Ane Brun @ O2 Shepherds Bush Empire – Gig Review

Over the weekend I was at the O2 Shepherds Bush Empire to see Norwegian singer Ane Brun just before she departs on a tour of the US.

Originally from Norway, Ane found her musical feet in Sweden – her five studio albums, ‘Spending Time With Morgan’, ‘Temporary Dive’, ‘Duets’ (where she collaborated with several artists that she admires), ‘Changing of the Seasons’ and 2011’s ‘It All Starts With One’ all have Swedish input. Strangely enough, I discovered her through the duet she performed with Peter Gabriel on his album, ‘New Blood’, where she took on the monumental task of reprising Kate Bush’s part in Gabriel’s seminal song, ‘Don’t Give Up’.

Although she’s not particularly well-known on the mainstream UK music scene, she has a following large enough to pack out the Shepherds Bush Empire – by the time the two support acts had finished both the main auditorium and the circle were heaving with fans. In front of most of the musicians who collaborated on ‘It All Starts With One’ – two drummers, a keyboard player, percussionist cum flautist and a cellist (Linnea Olsson,¬†who doubled up as the first support act) she executed a range of songs selected from all of her studio albums while sweeping dramatically across the stage and singing with the intensity of a siren calling sailors to their doom – her voice has the eeriest qualities, eminently suited to her material, which is full of darkness and melancholy. In particular I found her new material with its intense rhythms particularly compelling… it’s nice to be an auditorium where everyone is unselfconsciously grooving away…

Here are some examples of her work, the first from her second album and the second from her latest outing, so that you can discover Ane Brun for yourself: