The final of the 16. edition of the competition for bands without a contract was held at the main stage during this year’s Notodden Blues Festival. The quintet, containing members from Oslo and Akershus won, but not without stiff competition from the two other bands in the final: Borny’s Live Delivery, from Moss and Skogmus, from Stavanger.
It was certainly an enthusiastic and happy band that was chosen to be the Union Bluesband 2014, at Notodden on August 3. All of next year they will tour Norway with backing from the Norwegian Blues Union. The five members of the band are in the age 19 to 21 years old, and they are all studying music: Marcus Løvdal (guitar), Bjørn Ulvik Blix Lein (vocal/guitar), Audun Barsten Johnsen (keys), Lasse Kulsrud Nordby (bass) and Jonatan Eikum (drums).
Per Ole Hagen from broadcaster NRK, as well as the musicians Espen Liland and Andreas Stamnes made up the jury, that gave the following reason upon choosing the winner:
-The Union Blues Cup held a high level of quality this year, and the three bands that made it to the final are all really winners. We’ve heard a lot of different genres presented during the tournament, and it’s also of importance to notice that the oldest competitor is 25 years old, while the youngest one is 18. The average age of the participating musicians are just 20 years of age!
The winning band shows a great musical capacity, and every individual member performs at a high level. Their songs are varied, and we believe they will be a warmly welcomed not only at the blues clubs, but also other venues. They play tight together and present music containing great dynamics. There’s also a good communication between the members of the band, and their roles are working well. It’s usually guitar players that are mentioned when discussing music, but we would instead give a big mention of bass-player Lasse Kulsrud Nordby at this time.
We salute Marcus Løvdal Band!
By Rune Endal
Finalist no. 2, Borny' Live Delivery from Moss, Njål Uhre Kiese (bs), Knærten Simonsen (dr), Bjørn Erlend "Borny" Walberg (guitar/voc) and Eivind Walberg (guitar).
Finalist no. 3, Skogmus from Stavanger. Anders Harestad (bs), Casper Hatlestad (voc/guitar) and Stian Nilsson (dr).