Uploaded to Aural Innovations: September 2005
Butka is a slightly bigger festival than Sjonstock with about 5000 people and it is held in an amazing place right on the edge of the island that Tromsų lies on. This was the second day of the festival with the bands Soundtrack of our Lives, Cato Salsa Experience, The 5,6,7 8's, 22 PistePirkko, and the Beautiful People playing the day before. Earlier in this day they had a program with Madrugada, Johanne Ballovarre, Turdus Musicus, Minor Majority.
We arrived at a great time. The weather was overcast and pretty chilly (12-14C) but it looked like it was going to clear up, but you never know. After some food and soundcheck the festival was soon getting going. WE were the first band on today to try to draw the people in early as Tromsų is their next biggest market after Oslo in Norway. Tromsų is an amazing place. So beautiful. At 18 WE took the stage and dropped Lucid and opened with Smugglers. This was good as people could hear it in the distance and get in and still catch some of the number. The band then rocked hard for the next part of the concert up until Cosmic Biker R&R when the drummers from Ralph Meyers and Jack Herren band joined for a bit of a jam. This was fun. The band ended the set with Carefree, as the fans know this one and it is good closer. Excellent powerful live set.
Next up was a Norwegian pop diva of sorts, Anneli Drecker. She had a live band but lots of samples as well and played pretty boring synth pop. A major drop in energy after WE. More and more people filled in the place. Next up was an acoustic band called Minor Majority. They played very laid back pop music. The crowd seem to know some of their songs. They played very well but this was not festival music. Now I would get to see Ralph Meyerz and the Jack Herren Band. I had only heard people speak about them but I was not sure what to expect. They are very popular in Norway and now 4000 people were here and rocking out. The band consisted of Ralph Meyerz on samplers, two live drummers and a cool guitar player. It was a strange mixture of drum and bass techno with live and sometimes funky spaced out guitar. It was all very high energy and the people ate it up. Pretty cool stuff. The Supersuckers were ready after Ralph Meyerz warmed the crowd up! I had been talking to the band a lot as they were really cool. One guitarist wore a Thin Lizzy Bad Reputation shirt and we got talking about Thin Lizzy and it turns out they had done a whole show of Thin Lizzy songs one night. The main lead guitar player, he showed me a video of the Humble Pie cover band that he plays in. That is cool. Anyway, they opened their set with Dancing in the Moonlight (Sunlight) by Thin Lizzy, which was totally cool. They played a bit different set from the Sjonstock festival and it was mindblowing how light it was at this time of night. The sky was totally amazing and a rainbow appeared above the stage when they played, and this was 11:30 at night! Amazing. They did their 60 minute set and the crowed loved it. A very good band. The last band of the night was a French band called Phoenix who is quite popular in Norway and one of the few French bands that sing in English. Their first couple of songs were really awful pop music but then they decided to ROCK. They had some really excellent almost spacey songs. It ended much better than I had thought and the crowd of course loved it. Amazing sky in Tromsų and it never got dark but it did rain a little bit. A very cool festival and highly recommended!
For more information you can visit the Butka Festival web site at: http://www.bukta.no.
Reviewed by Scott Heller