An animated crowd of poured into Heaven nightclub on Tuesday night, eager to catch a glimpse of Norwegian five-piece Highasakite. Despite it’s weeknight scheduling, the quintet’s presence had pulled in a full house of revellers, energetically anticipating the arrival of the Scandie (Scandinavian Indie™) band.
Nestled in at the front of the packed venue, it was dead on 9pm when the first of the five members made their way on stage, excited yelps from the crowd reverberating off the big brick walls. One by one Kristoffer Lo, Øystein Skar, Trond Bersu and Marte Eberson slinked onto the elevated platform, expertly casting a tangible suspense over all in attendance. The brooding silence was finally pierced as front-woman Ingrid Helene Håvik appeared, hood up, submerged in a huge black coat. This initial appearance could not have anticipated the angelic voice that erupted from deep within the layers of dark material, and the audience rejoiced as she kicked things off with My Name is Liar, the first track of their latest album and the perfect crescendo opener.
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The new record, Camp Echo, were the reason these guys were here; their newest creation an experimental fusion blending every aspect of their musically trained backgrounds; from indie, jazz and folk, at times infusing the classic ballad formula with a techno twist.
When it was time to perform fan favourites Hiroshima and Leaving No Traces, from their 2014 Silent Treatment EP, the venue was injected with a wave of harmonic folk-like bliss, the crowd engulfed in an uplifting interlude during which Håvik’s vocal finesse was demonstrated with mesmerising mastery. Throughout the show the Norwegian beauty managed to balance her rock star stage presence (kitted out in all black, enormous platform biker boots) with a vulnerable, understated aura, making her a truly endearing performer. She cannot be accused of hogging the limelight as all members brought their own tricks to the party. Bandmate Kristoffer Lo could be seen simultaneously swapping between string and brass instruments, demonstrating his well versed musical background. Marte Eberson, Håvik’s female counterpart, appeared to be the angel to her devil, contrastingly clad in head to toe sheer white lace, creating a contrasting ethereal stage presence akin to a new-age Kate Bush.
The band’s recent hit single and a former GIGSoup Track of the Day, Someone Who’ll Get It, was the clear favourite of the night; a sea of beaming faces reciting the lyrics back to the band in acute unison.
Densely atmospheric and dizzyingly ethereal from start to finish, Highasakite are unapologetically incapable of being labelled, their music refusing to be confined to the limits of just one genre. They are the sort of music I didn’t even know I liked until I witnessed it expertly executed firsthand. Turns out there was a Highasakite sized hole in my heart and thankfully, Since Last Wednesday, this space has now been filled.