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  • Writer's pictureMartin Bullard

Sun, sea and boats at 61 degrees north

Daylight, sunlight, eager crowds - what else can you possibly need to make concerts enjoyable? At this time of year I prefer to stay well north of the equator and the Scandic territories will do just fine. Smokie have built a lasting friendship with the folks at Wrightegaarden in Langesund and their hospitality on Friday proved that they are determined to keep the good relationship going. Over the years they have hosted many famous acts, including Bob Dylan, Sir Elton John, Blood Sweat and Tears and Toto, to name just a few. The main stage has been rebuilt and a second stage is now present so that the support band can soundcheck and know that their gear hasn’t been moved before the show. Like all venues they suffered during the pandemic but have bounced back admirably since restrictions were eased. The harbour was full of boats, as always, from where the passengers enjoyed a free concert, but the real excitement was from inside the venue. With an easy journey, and a surprisingly short one for Norway, we arrived in Tonsberg, Norway’s oldest city, where we knew that the show at Foynhagen had sold out with a total of fifteen hundred people in the venue. The hot weather brought many folks outdoors and Foynhagen was buzzing with excitement, as was the whole harbour area. Smokie hit the stage at 21:15 to an enormous roar of approval and it was clear that it was going to be a very special night. The loudest of “hasta la vistas” in Mexican Girl and the volume of audience singing in “I don’t wanna talk about it” measured the mood of the eager crowd and their reception of the band put the whole show into the category of one of the best shows of all time in Norway. Now we return home, suntan included, for a weekend off before completing our summer shows at the beginning of July.

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