Nordic Giants – Bush Hall, London, UK (3rd November 2017)

There are two categories of live music spectator in the UK today; those who haven’t seen Nordic Giants, and those who have. Spellbindingly enigmatic music, unapologetically visionary idealism, with an inseparable cinematic spectacle; new viewers, prepare to leave all expectations at the door.

Theatre, music, cinema or motivational speech? Nordic Giants is a compilation of them all, not only transcending but destroying the barriers of modern live music. Loki and Roka, the enigmatic duo of Nordic Giants, step onto the stage as Scandinavian gods, both in imposing costume and in defying stage presence. Together they weave an entwined web of short films and animations, provocative speeches and quotes, and of course their ever-memorable multi-layered music of drums, keyboard, bowed guitar, trumpet and more. Recalling that there’s only two people up on stage is humbling.

The duo’s autumn 2017 tour begins with an ensemble of their very best auditory and visual experiences. As ever, their finest compilations remain ‘Together’ and ‘Mechanical Minds’; performed with the same unflinching intensity in every show, each breath is a commanding gathering of strength. Now, featured for the first time, are the latest pieces from their new documentary film soundtrack ‘Amplify Human Vibration’.

There is an inspiring shift in their new work. Nordic Giants are blazing the path in today’s post-rock scene not only with the capacity of their live shows but with their underlying and overriding belief in fundamental change. Forsaking lyrics in the majority of their songs, they instead employ snippets from luminaries such as Martin Luther King and John Trundell. Behind all of the heady magic and enchantment is a clear visionary message. And their message for a while has been that the world is in political and ecological danger: “evolve or perish, grow up or die”.

Now, ‘Amplify Human Vibration’, the latest chapter in their work, brings a new dawn to this message – every person has the potential to make a positive impact on this world, particularly when we unite as one. Their new pieces and films bring an expanded spectrum to their performances that will delight recent and seasoned fans alike.

Bush Hall tonight has successfully embraced some of the sheer scope and diversity of the post-rock genre, with complementing support acts from ambient duo VLMV (previously ALMA) and instrumental post-rock group pg.lost (even though they’re the most well-known act there, it’s difficult to imagine Nordic Giants as a support act for anyone). At the end of the performance, a very special surprise is unveiled; VLMV joins the stage with a rousing accompaniment to their grand finale and encore.

In a saturated modern music scene, Nordic Giants live theatrical performances of masks, visuals, light and energy are a sensory epiphany. Fans will leave their shows re-energised, believing not only in magic, but even more importantly, in a hope for the future.

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