Review: Frigg at Buxton Opera House

Frigg play at Buxton Opera House on May 1, 2015
Frigg play at Buxton Opera House on May 1, 2015

The May Day concert at Buxton Opera House featured Frigg, a young and extremely talented Nordic band, who over a number of years have gained an international reputation of being one of the finest of a new generation of folk artists.

They have devised their own distinctive blend of folk music called Nordgrass, a mix of Nordic folk and American bluegrass, but also including other world music styles. Their band Frigg is named after the Norse Goddess of love and fertility.

From the moment that they came onto the stage, when much to the bemusement of the audience they introduced themselves in Finnish, we were enthralled by their energy, prodigious ability, depth of invention and sense of fun.

At the front four hot fiddles played in unison and harmony, backed by an innovative rhythm section of guitar, double bass, mandolin and cittern. They also used their voices, not to sing songs, but almost as a backing instrument and to encourage audience participation.

The music they played, mainly polkas plus a set of waltzes, was a modern take on traditional styles, several pieces penned by members of the band. A couple of the tunes were slow and beautiful, but most fast, furious and fun, with interesting arrangements that took you totally by surprise.

Overall it was a thoroughly entertaining evening out.