The expression ‘making a meal of it’ was brought to life at the Holland Festival by Sekten. This Swedish/Danish/Norwegian band, fronted by Qarin Wikström, has breathed new life into ‘table-music’, which has it’s origins in the the 16th century. However in true Scandinavian fashion they have put a modern twist on it.
Whereas many centuries ago table-music was ‘invented’ as light entertainment for the guests at big banquets, seated behind big tables with luxury food and drinks, Sekten’s version of it is played by the actual people seated at a dinner table. And light enterainment it certainly isn’t.
The performance started with the dinner guests (i.e. bandmembers) looking for eachother in the dark armed with headlamps and tiny bells and gathering at the dinner table after finding eachother. And it’s at the dinner table that the drama unfolds: ‘drunken’ singing, confessions, people stuffing their faces with food, tears flowing, etc. and in between some amazing music, partly along well defined lines, partly improvised. Sometimes light and jazzy, but with a bit of extra distortion some of the music they played might have put many death metal bands to shame, that’s how diverse the performance was.
During the performance I couldn’t help thinking about some similarities between Sekten’s performance and the Scandinavian cult Dogma movie ‘Festen’ (‘The Celebration’), where a dirty secret is revealed at the dinner table. And I don’t think this was just pure coincidence my thoughts wandered off in that direction…
But how to exactly describe Sekten’s version of table-music? Intriguing? Yes! Strange? Yes! A feast for the eyes and ears? Most definitely! If Sekten ever shows up and books a table in your home town and you don’t necessarily like your music pre-processed, make sure to join them for dinner and judge for yourself. I really enjoyed the experience!
Full gallery after the break…
I didn’t manage to capture all the details of Sekten’s performance, as I couldn’t shoot the entire show, but the photos will give you an idea of what to expect at a performance of Sekten.
Enjoy the photos!