Ane Brun at Islington Assembly Hall
Hailing from Norway and surely one of their most prolific singer/songwriters, Ane Brun offers everything you could want in a live performance. Her ethereal manner is complemented by the melodiousness of the music and her refreshingly affable stage presence.
The venue is packed out, the constant cheering proof of just how popular she is. Her set lasts two hours in total, but the audience’s dedication remains constant throughout, with lesser-known numbers receiving the same reception as the more familiar. It’s obvious that this is a crowd composed entirely of resolved fans.
Brun is an inherently amiable person, which can be a difficult quality to convey in a communication as one-sided as singing. She talks to the crowd continually, thanking and offering insights into the meanings of songs, her own past and how she feels about the world today. It’s raw and honest, and free of any façade. She discusses issues such as feminism, love and, most poignantly, compassion (before Better Than This, about our inability to learn from history – significant, considering what happened in parliament whilst the performance was happening).
Hanging opens the show, followed by an assortment of hits from their previous records and latest album When I’m Free. The set is interspersed with some unique moments, including covers of Beyoncé’s Halo and Dr Kucho!’s Can’t Stop Playing (Makes Me High), along with a beautiful love song in Norwegian: Du Gråter Så Store Tåra (Your Tears Are Much Heavier These Days). Most of the audience don’t understand the language, but they all understand the sentiment.
Despite the length of the set, there is never a sense that it’s going on for too long; indeed there’s a palpable thump of relief when the singer and band return to the stage for an encore. The sound and lighting are exceptional throughout and, in the singer’s wonderfully good-natured way, she thanks the team and her band personally before the last song Undertow.
Not only is Brun a fantastic performer, she is also an exceptionally nice person. The crowd leaves the venue feeling quite a few kinds of happy.
Photos: Guifré de Paray
For further information about Ane Brun and future events visit here.
Watch the video for Do You Remember here: