Josefin Winther, Norway’s finest

Josefin Winther – Rattlesnake, Islington 6th August 2013

There’s a receptive crowd at the Rattlesnake in Islington, a small venue generally home to folky and other acoustic acts.

Josefin Winther is a Norwegian musician now resident in Brixton – good choice btw, South London, as the football song goes, is indeed wonderful. Josefin Winther has released a couple of albums

Classically trained, on the cello no less, she began writing her own songs in her early teens.

She has released two albums – 2008’s “Be Proud Or Stay Out Of It” is a straight band album while on the more recent  “Raising Armies” she mixes in some quieter stuff with the rawk, to the immense benefit of the excellent lyrics.

She’s been performing around clubs in London as a solo artist, but tonight she has the full band over from Norway.

She switches the mood seamlessly between rock numbers and slow solo number, helped by her between-songs patter which is both engaging and genuinely funny.

Standout track for me is “These Good Times Are Killing Me” which incorporates wordgames that Laura Marling would be proud of with an excellent Dave Gilmour-inspired guitar solo from guitarist / musical arranger Kristian Fanavoll Tvedt.

Comparisons to PJ Harvey and Patti Smith have been made but Josefin reckons she had never heard either artist until people told her that’s who she sounded like, and I can believe this.

There’s a lot more music in the backing than Patti ever manages. And the instrumentation and arrangements are more straight-ahead classic rock than Peej,

Like most singer-songwriters, there’s clearly a huge personal slant to the lyrics, and that’s where she really scores big – echoes of Springsteen, at least to these ears. (“I ain’t crying cos baby, I don’t cry”)

Here’s one of the solo numbers, “Change Of Heart”

And a newer song, with the fantastic title of “The Shit You Pulled Before”. I wouldn’t worry about the cussword limiting airplay too much, Josefin – we live in an era where Fuck Buttons can get on the radio. It’s all good.


Josefin Winther’s a special talent. Check her out.


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