Words & pictures by Cesilia Oriana Trecaquista
Norwegian synth-pop ensemble, Casiokids, kicked off their New Year at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath. No strangers to Birmingham, having previously played the O2 and Island Bar, the gig marked the start of the band’s 2012 UK tour – promoting their third album, ‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’.
Describing the quintet as ‘a melting pot of musical backgrounds’, Fredrik Øgreid Vogsborg – singer and synth player, believes their ‘differing influences and skills’ helped achieve their somewhat chaotic, but always melodic, electro-pop sound.
When asked pre-performance about ideal collaborations, singer and founding member, Ketil Kinden Endresen referenced Royksopp – a group Casiokids are often, predictably, compared with. Although sharing adjacent studios back Bergen, both Casiokids’ and Royksopp’s Norwegian home town, Endresen joked about ‘eavesdropping’ into their rehearsals for inspiration.
Casiokids’ eccentric on stage presence was in stark contrast to their reserved offstage nature. Using quirky instruments, such as; stylophones, old analogue keyboards, cowbells, alongside the conventional bass, drums and guitar rhythm section, they morphed into pogo-jumping party people who fed off the crowd’s enthusiasm.
At one stage an over-active smoke machine almost eclipsed the band, allowing weird and wonderful sounds to ring out in the mist, and leaving my +1 convinced of complex backing tracks (drummer Enear Olsen had downed tools and could be seen dancing enthusiastically to a pre-existing beat).
But after various songs sung in indecipherable lyrics (or Norwegian) CasioKids played their final and, arguably, most distinctive track – ‘Fot I Hose’. As the crowd’s density became more noticeable, they’d certainly left the most popular until last, one lucky audience member was plucked onto the stage to mime a guitar riff. A role he undertook with as much zeal, if not more, than the actual band.
Casiokids are; Ketil Kinden Endresen, Fredrik Øgreid Vogsborg, Omar Johnsen, Kjetil Bjøreid Aabø and Einar Olsson.
‘Aabenbaringen over aaskammen’ was released through Moshi Moshi Records on Jan 16th. For more info visit www.casiokids.com