Relay 1 Jack Allett/Kalbakken 7″

A package of these just arrived in the post this morning! Looks and sounds awesome. Track from Jack called ‘Lost’ on A side with a Kalbakken work out of a tune ‘Ulversdalen’ which we were playing around with alot on the last tour we did on the flip side; from Jack’s sleeve notes:

“scary, joyous, faithful, irreverent, delicate, boisterous, musically astute, threatening to fall apart…”

Pretty much captures the Kalbakken vibe in one.
Epic drawing by Karel Wouters handscreened by label boss Levi Seeldraeyers looks amazing and smells good too.

Get in touch if you want one!


New ‘Kalbakken’ tracks

Well, not Kalbakken in the usual sense! Below are a few choice bits of free playing from Kirsty (violin, voice) and myself (guitar, voice) recorded in Manchester last week.

track 1

track 2

track 3

Our side of the forthcoming 7″ on Smeraldina-Rima kind of marries some of this stuff within a song based structure.

Union Chapel

Splendid times on Saturday at the Little Red Rabbit showcase with Last Harbour and Samson & Delilah, incredible acoustics in the space as well lead to some pretty interesting moments in our set; sound cascading back towards us and spreading harmonics through the roof. Olie Brice added some glorious low end to the band for the first time with double bass, we’ll hopefully see more of him at some point. More images at Last Harbour’s blog.

Amazing stained glass work behind the alter in the chapel too, segmented circular window with an angel in each segment playing an instrument. We could identify bowed psaltry, lute, double ended pan pipe, hurdy gurdy, cymbals, pump organ, hammered dulcimer and what looked like a radio!


Kalbakken in Union Chapel

We’re playing as part of a Little Red Rabbit curated performance at the Union Chapel in London on Saturday 3rd April along with labelmates Last Harbour and Samson and Delilah. Gig runs early afternoon 12-2pm.

Kalbakken will be joined by double bassist Olie Brice for a special one off set. Probably be one of our few performances this year due to various constraints…

(picture is a tasteful number of the underside of the Oslo metro stop from which we draw our name.)

Kalbakken split 7″ creeping on slowly…

We had to try and remember what the track we recorded with Jack in July was called earlier in the week. I had no idea, luckily Kirsty reckons it was called “Ulversdalen” or “Wolfvalley” so we went with that… it’s going to be a split with the majestic Spoono on the audioMER label from Belgium.

Dug out a reasonably condensed interview with did with BBC Manchester a little while ago which explains somethings, not all but quite a few. Transcript is below.

Who is in the band?

“Kirsty sings, plays the violin and recorders. David plays guitar, sings and jew’s harp. We are occasionally supported by Nick on percussion.”

What type of music do you play?

“We play our own readings of Scandinavian folk melodies, building new arrangements around old tunes.”

What’s the Kalbakken story?

“Well, we are siblings so we have played music together in one form or another for a long time!

“This particular group came about from improvisations and the chance idea to try playing a Norwegian song our mother, who hails from those parts, had sung us as children. It all spiralled from there really; speaking with her about other melodies, researching in libraries, books, audio.

“This was all about three years ago – at a certain point, David of Little Red Rabbit asked us to play a gig and so off we went and carried on playing from there.”

How are things going?

“We haven’t won anything, unless you count a pub quiz a few years ago, but we’re doing okay.

“We have played all over the UK, toured in Spain and Portugal, we recently played a really great festival in London called the 2:13, which went really well. Hopefully, we’re touring Spain and Portugal again next Easter.

“Then the new record comes out and we’ll be touring the UK and further reaches across mainland Europe again.”


Kalbakken in a field in Levenshulme



Summertime a few years ago I think, at the Klondyke in Levenshulme supporting Lianne Hall and Drei. Was such a charming June evening we decided to play out in what passes for a wild flower meadow in Lev. From what I recall there was only one incident with a passing car; there was also an audience, sadly out of shot, I suspect we’re probably trying to interact with them in the middle shot.

In the final one im playing my esraj, its only live outing so far. You can hear it on the Kalbakken record though, track 9 I think.

Thanks to Bela for the photos and Daz for lending me his lovely Taylor guitar you can see in the first two pictures.