Kafe Hærverk, Oslo, 28/10/19
It might have been a usual Monday in Oslo, unless there was an unusual concert at Kafe Hærverk. And there was one – Chris Abrahams, the great pianist known from legendary trio The Necks, played a solo concert, and it made this Monday particularly special. Supposedly he doesn’t do solo gigs very often despite his formidale reputation as a solo pianist, but he made an exception for a small, cosy club in the middle of Oslo, which he admires so much. I’ve heard, that it was actually Chris’ idea to make this happen.
Everyone who has ever attended The Necks’ concert, knows that they are one of the few that can create an exceptional and mystic aura before, during and after the show – their performances are simply extrodinary, magical and one of a kind. Not only because they basically “meet up” at the concert, grab their instruments and improvise, without any rehersals. The thing is that it is a truly magical and emotional musical journy they take the audience on and everyone, whether a big fan of the music or a total stranger to it, simply must experience it.
Chris’ solo performance was nothing less. He played two sets (!). First one was lyrical, even heartbreaking. I love it how he just starts playing, closes his eyes, and his body lurches, but his hands are delicately moving on the piano keys, and suddenly you are in a musical trance, moved to a different dimension. And after a while the music becomes one with your floating thoughts about whatever you are going through in your life at this very moment. Or the music is reflecting your biggest fears, sparks or dilemmas. Like the second set, which was harder and stronger in a way. I kept imagining the storm coming and thunders hitting during it. That is the kind of music I would wanna hear my whole life.
After the show he announced that he brought the last copy of his first novel, Maddox, with his. Without further hesitation, I ran to Chris and excitedly asked for the book. “Would you like me to write down an inscription for you?”, he offered with pretty much same excitement as mine. “The novel was supposed to be funny. I hope you’ll enjoy it”, he added.
I wouldn’t be myself if I hadn’t asked my piano-guru for the recording for my little This is – series. Chris was more than happy to fulfill my wish. Check out Extras on the main page and you’ll find the recording under This Is tab (or click directly here). We’ve chatted for a bit longer and he told me about his latest concert in the salt mines in Cracow at Unsound Festival, where The Necks performed with an orchestra Sinfonietta Cracovia, under the leadership of Ilan Volkov (more info here). I couldn’t attend this marvellous project, but Chris told me that it was an incredible experience which he will never forget.
At the end of this touching performance and satisfying conversation, I got the best gift ever from Chris himself – one of his solo albums, Climb. Wish you all such Mondays!
https://thenecksau.bandcamp.com/ https://www.discogs.com/artist/280447-Chris-Abrahams https://www.unsound.pl/pl/solidarity/artists/the-necks-ilan-volkov-and-sinfonietta-cracovia