Concert Review: The Magic Mary (Norway, 20 July 2002)

By Arve Solbakken, Firdayposten

BREMANGER: Mary Black enchanted the festival-public in Bremanger like a good Queen. The meeting with the Irish superstar was magically and definitely a highpoint of the Bremanger Rockclub's first 20-years.

They are not afraid of taking untraditional risks in Bremanger. The main attraction of this year's Rock weekend is famous in her homeland Ireland, but relatively unknown in Norway. Most of the audience just had to rely on the Rock-club's good taste. There was a strange tension at this big day of the jubilee's last Saturday. As many as seven concerts were to take place that evening on four different stages, and the rockclub had to sell at least 400 tickets for the concert in the tent (actually a tent owned by the Norwegian "Circus Agora") to cover all the costs. Several hours before the concert only 300 tickets were sold. And then the message came: the band had lost all their instruments at the luggage office in Kastrup.

Mary Black and the band came from a rainy Dublin to a Bremanger which bathed in sunshine. Without instruments, they came to Iglandsvik (where the tent was raised), but their frustrations soon dispersed. They could choose from first class instruments from other musicians in Bremanger.

When Mary Black and her phenomenal band finished the concert five hours later- after coming back on stage for three encores, because of the enthusiastic applause from the audience, the negative prophecies (perhaps from some of the audience) were turned into a big success. Although she had only one song known to the Norwegian audience, "A Woman's Heart", she impressed everybody. About 700 people experienced a magic performance.