Greenlandic music is some of the best music you’ve never heard of. There is a surprising number of amazing musicians in Greenland, and Ole Kristiansen – a favourite amongst locals – has been around for years. What better way to experience his music for the first time than at the Katuaq Cultural Centre in Nuuk.
I was determined to see a concert during my extended stay in Nuuk this year. While I had desperately hoped that my absolute favourite band, Nanook, would be playing – it was not to be … again 🙁
I did, however, get to see one of Greenland’s perennial favourites play – Ole Kristiansen.
I knew of his work because of the duet he sings on Frederik Elsner’s solo album – “F”. But I’d never listened to it specifically. I pre-purchased my ticket for 250DKK (about AUD$50), and decided I would just turn up and see what it was all about.
Support act – Jaaku Sørensen
The support act was scheduled to appear at 9pm, so I headed out into the snow storm (boy it was hard to get off the couch!) and caught the bus to arrive at 8:55pm. Uuuuummmmmmm… where was everyone? There were maybe 20 of us in the foyer of Katuaq – and an even larger number of staff, who were preparing the plastic cups of beer that would ultimately lubricate what they anticipated would be a good crowd.
I felt incredibly sorry for Jaaku Sørensen who had his family, friends and a handful of us who didn’t know him making up a very small crowd in a very large space.
And, to be honest, he was really quite good! His primarily folk-style songs sung mostly in English deserved a much bigger audience. It seems that opening for one of Greenland’s biggest performers, doesn’t actually guarantee you the audience you might expect or deserve in Greenland. Tough crowd!
He played for about 45 minutes in total and people started to arrive during the 30-minute break before the main performance. By the time Ole took the stage – the scene was more like what I was expecting from the outset.
Main act – Ole Kristiansen
I had an awesome position up on a ledge towards the front of the foyer with a clear view of the stage
and the most common sight at concerts around the world these days.
From the first note, the crowd went wild. And I was very surprised by how “heavy” his music was. It was definitely within the genre of rock music, not heavy metal music, but I was expecting something lighter.
The music was really good! Not as good as Nanook 😉, but I could see why it had everyone else in the crowd singing their heart and lungs out. I’d definitely go see him play again.
Despite really enjoying the concert, I ended up leaving at the mid-way break. I’m a big fan of Nuuk’s bus system with the exception of one point – the last bus is waaaaaay too early on a Friday and Saturday night. Given the storm outside, it was either catch this last bus or hope to be able to get a taxi home ($$$) once the concert had finished. I was happy with the experience I’d had so ended up taking the bus.
I look forward to my next concert in Greenland! Hopefully it will be Nanook!
Discover more about Greenland
Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, is the hub for modern culture in Greenland. There is everything from music, to visual arts, to performance arts, to architecture, to amazing gastronomy experiences. Read more in Guide to Greenland’s Culture Lover’s Guide to Nuuk.
The best resource on the web if you are planning a trip to Nuuk is the Ultimate Travel Guide to Nuuk, and there is also a Nature Lovers Guide to Nuuk, if the outdoors is more your thing.