GRY CONCERT IN LILLE VEGA, COPENHAGEN, OCT. 30TH. 1998.


PHANTASMAGORIA

It was never obvious exactly when the concert began. The audience dropped in from the nearby café and sat on the floor and along the walls. The atmosphere was very relaxed and informal, in the audience as well on the stage, where some of the musicians were already jaming: Gry Bagøien (vocals), Mr. Morph (human beat box), Sebastian Hess (celloplayer and sequencer controller) and the saxophone player, Sture Ericksson. The drummer, Saskia Von Klitzing , and the bassplayer, Sjang Coenen, joined them one by one.

The best part of this “jam-session” was when Mister Morph wanted to use the megaphone, which didn’t work. He tried to make it work by shaking it, but it didn’t help. Instead he began to “rap” the lyrics from “Touch of E!”, the title track of their record, Gry joined him, and a very intimate moment developed, he and she so intensively involved in the rythm and the breaks, following eachothers intentions in their eyes. Gry shyly laughed at the end, but it was really captivating.
During this, Mufti was mingling with the audience, dressed in a large suit, chequered in red and green, which made him look somewhat clownish. Right in front of the stage some younger people began dancing, a special sort of “performance-dance-game”. They were mirroring eachother and they knew exactly what the other person was going to do and when. Some of them connected in one or two points, at the heads or the hands.
A large part of the audience was this special type of people. I think they are involved with a school in Copenhagen called "Gøglerskolen" which is a school for alternative theatre. Gry has been to a school called "Akademiet for utæmmet kreativitet" (“The Academy for untamed Creativity”), which is a part of “Gøglerskolen”. Right next to "Gøglerskolen", there is a place called "Ørkenfortet" ("The Desert Fortress"), which is a kind of theater, where people can make performances for little money. It's a base for many performing people and their projects.
Last year Gry appeared in a performance there, called “1/2 pingvin med pommes frites” (“1/2 a penguin with French fries”). A performance everybody could join, with “Super-Gry” hanging in a wire from the ceiling ready to rescue who ever should come in need.


ANARCHY

Finally Mufti came on stage. The light too, and we all rose. Gry attached herself to the huge, white dress, which in fact is the backdropcarpet. She also wore this at the Berlin-concert in July. The dress fixated her, hampered her quite a bit, and the air-effect, filling up the dress, seemed dull for that length of time. Also, in Berlin they all seemed isolated on their platforms, playing for themselves, which made the concert seem a bit private.
At this concert in Copenhagen, there was anarchy on stage, as one of my companions put it. A lamp which had been placed on the drummers platform fell to the ground, but nobody noticed. Gry soon unwrapped from her dress, allowing her to move freely. Mufti dropped his jacket and the waistcoat - in the same pattern as the jacket. Underneath he wore a shirt with the Gry-logo (twisted in wire) printet on the left side of the chest. He was jumping about, smiling from behind his sampler-rack. He seems so very proud of the band. And rightly too, they have been together for a longer time now and seem confident with the material. Mufti seemed especially to connect with the drummer, Saskia, and as she was placed on a platform they had ample chance of eye contact above the heads of the rest of the band. They would look at each other, and in combined effort create the most beautiful rhythmical patterns in perfect sync.
The entire band had plenty of energy and was able to make this a very interesting and relevant concert. Presenting those wonderful tunes from this most unique universe they have created. Based upon Muftis samples and strange noises and surprising elements, such as an overwhelming stringarrangement, fitting for a filmscore. And Gry’s lyrics!
I really enjoy Gry’s writing. A sentence like “I fake me strong in water, wind brings in my eyes”, from "Poles Apart" I find absolutely wonderful. She has a very liberated view of the words that is unique, a way of mixing english and danish words into one single sentence “When tanglopper jump into midnattens toner”, from "Sværmere". Gry has this very special way of using and even pronouncing the Danish language. Not that it’s a dialect, I assume she’s from Copenhagen like me, but she explores the possibilities in the sounds of the language. The lyrics which are completely in Danish are really great too. “Luftantenner” are extremely wellwritten and delicate in the alliterations. And then she has this most successful way of making the whole thing sound French!

After only one hour concert they had to stop, because the opening of a nightclub was about to take place in that very same venue. The encore consisted of two songs they had already done once: “Poles Apart” and “Sværmere”, tight and catchy, the highlight of the evening.

If you ever get the chance, DO go to a Gry concert!


Setlist.

Perfume for Phantoms
“When you think you’re all alone” (new)
Touch of E! (duett)
Black Balloon

Mufti came on stage

“Times takes a triangle” (new)
Sværmere
Poles apart
Far from flesh
Luftantenner
“?” (new)
Black Balloon
Touch of E!
Everything or all
Old Raven

Encore

Poles apart
Sværmere