed by the Scot Mike McGurk, except for one, "This is not America", which is signed Pat Metheny / David Bowie. ''Nighwatch'' is Silje's third album with jazz-influenced music and English lyrics, and a continuation and extension of her previous ''At first light'', by the way the best-selling Norwegian jazz record of all time with as many as 80,000 in Norway alone.
What is the recipe for this unique success? Of course, as already mentioned, it must be a happy combination of several factors. The extremely sensitive and eloquent lyrics signed by Mike McGurk, the simple reflections on the theme of life, people and nature, on dream and longing, on hope, faith, love and disappointments, - are lyrics that have a special appeal to Silje's sensitive mind and that in turn triggers the breathtaking musical expression. Songs that offer surprising twists, rhythm changes and tempo changes. Simple in its design, but ingenious in its expression. All are hardly equally viable. But many of them have an enormous power in them, such as calm and sentimental "Dance Me Love" and "Unbreakable Heart".
One issue in itself, and quite important of course, is the artist's charisma on stage, low-key, sparkling and above all gripped by the message she wants to convey. And that with softness, warmth and clear voice. Singing recitation, one might call it, with herself as conductor of herself. The texts are conveyed with clear diction. Exemplary.
With her on stage, she had her regular three-man band, elegantly playing together, with Tord Gustavsen on keyboards, Harald Johnsen on bass, and Jarle Vespestad on drums. During this concert, the guitarist Hallgrim Bratberg was also present, and 12 strings were hand-picked from the Vestfold Symphony Orchestra, which greatly contributed to the depth and new dimensions of the tailor-made arrangements. Most things went fairly smoothly, though with the occasional volcanic eruption from the band.
All in all, an exciting concert with dozens of highlights.
Still popular: Silje Nergaard gathered over 400 listeners in Nøtterøy Kulturhus last night. Photo: Per Moe