Review: Frida Hyvönen at Bush Hall

I get excited about shows like this like 5 year olds do about birthdays and Christmas. I looked forward to this show for the weeks leading up to it.

I got there about 10 minutes after doors and had some tricky business with the guestlist. I always prefer to have a physical ticket as oppose to guestlists/e-tickets, because you never know for certain if it all went through OK. It was 7.40 and I went and took a seat on the red carpet floor. Bush Hall is a magnificent venue. It’s beautiful, my only complaint is the lighting, but the lighting that night was actually pretty good and I did a little internal somersault of joy. As much as I have gotten used to popping along to shows alone it’s always brilliant when I can meet up with some pals and talk music and photography, which made the evening more fun.

The first band were called Joe Gideon & The Shark. Joe Gideon was the male part and ‘The Shark’ was his sister Viva. They were pretty awesome. Everyone was sitting on the floor, Bobbles and I stood up and got ready, but Viva laughed and said they weren’t starting yet. We can’t help it if we’re eager! I stood for the first part of their set but then the heat of a hundred eyes burning holes in the back of my head forced me to sit. People need to stand up at shows! I got a few shots anyhow and they are on my Flickr. Soundwise, The Shark is what makes the band stand out. Her drumming skills are spectacular and a joy to watch. She was like a woman possessed, it was brilliant. I’d quite like to catch them again sometime.

We readied ourselves to make our move to the prime photography spot depending on how the stage people set up Frida’s piano. We executed it pretty well and got the best spot in the house, right beside Frida. Although it could be argued ‘the rock’ (an old man who doesn’t move for anybody) had the best spot. Frida played quite a full set of songs from Silence Is Wild mixed up with older songs from Until Death Comes, including I Drive My Friend, which is one of my favourites. Frida was joined by a bassist/cellist and a drummer, who both contributed vocal duties. This really added a punch to the show and made it so much better than if it had just been Frida alone. Her drummer/cellist both had brilliant voices also. Frida’s voice is just amazingly good. Stunningly good. Fantastic. Not a single off note. At the start of the set Bobbles nudged me and pointed out Frida’s feet. They were trembling, it was really cute and made us both go awwwwwh. She does alot of extravagant gestures after each song, taking bows and waving her hands around. She also says quirky, strange little things like “I’ve been looking forward to this show… since I was BORN”. Set highlights for me were my favourite songs from Silence Is Wild. Dirty Dancing was spectacular, Birds was bouncy and fun and London! was obviously going to be a hit, Frida glancing up at the audience grinning whilst singing ‘London, you’re not my friend… but you can be’. At one point Frida turned around and looked at me, not a glance, she properly looked at me. It was really quite bizarre, it wasn’t any partcicular look, it was a neutral look that lasted about 3 seconds, which is about  2 seconds too many. I wondered what she was thinking. At one point she made up a little improvised song about getting help, because her drummer needed some help with a monitor. It was funny and sweet. Frida’s songs are quite whimsical but also quite serious. An example would be the song December. This is going to make me sound very slow, but it took me about 10 listens before I realised this song wasn’t about going to the dentist. I’m not even kidding. Surely that line ‘rid of us of our little trouble, our unwanted pregnancies…‘ was the killer hint, but somehow I did not catch this line despite several listens. Scandinavian Blonde was epic, especially as there were so many Scandinavian blondes present. She didn’t play all the songs on her setlist, she missed off Oh Shanghai which is a shame. To conclude, it was a stunning show. Second best of the year, but vocal wise it was the best and is going to take quite some singer to contest this title. Frida is a brilliant musician and I can’t wait to see her again. I feel sad that it’s passed now, I just hope she plays here again soon. Catch her if you can, listen to her record Silence Is Wild and marvel and what a great music you are hearing. Visit her website.

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