Live Review: Teitur with Marit Larsen at Jammin’ Java, Vienna, VA – 24th February 2012

By on Monday, 27th February 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

It seems like lifetimes ago when I first heard Teitur guested on Radcliffe and Maconie’s show, then on Radio2, for an evening session in February 2009 (photo here). He did amazing live versions of ‘The Singer’ (still my favourite song of his to date; it slays me every time) and ‘Catherine the Waitress’ that left me spellbound. The man from the enchanting-sounding Faroe Islands has played Vienna’s Jammin’ Java coffee shop a couple of times over the years and has built up a loyal following in this Virginia suburb of Washington, but as I pointed out to my one of my friends who accompanied me to the show Friday night (who just happens to be named Catherine, in fact), I had never ventured out for a show to the relative “wilds” of Virginia just west of DC. (Insert guffaw here: turns out where I live some 40 miles north is even more out of the way than Vienna is; our traffic lights start flashing way before theirs do.)

We thought arriving shortly after doors opened, we would be early but in fact, the opener had just started her set. Young Norwegian Marit Larsen may be teeny and slight but her strong voice – a voice she has complete control over – makes a comparison to most other women on the music scene today impossible. As longtime TGTF readers know, I am pretty cynical when it comes to female singers, but she is the real deal. Larsen is not even 30 years old and she has already released 3 solo albums, not to mention the music she released as part of pop duo M2M in her teens.

She’s a bit soft-spoken but won over the crowd quickly with her endearing stage patter. Larsen talked of a longtime dream being fulfilled after being asked to join Teitur on his American tour; she made note of Leigh Nash’s (Sixpence None the Richer) future visit to the venue and said how much she adored her voice and asked the audience to say hello for her. She made everyone laugh when she admitted she was more prolific when upset so she put a sad song to an upbeat tempo and then it went on to #1 in four countries. Her personability on songs like ‘Steal My Heart’ (written, she confessed, to make a hot and cold boyfriend commit to her, to amazing success) make Larsen’s worry about when her “little girl” voice would mature a moot point: singer/songwriters flourish when they make a connection with the audience, and with her big voice, Larsen has what it takes to make it in this business.

One benefit of having two solo artists on a tour is that there’s no extra people to keep track of, nor are there any complicated gear issues, because all there is to worry about are a piano and a guitar. Except Teitur managed to accidentally leave behind his guitar Betty behind in another town. Thankfully for us, Teitur was reunited with his beloved and being the great performer he is, managed to weave this story (and even play a bluesy impromptu ode of Betty on the keys) along with many others into his all too short set for us. ‘Josephine’ was prefaced by a sad yet heartwarming story, as he explained the reason for their tardiness to Vienna: he performed for the poorly child of an English fan in hospital who loved the song; the Englishman told him she’d first heard the song at a UK festival, sat on her father’s lap. Bless.

The sudden passing of blues singer/songwriter Chris Whitley in 2005 impelled the Faroese singer to write ‘Legendary Afterparty’, which he sang with heartfelt remembrance of his friend and how they drank a six-pack of beer in an Austin motel . ‘Catherine the Waitress’ erupted into a fun sing-along as Teitur got everyone to sing the “woo woo woo” bits, to much comedic effect. Having played Jammin’ Java several times in the past, I’m sure he was aware of the possibility of a captive audience here on a Friday night. Nevertheless, his disarming nature and the exquisiteness of his songwriting and playing made his talent abundantly clear. More singer/songwriters could learn a thing or two from this humble chap from the Faroe Islands. Videos of the ode to Betty and the encore of ‘Poetry and Airplanes’ are below.

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2 Responses

3:06 am
28th February 2012

Hello.

Apologies to everyone who went to see Teitur and Marit at Jammin Java. It was my fault they were late. His excuse was entirely genuine.

I am the English fan whose daughter Teitur sang for in hospital. They were both so kind to Ruby and Teitur’s singing was so beguiling that it was difficult not to keep asking him for one more song.

Ruby enjoyed it very very much. Her story can be found at one4ruby.com, and you can read about this magical visit at:

http://www.one4ruby.com/parents-blog/magic-medicine-magic-music/

Marit Larsen has been tweeting about her experience with Ruby as well at https://twitter.com/#!/larsenmarit

It sounds like it was still a great night, and I am very moved to hear that Teitur dedicated ‘Josephine’ to his encounter with Ruby earlier in the day.

Thank you for including this in your blog – it means a lot to us.

Best, Simon Lambert (Ruby’s Dad)

[…] can read Mary Chang's full review here – including our apology for making them late for the […]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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