Vanir

Pumpehuset, Copenhagen - 2012

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Good old Vanir was the chosen band to end the Grand Folk-Metal Night at Pumpehuset this cold January eve. Or, old and old...
Before them, a collection of Scandinavian folk-metal bands had entertained the impressively large audience – Heidra and Huldre also from Denmark, Faanefjell from Norway, and finally Yggdrasil from Sweden; now however the time had come for the party-monkeys of Vanir, who with their music try not to invoke the might and power of the Vikings on the battle field (like so many others in the same genre) but rather their drunken debauchery in the festive long-halls of their home...

”Are you drunk yet?!”
- Andreas ’Odin’ Bigom (vocals, keyboard)


Well, the fact that the taps were all dried out by the time Vanir played should speak for itself... Luckily, you could still get the golden beverage known as beer on bottle though, and in honour of the special event this evening mead was also plentiful. I believe Vanir may have had something to do with this, they are known for handing out mead during their shows (also at this one). Problem is, and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried mead or not, but given the right kind it goes down easier than anything you’ve ever tried, and then hits like a fucking sledge hammer! Tastes good though, and can successfully be mixed with beer, especially if you remember to bring your drinking horn, something a lot of people had remembered tonight. Well, if not tonight, when would you get such an opportune moment again?
Anyway, the party was a given fact at Pumpehuset at this time, and Vanir’s happy-go-lucky party death grunted metal proved the perfect soundtrack for the ending of the evening; sure, the back end of the room was less populated than it had been for earlier bands but on the other hand we had a dance-floor which was more packed than ever before! And not only the floor, there were both crowd-surfers and stage-divers as well who brought the party to a whole new level, pun intended.

Yes, Vanir were partying hard like only they can, but somehow the ranks of einherjers and valkyries seemed to be thinning out, slowly but steadily.
Sure, we knew backing vocalist Mike Kirkeby Pedersen was out of the band, we had found that out at an earlier gig (not reviewed), but now flutist Amanda Natalie Rasmussen was also missing, and this was something completely new to us (we later found out that she too was out of the band).
Interestingly though, the band seemed as strong and vital as ever, and Bigom was really coming into character as leading man. The last gig had been good, but not as fiery as they had been in the past; this night however, Vanir showed themselves in prime shape!
All of the remaining members were rocking hard, but it was the aforementioned Bigom and the newly short-haired guitarist Lasse Guldbæk Jensen who stole the scene at the end of the day with their vigorous efforts and lively stage personas.
For the setlist, the band had chosen a select group of party-tunes from the last album, Særimners Kød, but also played some new material, like their first song with English lyrics, Raise Your Horns (written in English because the band have had so many requests for translating their Danish lyrics), a song which got the crowd to do just that.

What can I say other than that it was Denmark who came out with the flag held high this night?
Vanir may not have been my favourite show this night, I have too strong a love for Huldre for that, but they ended the Grand Folk-Metal Night quite excellently, and they proved that even with a few changes in the line-up, they are still as strong as ever. It gave me something to look forward to in the future.

Setlist:

Holmgang
Gildet
Togtet
Rejsen Til Udgårdsloke
Hlidskjalf
Thyrfing
Raise Your Horns
Heimdals Kvad
Suttungs Mjød
Elverkongens Brud
Scotland The Brave
Særimners Kød
Drikkevisen

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