Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation - Lunar Festival

by Mark Steele Rating:9 Release Date:2013-04-15

Summer was beginning to show its face in the west midlands and at last it graced us with its presence at the first day of the widely hailed 3-day Lunar Festival held at Umberslade Farm. The festival is in memory of the area's most famous son - the folk singer-songwriter genius Nick Drake. The organiser John Fell has done an excellent job in providing various musical artists/projects and a substantial amount of creative attractions at an event, lovingly dubbed the 'Glastonbury' of the midlands.

The opportunity was gratefully received to witness the Psychedelic unit we reviewed last year; Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation .  A fairly patchy crowd greeted us in the main arena, pretty chilled and already watchimg a lively band already into their set - whose name truly escapes me.
Once sat down, taking it all in from afar following a short break, a group of people appeared on the main stage to carry out a soundcheck and then it dawned on this writer who they were,  when a slim mysterious lady figure humbly sauntered to the front - it was Josefin, and her esoteric entourage. The soundcheck though brief - including a wonderful snippet of the song 'Free II' from the Diamond Waves EP - giving a taste of what was about to be unveiled.

When the Liberation, confidently chilled,  had been welcomed onto the platform; Fredrik Joelson - Guitar, Calle Olsson - Synths (Also of Paper), Victor Hvidfelt - Guitar, vocals, Villhelm Bromander on Bass, then Dennis Egberth - Drums, a mild applause initially greeted them.  As soon as they arrayed themselves with their sonic tapestry making machines, from the off, they generated a revving jangly soundsphere. This was the intro to 'Dunes' building rapidly, revolving around the arena, once the vibe was initiated, it allowed Josefin to enter, in the manner of a majestic enchantress. The song continued on, the band looking deeply focused, and eventually saw some surprised heads nodding along to the intoxicating groove.

Once that song had broken the ice, 'Sunny Afternoon', invoked some responses with more onlookers rising to their feet, moving forward to the stage. It has be noted that keyboard player Calle portrayed an intense concentration and awareness, as though he were a captain aboard the SS Liberation surveying the surroundings, guiding us through an interstellar wormhole.

The illuminating sunshine splendour that appeared courtesy of 'Sanity', seemed to carry the succumbed crowd along and evidently by Josefin's swaying, multi-spectrum rays of light were beginning to cast themselves over the many observers.The journey gathered momentum on 'Talk' also, with those pulsating drums by Dennis , including distant and near guitar chimes, steadily coaxing the newly entranced forward.

A couple of new enchantments arrived in the forms of 'Rushing Through My Mind' and 'Rainbow Lollipop' - new material to be released later in the year. The spectacle of both Frederik and Victor on their guitars, somehow turned them into knights of enlightenment, leading a unison shift with chugging rhythms, comprised of Vilhelm's  hypnotic bass, Calle's focused keys and a locked-in consistent drum pattern by Dennis. The song through Josefin's smooth sustained vocals, seemed to echo around the landscape, it was made more effective with her guitar, portraying a mystical Boudicca on her charming chariot, searching out the planes of consciousness. A small applause responded, yet it was beginning to dawn on some, exactly what was happening in their midst.

By the time 'Take Me Beyond' was being played, more observers were beginning to embrace the experience before them,  a vast river of love was released, and invited all to sway, in all it's breathtaking glory. The last chance to behold the cosmic portal opened by the band before their departure, was provided on 'Green Blue Fields', a pedalling drive accompanied by Victor's ecstactic wah solos , began to embed a real togetherness. A crescendo crafted from another realm, brought more and people into the readily gathered collective camp, with realisations of the festival becoming being truly alive.

Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation are an act you truly have to experience in the flesh to really capture the transdimensional layers contained within. They are lined up to perform at The Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia, and have just announced a UK tour support slot to Psychedelic tribal experimentalists, Goat, later on in the year.

 

 

(Thankyou to Serena Khan for the Photo contributions)

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