Bernhoft @ o2 Academy, 13 November, 2018

Norwegian singer Bernhoft is a well of insane talent, a poetic lyricist. Undefined by genre or sound his music is a multifaceted reflection on life and love, an intoxicating mixture of noise that reverberates deep into your heart. Joined by band Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises transformed the room at the O2 Academy, delivering a set wrapped warmly by funky electronic atmospheric sound that created a truly magical night. 

After a standout opening set from New York based band Lawrence, Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises took to the stage. Swaddled in green and blue lights the group launched into melodic ‘Humanoids.’ The single from their recently released album, with its upbeat swingy style, it was a welcomed introduction to the night, infusing the crowd with excitable energy as the song expanded in sound and texture. Hit by the pure genius of both instrumental and lyrical performance Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises opened with a killer record, a reflection of all that was to come. 

Sunny ‘Everything Will Be Alright,’ with its muted but cheery demeanour warmed the cool evening. The record was followed by ‘Come Around,’ with Bernhoft’s falsetto on full display the song brought an emotional arch to the early set. New album smash ‘Lookalike’ altered the tone, its funky instrumental sections backed by Bernhoft’s massive vocals. The song displayed this immense talent of both vocalist and instrumentalist, as the band had moments of pure brilliance. 

A song that was said to essentially be about the fans ‘Medication’ with its distorted vocals and drum cantered breaks, brought a genre shifting electronic vibe. A balance between blues and electronic the song displayed the multi-faceted flavour that Bernhoft brings to his musical creation.  Fan favourite ‘Beliefs’ was followed by sultry ‘California’ and funky ‘One Way Track.’ 

Digitized funk ‘Buried Gold,’ with its bouncy tone and power vocals, brought the crowd into a tizzy as they danced along with the rambunctious energy on stage. As the crowd was now nice and warm it was no surprise that ‘We Have a Dream’ found Bernhoft accompanied by the choir of fans. Singing loudly the harmony dripping record with its uptempo funk was filled with instrumental moments and slicing lyrics, a harmonious intersection of music that was clearly adored by the fans. The set ended with ‘Choices’ before Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises came back for an encore that included a solo rendition of ‘Jealous Guy’ and atmospheric ‘Space in My Heart’ and ‘C’mon Talk.’ 

There is an inescapable pleasure that comes from seeing Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises. Not only is his music beautifully complex, but his stage show feels like you are watching a friends jam session. The immense talent emanating on stage, Bernhoft’s vocals floating and intermixing with the insanity of instrumentals that all collide to create a breathtakingly beautiful song, immediately transfixes you. At the O2 Academy Bernhoft and the Fashion Bruises crafted a set that transformed the atmosphere, intermixing funk with electronic and adding in a bit of rock sensibility the music was transfixing and transformative crafting an overwhelmingly brilliant night. 

Reviewer: Kylie McCormick

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