Danish Folk at EFEX: “The Door was Kicked in”

By Henrik Friis |

The international music professionals partied hard at the Danish reception – and the first contracts are already on the way.

It might be an exaggeration to state that the walls of the Two Tubs in Bury trembled Yet, Friday afternoon the 400-year-old pub was witness to the Danish reception as part of EFEx – English folk music’s business festival.

The mental image of a bouncing, cheering, applauding and singing crowd consisting of international music business professionals is still a cause of smiles on the organizers’ faces – and on the faces of the three Danish bands, who each played for fifteen minutes on stage during the reception and who managed to engage the crowd with their good mood and contagious musicality.

First the duo Rannok, then the quartet Basco and last but not least the eight-piece band Habadekuk, all of whom fuelled the party even further – both at the reception but also at the individual concerts.

As Hal Parfitt-Murray from Basco expressed it:

“The objective is to get our foot inside the door. But honestly, I believe that the reception this afternoon kicked in the door.”

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An element of Viking invasion…
“The Danes are not very pompous yet good at getting a party started. Especially Habadekuk are good at getting people’s attention with their “hey guys – let’s party” attitude. It holds an element of viking invasion, which I like”, said Hal Parfitt-Murray.

The two other bands were also content.

When asked about Rannok’s concert violinist Michael Graubæk expressed that. “An amazing experience. A super audience, toe-tapping and big smiles all over. We are very happy. Maybe it is because the differences between the two countries are not that great. I find that there is a Celtic musical link between Denmark and the UK”, ponders Michael Graubæk, who visited England for the first time eight years ago and is planning a tour that focuses on Scotland for next year.

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And Habadekuk, who besides the reception played both Thursday and Friday, were filled with joy as the English market is starting to become a serious contender. “It is due to a bit of luck and then a bunch of hard work – we have been touring intensively here to get this far. Nevertheless, one thing is to play concerts here, another is to make a living of it. But we have reached that point now, Peter Eget” from the band says. – Sure, we have played at large festivals such as Glastonbury and Cambridge, yet there is still a big festival market for us here.

Several offers – and an agreement in place
It will be a few months before the real impact of the Danish invasion can be measured, yet there are already some results:

“What do I think of Basco – well, I have just made an agreement with them based on their performance”, said Emma Lloyd from the venue The Atkinson in Southport following Basco’s concert at The Met. “The mixture of their virtuosity, their musical skills and their contact with the audience is what makes them interesting”, she added.

And Habadekuk has already received offers from Canadian, Australian, Italian as well as English and Scottish festivals, venues and radio shows as a direct result of their performances. Now this interest will fully manifest itself during the months to come.

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Achievement of goals
ROSA-folk CEO Gunnar Madsen could only be pleased with the collaboration with the English music business – the first of its kind for EFEx:

“The overall goal was to brand the multifaceted and serious Danish folk music and also, of course, the three participating bands to the delegates from EFEx. Partly to present them to the British industry that makes a living out of dealing with music, that is booking agencies, publishers, managements and such. And partly to present them to the festival’s international guests. This network, which we MUST continue to develop, is richly developed here.

We want to communicate Danish music to the world – and to communicate international music to Denmark. Which is why we have a small delegation of Danish organizers with us – their response is that it is great to be a part of EFEx and that they gain a lot from the event”, Gunnar Madsen concludes.

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