Hedvig Mollestad Trio

Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen is a guitar heroine for our times. Born in the Norwegian town of Ålesund in the early 80s, she first picked up her mother’s nylon-strung acoustic guitar at the age of ten.

As an exploratory teenager she dug deep into her father’s jazz and rock record collection and translated a biography of Jimi Hendrix for a school project. Then she was given an electric guitar and amplifier as a confirmation present, and never looked back.

But there’s nothing pious about her music. Her molten, overdriven guitar sound is forged in the same fiery furnace as Hendrix, Tony Iommi, Jimmy Page, then plunged into a steaming vat of free jazz in the Sonny Sharrock/Fred Frith mould. In tracks like ‘The Rex’ and ‘Lake Acid’, you’ll hear the megalithic riffology of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ and ‘Rock ’N’ Roll’, but with an agility and intensity peculiar to the dark Northern regions where she and her bandmates were raised. Her drummer Ivar Loe Bjørnstad grew up in a Norwegian hillbilly town where the kids taste moonshine before they’ve started school. And bassist Ellen Brekken was raised on a farm and is extremely fascinated by trains – which, given her impeccable timekeeping, seems highly appropriate. ‘Now we are kind of married’, says Hedvig.

All Of Them Witches follows the Trio’s previous Rune Grammofon release, Shoot! (2011) and, like labelmates Elephant9 and Grand General, represent a thrilling new progressive wave of Norwegian avant rock/free metal energy. This latest batch of electrifying instrumentals was recorded live in the island environment of Ocean Sound studio, a grass-roofed wooden barn on the edge of the Norwegian Sea fitted with state of the art equipment, where the Trio could swim in the freezing waters before breakfast and stretch their gaze out to the horizon in mid-take. It’s no surprise that such widescreen surroundings should give rise to epic concepts, and the title of first track ‘Sing, Goddess’ takes its name from the opening line of Homer’s Iliad. Inspired by the wide open skies, ‘Shawshank’ and ‘Ghrá Rúnda’ are more reflective pieces, bathed in controlled feedback.

Tickets 25 zł in advance, 35 zł on the day of the concert

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