December Concert picks

It might be easy to overlook the music options here and now given the fact that summer festivals Roskilde, NorthSide and Tinderbox are already doing their best to get us thinking about the warmer and brighter months ahead.

But there’s no need to hibernate until summer rolls around. Despite December being one of the busiest months of the year for most people, there are still plenty of opportunities to escape the hustle and bustle of the holidays by taking in a concert. Indeed, this month is filled with opportunities for the catharsis and enjoyment that live music brings.

For those of you who’d like a break from the madness of the festive season, there are sedate acts like Iceland’s Samaris that’ll calm the feistiest of winter nights.

Click here for The Local’s concert picks in December

For those in need of more of a release, the likes of Meshuggah and Mastodon tip the heavy metal scales for this month’s listings whilst impeccable electronic acts such as Gorgon City and Friction & Linguistics offer the chance to dance the night away. And who could forget Lykke Li, an act well and truly in a category of her own? See all ten of our picks here.


The warm and seemingly unending summer has, it seems, finally ground to a halt. But that hardly means that one’s entertainment options are limited.

Copenhagen is a strong live music town and there are always gigs going on, from international superstars to local up and comers.

Throughout October, venerable Copenhagen venue Vega has billed a strong local lineup with a few international acts to boost its booking schedule. We’ve also got a couple of concert picks from Pumpehuset and DR’s concert hall that we think are worth your money.

Click here for the October’s ten must-see concerts


What’s On Copenhagen April III

Music to lift your møjo


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(Photo: paper taste buds )
Agnes Obel

Det Kongelige Teater; Tue 22 April, 20:00; 120kr 
by Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk

After jet-propelling herself onto the scene in 2010 with her debut album Philharmonics, much was expected of pianist and composer Agnes Obel.

Philharmonics raked in the accolades thick and fast, going gold in Belgium a year after its release and catapulting Obel to a well-deserved quintet of prizes at the Danish Music Awards in 2011.

With the dust settled, Obel finally released a long-awaited follow-up to Philharmonics, the eagerly-awaited Aventine, which dropped at the windswept start of the departing winter.

While Philharmonics was more rapidly-paced and merry in an early Yann Tiersen sort of way, Aventine was darker, more introspective and obsessively detailed – a journey to the deepest confines of the soul.

Inspired by greats like Satie and Debussy, Obel seems only to have grown as an artist, exposing the frailties and emotional recesses of the persona behind the music, creating a beautiful soundscape that is not unlike the enduring beauty of a fallen leaf fading and becoming part of the autumn forest floor.

A resident of one of the world’s most inspiring cities, Berlin, Obel is seldom on Danish soil and nowadays when she does return it is to play at venues such as the Royal Theatre.

A fair ticket price should make this a very accessible show for those who are more often than not deterred somewhat by the aura of the venue.


(Photo: Facebook Page)

April 9, 2014

by Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk

Vega; Thu April 10, 20:00; 180kr

There’s more to MØ than an eccentric name. 
The Danish starlet has been trumped for the cover of Spice Girl’s  ‘Say You’ll Be There’ and consequently parallels between her music persona and that of her Brit predecessors have been drawn.
In truth, her music is deeper and far less inclined towards the pop spectrum and it’s little wonder that she’s steadily growing in popularity both locally and abroad. 
To underline this, Vega have billed her twice for their April schedule, following a sold-out show on Friday the 11th.

Chris Minh Doky & The Nomads
CPH Jazzhouse; Sat 12 April, 21:00; 265kr

(Photo: Facebook Page)

Chris Minh Doky is Niels Lan Doky’s younger brother. Together the brothers have gained global critical acclaim.  Chris and his band will be in town this April – a performance that is not to be missed.

Darville Duo
Mojo’s Blues Bar; Sun 13 April, 21:30; free adm

(Photo: Facebook Page)

Henrik Schwiecker and  Jaques Darville together form Darville Duo, ardent musicians in the blues tradition whose palette draws from influences within blues rock and rock ‘n’ roll.

Walk Off The Earth
Rust; Fri 18 April, 20:00; 165kr

(Photo: Flickr_Ozontw)

Walk Off The Earth are an Ontario-based quintet who have taken the world by storm with their surferesque guitar melodies (including the famous five people on a guitar interpretation of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I used To Know’).

Big Fat Snake
DR Koncerthuset; Fri 18 April, 20:00; 385kr

(Photo: Facebook Page)

Some classics for you golden oldies reading this. Big Fat Snake are one of Denmark’s most well known bands and their signature track ‘Bonsoir Madame’ has helped make them a household name worldwide.

Music Listings, Feb 2014

Music Listings Feb 28th- 6th March


Larica release party

BolsjeFabrikken; (Ragnhildgade 1); Fri 28th; 22:00, 20 kr

Larica are a Ska outfit that started out in the small town of Næstved a while back. They are predominantly based in Copenhagen at the moment and have grown in stature and class as the years drift. For a genre whose roots dictate the precursory period before reggae and rocksteady, ska is a genre that has been snubbed quite somewhat, particularly in a local context. Larica are one of the purveyors flying its flag high and their orchestral, brassy sound is not easy to mirror. Treat yourself a musical experience of a different sort this Friday.

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photo: Hans Jørgensen


GlobalCPH; Fri 28th; 21:00, 120 kr

When Zimbabwean band Mokoomba last visited Denmark they were remembered as solid, jolly openers of Roskilde festival’s cosmopol scene. Hailing from the picturesque Victoria Falls region, the band blend elements of reggae and traditional instrumentation to give a sound that well and truly bears all the hallmarks of modern world music, Mokoomba made a name for themselves on last year’s festival circuit, playing the likes of Sziget and Womad UK (and of course Roskilde). They’ll be looking to build on the solid local foundation they’ve built here and what better place to do so than at Global CPH ?


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Lille Vega; Sat 1st; 21:00, 130 kr

Pick of the bunch this time is Swedish band Hoffmaestro, a group of rowdy hell-raisers who managed to get an entire front-row pit of spectators to run from one side of the other at the closing concert at Roskilde festival a few years back. Fusing a blend of ska, rock, electronic and reggae, this is band whose form and status can only be understand through experiencing their show live. The original show was destined for November but had to be re-scheduled, and it marks an appropriate blockbuster start to the month of March. Another opportunity to banish the demons of the cold to mere memories.

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Kashmir (Extra Concert)

Store Vega; Sun 2nd; 20:00, 250 kr

What can I possibly say about Kashmir not to convince you to go to this concert ? Firmly embedded in the folkloric history of rock music in Denmark, Kasmir were originally called Nirvana back in 1991 when they started performing but had to change their name when Kurt Kobain & co started hitting home runs in their musical career. Having collaborated with David Bowie and departed legend Lou Reed, Kashmir are an educational experience that you need to see. With last year’s seventh studio album release E.A.R in their arsenal, expect a seasoned, mature performance that will leave you impressed.

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John Newman; Tues 4th; 20:00, 230 kr

Does John Newman have the best male voice in mainstream music today ? Maybe, possibly, easily – there is only one way to find out. You may recognize his powerful, standout vocals in seminal tracks like Rudimental’s “Feel the love” and “Not Giving In”, both of which hijacked the UK top 40 and did their bit to reinforce the credibility of drum & bass as a genre (albeit diluted to a more sober dose with light r & b influences). Newman’s 2013 solo album, Tribute catapulted Newman into even bigger and better things, replete with vocals that veer between Charles Bradley and Bruno Mars and beat accompaniments that bewilder.

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Danny Brown

Pumpehuset; Thurs 6th; 21:00, 250 kr

All the way from the motor city, Detroit, Danny Brown is a misfit-turned superstar whose unkempt, unconventional rapping techniques have earned him a reputation as a hybrid within hip hop circles. In today’s digital age, Danny Brown’s social media status has propelled his popularity quite somewhat but is there more to him than a reputation and status that precedes him with an awing stature ? A seasoned performer, Brown has collaborated with the likes of Asap Rocky and numerous Detroit-based heavyweights and his politically provocative music does tend to raise a few heckles.


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Malecon, Salsa & Bachata night

Cafeen Støberiet; Blågårdsplads; Sat 1st; 21:30, 50 kr

It’s time to condemn the demons of the dark, cold winter to the closet. This evening is part of a series of evenings over the spring dedicated towards promoting dance forms such salsa, bachata, merengue and reggaeton, all of which hail from the colourful continent of South America. Coaching sessions are also included in the evening’s entertainment.

Ostgut ton nacht / Ryan Elliott

Culture Box; Sat 1st; 21:00, 70 kr

Another motor city cat will be in town plying his trade in February. Ryan Elliott started started playing at legendary clubs like Detroit’s shelter before moving on to other renowned nightlife institutions like Barcelona’s sonar and various spots in Frankfurt and Berlin. An electronic chameleon, Elliott’s music wanders the territory of house, Detroit techno and the ocassional experimental surprise.

Going Underground: Underneath The Leaves

Going Underground | Underneath the leaves

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Allan Mutuku Kortbaek
October 13, 2013 – 14:25
Seasick Steve
Welcome to October: a month of glassy, glossy shades of maroon, steamy yellow and crackling falling leaves. Copenhagen’s underground is blossoming with different cultural events to suit many tastes as the best of the Indian summer lies ahead. Here’s the best of the bunch.
Imperial Tiger Orchestra
Tiger Orchestra are as Swiss as chocolat noir (if you’ll excuse the cheesy pun). Their music, however, is a trip down memory lane, revisiting the height of Ethiopian music magic of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Not too different to the legendary Mulatu Atstatke, expect heavily instrumental sequences and captivating sounds teeming with influences of the vast open African Savannah – all this in an intimate venue that allows for a wholeheartedly immersive experience.
Global CPH; Sat 26 Oct, 21:00; 70kr
Seasick Steve
Don’t let the price dissuade you, as Seasick Steve may well be one of the most unique musicians out there. An old-timer who began his career very late on, his blues recall stories of his youth when he lived the life of a veritable bohemian, jumping trains and living one day at a time. Seasick Steve (aka Steve Wold) has performed alongside the likes of John Lee Hooker and appeared on Jools Holland’s well known music show, and in addition to his guitar mastery, he has a tendency to intrigue audiences by playing his own homemade instruments as well.
Store Vega; Mon 21 Oct, 20:00; 200kr
Factory Floor
Factory Floor are a post-industrial band from London whose music has been said to draw on influences such as Joy Division and The Fall. In truth, it sounds more like a modern interpretation of the sort of music one would hear at legendary clubs like Manchester’s Hacienda in the early 1990s, fused with a cheeky sparkle of synth genius, driven industrial percussion and vocals that would be at home in an Andy Warhol film. Speaking of films, the concert is part of this year’s CPH:DOX festival, so expect visual eye candy that you’ll either love with reckless abandon or get sick of in an instant.
Lille Vega; Mon 14 Oct, 21:00; 150kr
Kissaway Trail
This gig is for all the indie and rock lovers out there. Danish band Kissaway Trail are a world-class act who have managed to master the mix of local popularity and international acclaim with aplomb, cultivating a driven rock sound that runs parallel to the efforts of indie heavyweights like Arcade Fire.  Fresh from gallivanting around the globe over the past couple of years, the trio from Odense come into this show high on the rush of their recently released album, Breach – the fourth member of their repertoire.
Rust; Sat 19 Oct, 21:00; 100kr
Majical Cloudz
Majical Cloudz are a Canadian duo who produce contemplative, minimalist arty sounds that one would expect to hear at an avant-garde art installation. Their hollow, furrowed approach straddles the domain of the creative, trippy, artistic and ghostly all at once – a daringly experimental direction that inspires in as much as it triggers light-headed contemplation. Once again, CPH:DOX  will be sorting out the visuals for this show, making for an immersive audiovisual experience in the deep waters of lo-fi, atmospheric sound bytes and misty visuals.
CPH Jazzhouse; Mon 21 Oct, 20:00; 80kr

French Films, Ideal Bar, September 2013

French Films: A cut above ‘ideal’

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French Films ***** (5 stars out of 6); September 19 at Ideal Bar
French Film’s musicianship illuminated Vega’s Ideal Bar Thursday night (Photo: Wikipedia)

Welcome to the 21st century of globalisation and cultural fusions, where a Finnish band by the name of French Films can perform songs loosely rooted in classical American pop influences that shudder with clangs of the Beach Boys and The Ramones in central Copenhagen.

French Films marked their return to Danish soil last night following their widely popularised outing at Roskilde’s Pavillion junior stage last year, and what a return it was. Clad in skinny jeans and leather jackets that echoed the sartorial traits of bands such as The Libertines, the Finnish quintet stepped on stage looking blasé and calm, following solid warm-up work by local band The New Investors. The compact confines of Vega’s Ideal Bar allowed the audience to get very close to the stage, rekindling memories of one of the summer’s most promising festivals, Henry’s Dream, where a band with an orientation like French Films would be right at home.

The boys from Helsinki were quick off the mark, getting straight to business with a hot-to-trot opener followed by ‘Take you with me’ off their debut EP, 2010’s The Golden Sea.  Lengthening the proceedings,  songs such as ‘Ridin’ on’ off 2013’s marquee album White Orchid added form and substance to what was ultimately a very intimate concert that had sweat dripping off the walls of a sweltering Ideal Bar.

Invariably, the distinct indie pop renditions of French Films do tend to sound rather repetitive after some time, as one feels lost in the thick mass of strums and heavily percussive melodies. In spite of this, the concert did seem to grow in stature and depth, as the musicians used the full width of the stage to perform with a tremendous amount of energy and free spiritedness. By the end of the show, many of the evening’s guests found their feet and torsos swaying from side to side in sync with the rhythmic instrumentals, backed by vocal patterns that sent wave upon wave of sun-drenched summer memories into the cold September night.

French Film’s musicianship is a joy to watch, and their sheer energy on stage is a tremendous compliment to their rich, absorbing take on rock. Far too adroit to be playing at Ideal Bar, expect bigger and brighter things from them in 2013 and an almost certain graduation to bigger concert venues for their next visit to Denmark.

Music Listings, Copenhagen Late August 2013

Music listings, August 30th- September 5th

CocoRosie: If you’re one of the many nostalgics who long for Roskilde festival-esque experiences, or anything remotely similar from the second you leave the festival grounds every June, CocoRosie’s concert at Vega on the 3rd of September may well be the last such moment of the year. The American sisters sound like a user-friendly version of Icelandic standout Bjørk, albeit with far more indie influences demarcating their identity. CocoRosie are the sort of band that you’d hear shattering the silence of a dark European forest at the peak of summer. You’ll have to make do with experiencing them at Store Vega this time round, though their introspective sound will give your imagination plenty of leeway to run wild.

CocoRosie: Store Vega / 3rd September . 250 DKK

Lulu Rouge / Djuna Barnes : Lulu Rouge is one of the most well-known faces on the Danish deejay circuit, within which, along with the likes of Trentemøller and Mike Sheridan, he’s managed to carve a niche out for himself. A headliner at the annual Stella Polaris chillout festival, Lulu Rouge will most likely venture into a more dance-inducing setlist than his festival forays. He’ll be backed by one of Vesterbro’s most revered personalities, Djuna Barnes, who is no stranger to the world of deejaying and electronic music herself. Los Angeles based Awesome Tapes of Africa will be adding a tribal element to the proceedings with their funky, ritual-like sounds, making for quite a good mix of genres on the evening.


Cocorosie: Pic

Lulu Rouge / Djuna Barnes / Awesome Tapes From Africa : Rust. 30th August. 60 DKK

Signe Eeg: Signe Eeg’s music is the sort of thing you’d listen to on a Monday night after work. Her soothing voice is as calming as it is captivating, softly flanked by gentle piano accompaniments and the occasional flutter of contrabass. She’ll be performing at the bastion of all things jazz in this city, Monmatre, in a Matinee concert that’ll sooth you softly into September on the 1st of the month. Signe will also perform the evening before, if a Sunday afternoon of jazz is not to your taste.

Signe Eeg quartet, Jazzhus Monmatre, 31st Augustt (20:00) and 1st September (Matinee / 15.00) 375 DKK

Alain Apoloo / The Juke Joint / Modjo’s Blues Bar : Modjo’s Blues Bar is practically the only place that’s worth going to on a Monday night in this city (that is unless you’re into chanting karaoke and getting sloshed with tourists at Sam’s bar). Alain Apoloo may well one of the best guitarists Copenhagen has ever seen, and many in musical circuits wonder why he’s not signed to a major American music label touring the world. Luckily for Copenhagen, his feisty guitar-plucking and cocky vocal skills can still be heard every Monday at the Juke Joint, where many other underground talents strut their stuff in the open jam session.

Alain Apollo: Modjo’s Blues Bar, 2nd September : 20:00 / FREE

Katolysik / Jazzhouse, 30th August 60 DKK

A bit of a wildcard this one. If you’re into spoken word, Katolysik are a dynamic duo who combine poetry (some freestyle) with a guitar and effects pedal. Their lyrical themes seem to capture the imagination of the Danish zeitgeist quite well, hence their popularity. There are also few other rivals in the spoken word category of music in the city, so expect a unique experience but do brush up on your Danish, as some of it can be a bit hard to understand for the untrained ear.

Tina Dickow / Tivoli, 30th August. 95 DKK

Few Danish singers can compete with Tina Dickow at the moment. In fact, if you’re one of those in search of high quality “local” music, look no further. The Århus-born Dickow has gained popularity both locally and abroad for her adventurous forays into the world of the singer-songwriter, producing her music through an independent label. Tivoli is a great place to see her whilst there’s still a slight chance of sun and good weather.


Tina Dicow_

Twista / Pumpehuset, 31st August. 180 DKK

A couple of years ago, Pumpehuset was headed for bankruptcy and catastrophe therein. Fast forward and the hard work of getting the venue back on its feet is paying off, with many quality bookings being made at the moment to restore the venue’s profile. Twista holds the coveted accolade of being the world’s fastest rapper, capable of “spitting” a bewildering 598 characters in 55 seconds according to the Guinness Book of Records. A seasoned veteran in the world of hip hop, Twista, or “Tongue Twista” as he was known in the past will be supported by Dj Hornes, Realz and Denmark’s uncrowned pop Prince, Joe Moe, the latter of whom has a new album out on the streets currently.

Rub a dub – SRF afterparty / Pharfar single release: 1st September / Stengade. 50 DKK

This year’s very first Scandinavian reggae festival is likely to be a grand affair with the likes of Albarosie, Raske Penge and Mr Vegas performing on Refshaleøen. If the deserted island is too far off, catch a snapshot of the action at the official after party which has been bound with one of the most exciting nights on the monthly calendar, Rub a dub Sunday’s. Danish Dancehall don, PharFar will be releasing an eagerly anticipated new album on the evening which will also feature appearances from the Donkeysound record label, one of the powerhouses behind the upsurge in Danish dancehall at the moment.

Downbeat Impact Vs Larica, BolsjeFabrikken (LÆRKEVEJ, Nørrebro): FREE

The legendary Candy Factory on Lærkevej or BolsjeFabrikken as it is known locally will soon be closing. Before it does however, some of the house’s veritable patrons, cult Ska Outfit Larica will probably tear the roof off it with what will surely be a mammoth evening. Larica will be backed by a host of local and international names on the evening. Did we mention that beers cost a meagre 10 DKK ?

Troels Abrahamsen : Bipolar release party, 30th August, Culture Box, 70 DKK

Troels Abrahamsen is better known as the leader of Danish electronic rock outfit Veto. The charismatic frontman combines lazy, high pitch vocals with trippy albeit lightweight beat structures that are more ideal to sway along to than they are to going amok. Abrahamsen will be flanked by popular trouble maker James Braun and names such as Erosion Flow and Walk Live. As usual, there are 2 rooms to choose from, the larger, more spacious Black Box and the basement Red room, with its low ceiling and lo-fi aesthetics.


Troels Abrahamsan:

Polica, Lille Vega, August 2013

Article for The Copenhagen Post:

Lille Vega

4 out of 6 stars

With the recently concluded Strøm festival still reverberating through the spine of the city, one would be forgiven for not knowing that there would be a memorable show taking place at Lille Vega tonight. Minneapolis synthpop quintet Polica (Polish for “policy”) are a critically acclaimed outfit who’ve been impressing quite a few in the music industry of late with their curious forays into the warped world of synthpop, with a slight touch of r & b for good measure. One of their admirers is non other than Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon, who went as far as claiming that they are one of the best bands in the world.


Minneapolis band Polica, Synthpop affiliates destined for the grand stage. Photo: Flickr

Performing in front of an almost-sold-out Lille Vega, Polica were slow off the mark, playing with an uncanny casualness that left the audience somewhat in limbo. Sound issues did their bit to exacerbate things, making for an edgy half hour opening, with a performance of ‘Dark Star,’ off their 2012 album Give you the Ghost marking a positive turning point. The song showcased the unique quality of lead singer Channy Leanagh’s coaxing, high-pitched voice, which lost itself eloquently in the immersive, labarynthine instrumentation that accompanied her vocals. More of the same followed, as Polica looked more comfortable on stage and interacted with the audience with a bit of very straightforward stage banter. ‘Wandering Star,’ also off the Give you the Ghost album punctuated the peak of the evening, with Leanagh’s vocals given leeway to run amok once more, this time against a backdrop of sounds that reeked with the unlikely dichotomy of immense pain and great elation all at once.

Unlike the studio versions, Polica’s live music features sparse use of vocoders, meaning that its gloomy attributes are hidden more subtly. This notwithstanding, many of the songs sound very similar and with the band rarely venturing into their more adventurous, electro-heavy ethic, the concert did have the look and feel of a taciturn Monday night show at times. Venturesome antics towards the end did change this however, with a song that had been written only a few hours before the show being played shortly before an encore that bore many similarities to the loud, distorted chaos of fellow synthpop band, Crystal Castles (albeit with less of a rough edge). All in all, Polica put in a good show last night though there are no doubt many areas for improvement. For a band with only one studio album they are, by their own admission “only newcomers” so expect them back sometime soon.

Charles Bradley, Interview. Stor Vega June 2013

Living proof you can take the last exit to Brooklyn

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Allan Mutuku-Kortbæk
June 30, 2013 – 19:00
The Copenhagen Post caught up with the extraordinary Charles Bradley before his concert at Lille Vega last week
They used to call him Black Velvet – now it’s simply Mr Bradley
 pic: AmK

The beguiling Charles Bradley is the kind of performer one never forgets. The funk revivalist has enjoyed a fairy-tale success story following the release of his debut album, ‘No Time For Dreaming’, three years ago.

It followed a lifetime of trying to make a living under harsh conditions in the US, moonlighting as Black Velvet as he performed James Brown impersonations alongside his job as a chef.

What’s fascinating is not Bradley’s rise to the limelight at the ripe old age of, per say, but more the perseverance he showed along the way, despite hardship and travails that included him sleeping on New York subway lines as a teen and losing his brother in a shooting.

His is a life replete with drama and difficulties that would derail most, yet somehow the Brooklyn star is still here, telling us his story through shrieks, tears and the passion of a man half his age.

The Copenhagen Post caught up with Bradley before his third performance on Danish soil at Lille Vega last week, backed by his seven-piece band, The Extraordinaires.

The Copenhagen Post: Welcome back to Copenhagen, Charles. This is your third visit to Denmark, I do believe. You go on stage in about half an hour. How are you feeling today?

Charles Bradley: I’ve got a bit of a problem with my eye – it’s running a bit. Must be some kind of allergy, but there ain’t nothing that’s going to stop me from doing a great show. I’m going to do my best to keep people entertained and make them happy.

CP: Your latest album ‘Victim of Love’ has just hit the shelves. Could you tell us a bit about it? What’s the inspiration behind it?

CB: ‘Victim of Love’, that’s  me – it’s about my life. Music is what I have left to tell my story. During my working life I couldn’t express myself you know, cos you want to speak up and say something about the injustices you go through, but you can’t cos that’s the way it is. My music gives me the chance to do this today. I’m grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be able to share my story.

CP: You’ve definitely “Made it in America”, to quote one of your songs [‘Why is it so hard?’]. Some may forget that many of America’s issues remain hidden by the success of your music. What is the reality of life in America today living in Brooklyn?

CB: Everyone talks about America being the land of milk and honey, but it ain’t. You can get milk and honey, but you gotta work hard to do it and it’s never easy. You’ve got to fight, you’ve got to be strong and keep going even when it seems like there is nothing to live for.  I took the long road to get here.

CP: Many of your songs, such as ‘No Time for Dreaming’, relate to sensitive moments of your life, but they also have a wider application in the state of America and the world today. What is your message to everyone out there who is struggling to cope and struggling to make it?

CB: Go back to the golden rule. If you’ve got a gift that God gave you, use it. Don’t let nobody tell you nothing about it. It doesn’t matter how many millions somebody offers you. You can be rich, you can make it financially, but if you don’t have inner peace, dignity, you won’t have anything. You got to keep your dignity because that’s worth more than anything.

CP: Where do you go from here, Charles. What’s next in this musical journey for you? Can we expect you back in Denmark anytime soon?

CB: I’ve got to put up a show. It’s part of the job, so I’ve got to perform and give people a good time. I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow; I don’t know where I’ll be in a few years. Only God has the answer to that.

Charles Bradley and his extraordinaire’s, Lille Vega June 2013

Original article:

Charles Bradley ****** (6 stars out of 6); June 17 at Lille Vega
Bradley’s impeccable presence rocked Lille Vega for the second year running (Photo: Flickr / sebascrub)

When Charles Bradley first came to Denmark in 2011, he was an unfamiliar fixture in the world music circuit. When he came to Lille Vega last year, he was still not that well known worldwide, yet alone in Denmark. But after last night’s show at the same venue, however, I have a sneaking suspicion that we have not seen the last of Charles Bradley, and that his best may still be yet to come.

Starting out as ‘Black Velvet,’ Bradley performed James Brown impersonations before eventually landing a contract with Daptone records a few years ago at the tender age of 62.  His songs chart his struggle and call for change in society, a veritable critique of the fallacy of the American dream and of the greed and corruption with which society is awash today. Bradley’s show last night was by far the best concert I have ever been to, a bewilderingly beautiful performance that saw him shed tears of elation and sorrow alike.

The backup band of the evening, the seven-piece Extraordinaires, stepped on stage before the main man himself, announcing their presence with an intense instrumental performance. Bradley took to the stage shortly afterwards, clad in clothes he’d made himself and resembling James Brown down to a T.

‘The World (Is Going up in Flames)’, off his debut album No Time for Dreaming set the pace, slowly working up a crowd that lived up to the cliché of being an audience with a frightful tendency to be stagnant and noncommittal. This stereotype was thankfully broken down as things proceeded though, the result being epic hands-in-the air moments and  genuine interaction from the crowd. With Charles giving it his all, performing with a dedication that saw him sweat profusely on the warm stage, an early instrumental interlude early saw him waltz off stage to take a breather before coming back on to woo the crowd with tracks such as ‘No Time For Dreaming’ and the sentimental ‘Loving You.’

With the venue in the palm of his hands, Bradley and co rounded off with an epic performance of the newer track ‘Confusion’, showcasing a series of dance moves that few people in their twenties, let alone a veteran, can muster.  A befitting encore saw him change outfits and come back on stage dressed in a fiery red suit to perform the powerful ‘Victim of love’ and ‘Why is it so Hard?’, both off his 2013 album,Victim of Love, which documents the travails and struggles of a man who has taken a long and weary walk to freedom.