Egil and his guitar

Entertainer: Egil Olsen's self-ironic, even sarcastic character improves the entertaining value of his concert.
Foto: Hanika Kotlarova

Egil Olsen’s clear, high-pitched voice and the soft tunes of his guitar perfectly match with the location.
By Milena Virchow

Volda’s Church is arranged for a special event this evening. Candles illuminate the interior in soft orange colours, and give a stunning atmosphere for today’s Egil Olsen concert. People of various ages sit in the pews; nobody talks, because the walls echo the smallest noise throughout the hall.

Les intervjuet med Egil Olsen på norsk her.

When Olsen steps in front of his audience the concert almost seems like a formal occasion. However, the 31-year old Marit Larsen support act proves that even an impressive church hall can be filled with intimate vibes. His clear, high-pitched voice and the soft tunes of his guitar perfectly match with the location.

Most of the singer-songwriter’s lyrics tell little stories about every-day life – especially its sadder parts (“Every song I make is turning blue, I don’t want to write them, but I do”). Other songs try to find a balance between ironic poetry and pieces of life wisdom (“The heart is what we need the most”). Unfortunately, this often results in declamatory and simply-stricken lyrics that cause – perceived in collective – boredom. Also, a strong similarity between the mostly slow songs limits the variability of Olsen’s show. Not even background singers, the infrequent use of various instruments or a “Queen”-cover (“Don’t stop me know”) can bring more diversification to his show.

What improves the entertaining value of his concert, however, is his self-ironic, even sarcastic character. Never did I wish to understand Norwegian as much as this evening. The audience continuously breaks out in laughter when Olsen fills the pauses between his songs. Little anecdotes and jokes create a casual atmosphere: People amuse themselves, clap their hands and sing along with the artist (“yeah, yeah, yeah, I think I love you”).

After one hour and sixteen songs a mostly pleased, amused and entertained audience leaves the church. And it was hopefully not the last time that a concert took place here.

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