Bravo Papa formed in Oslo, August 2009. The startup was originally meant as a reunion of Øystein Thomassen and Kjetil aka “Kelly” Rønningen’s former band ‘Mars University’, with new drummer Mads Friberg and Ingrid Goverud Ulstein on bass guitar. Old songs from the Mars University era were rehearsed with new members, but new songs also came to light – among them ‘Your Dad Was A Reptile’ and ‘A Word Is Just A Word’. Ingrid soon decided to leave the band, and good friend Stein Ove Eriksen joined instead. Constantly producing new material, they were now focusing less on Mars University’s past, and more on its future. Already a member of the band ‘Jim Protector’, Stein Ove did not find the time to stay as a full-time member. Kelly then called up his and Mads’ good friend and psychology class mate Alexander Aarvik, asking him to join them on bass guitar. Alex was mainly a guitarist and had never played the bass before. Even so, he decided to give it a shot. Alex did a good job on the first rehearsal, and his skills would only improve. Stein Ove stayed as a fifth “extra member”, saying he could play the synthesizer on parts where it was needed. The band soon found chemistry, and recorded every rehearsal they made. Jams became songs in light speed, and the old days of Mars University were less prominent. Obviously, they were not the same band anymore, so a name change was definitely needed.
The band at Dragsuget. From left to right: Øystein Granheim Hammer, Alexander Aarvik, Mads Friberg, Kjetil Rønningen (Kelly). Photo by Andreas Segrov.
Finding a name was not an easy task, and some hundred suggestions were made. It was difficult to agree, and the band stayed nameless for a very long time. Through the first year, rehearsals took place in Schau’s Kulturbryggeri – a rehearsal hotel in Oslo. The plug and play concept the hotel offered was definitely a nice solution for newly established bands lacking their «own» place. Still it was a bit on the expensive side for those taking seriously the fact that becoming good means a lot of rehearsing. In September 2010, the band moved into ‘Dragsuget’ – sharing a room with three other bands in Nydalen. Equipment was upgraded – it was time to do some promotion and some serious live shows. They desperately needed a name though, as their first gig was only a month away. Three pages of suggestions made over the past several months were read aloud, but none were satisfactory. After a lot of discussion, they would agree on calling themselves ‘Elephant Nightclub’ – a name that wasn’t on the list. In the following October, the band performed live for the first time, on a birthday party at Strykejernet in Oslo. Dressed in white t-shirts, they played six songs selected from their growing library of musical pieces – ‘Your Dad Was A Reptile’, ‘Fourth Of December’, ‘While The Whole Wide World’s In Love With Her, She’s Not In Love With The World’, ‘The Bail’, ‘If We’ll Ever Find The Time’ and ‘Troubled Party’.
The band’s first ever performance – a birthday party at Strykejernet, Oslo. Photos by Morten Hegdal and Charlotte Kongshavn.
In march 2011 the band entered “Lydlosjen”, a studio localized at Torshov, Oslo, to record their debut album. The raw material for ten songs written over the past one and a half years were recorded in only two days. The band’s first studio experience evoked mixed feelings among the members. Satisfied with their own effectivity, something was still not right. Having spent the last couple of weeks fine-tuning the sound of his guitar, Øystein was mysteriously not able to reproduce the same sound in the studio. The guitars rather sounded like what you would expect to hear from broken speakers. Still neither the band nor their producer were able to localize the source of the error.
The band recording their debut album at Lydlosjen, Torshov. Photo by Alexander Aarvik.
In spring 2011, bassist Alex debuted with his first novel ‘Skuddsikker’ (Bulletproof). As part of the book’s release party, Elephant Nightclub performed five songs half-acoustic at the small, but very cool pub in Oslo, ‘Sound of Mu’. Satisfied with the performance, the crew instantly asked them to play another gig at the same place the following May. A recording of the Sound of Mu-concert would also earn them yet another gig at Magneten, Torshov, the same month. The concert was to become their first full rock-show, where all ten songs from their album, along with another more experimental one called ‘Good Night No Love’, were performed. A few weeks before the gig, Alex and Kelly had gone to a party where a girl called Angelica Talatas performed her own songs on an acoustic guitar. Amazed by her great voice and songwriting abilities, the guys asked her to join them on their next gigs at Magneten and Sound of Mu. Angelica enthusiastically accepted the invitations.
Acoustic performance at Alexander’s release party of his book ‘Skuddsikker’.
When the name “Elephant Nightclub” had first been suggested, there had been no doubt among the four band members about its validity. Doubt was now starting to become a reality, though, as certain members were not feeling comfortable with it. Were they going to make a name change? When first suggested, a point was made that changing the name would not be the right solution to the problem. After some discussion, though, this seemed to be the only solution. By going through the old list, the band agreed on calling themselves ‘The Second Coming Of Chris Isaak’. The band did of course not have anything to do with the real Chris Isaak – for them it was just a name that sounded cool and had a funny play on words. This was not as clear to all outsiders, though, who could not understand their decision to change the name. How could they kill the elephant? And what was up with this Chris Isaak-thing? The second gig at Sound of Mu was their first performance as ‘The Second Coming Of Chris Isaak’. Yet another half-acoustic take on their songs, but now as a full hour concert. In addition to the ten songs from their album, the band debuted two new ones called ‘Bird Craft’ and ‘This Odd Life Of Mine’.
Sound of Mu, May 31st, 2011
In august 2011, Kelly met Shotgun Whalers guitarist/singer Simen Sveberg Andreassen on town. In the Mars University-era, Kelly and Øystein had recorded music with Simen, with mixed feelings about the results of the recording. This was partly because of the fact that only half of the songs ever saw a finished mix. Even so, Simen insisted on being the man for the job of mixing and mastering The Second Coming Of Chris Isaak’s debut album. His first impression with the raw material was that everything sounded shit, but that it didn’t have anything to do with the songs themselves or how they were played. Giving us a taste of what he was able to do with ‘Laughing In The New Year’, the band decided to give him the job. In the process of mixing the album, Simen worked very closely with the band, constantly asking for feedback. To repair the broken guitar sound was obviously not an easy task, but at least he was able to give them a «pretty cool» indieesque sound. Even so, Øystein felt the need to check what kind of sound he would get by re-recording his guitars in the band’s own rehearsal room at Dragsuget. The result was met with happiness and frustration at the same time, as everything sounded crisper and cleaner. Hoping Simen would be able to integrate the new guitars in what was coming close to a final mix, they were relieved to hear that this wasn’t a problem. After a lot of e-mail exchanges and detail focused adjustments, the album that had «existed» for half a year already, was bursting with new life.
Mads and Alex recording in Lydlosjen. Photo by Kjetil Rønningen.
In october 2011, The Second Coming Of Chris Isaak were along with six others, given the chance to perform on that year’s Zoom festival in Oslo. For several years Zoom had been known as an important step on the road to success for several great artists. To play at Café Mono was like a dream coming true for each and all of the band members. Taking many years into account, it had probably been the bar they had visited the most. Throughout their 25 minute short concert, five songs from the album were performed. The following November the band was asked to warm up for the Commodore 64-inspired trio ‘Year 6581’, who were launching their first ever music video at Verkstedet Bar in Oslo. Among songs from their album, The Second Coming Of Chris Isaak presented two new ones, showing off more of their experimental side on ‘Nightowl’, while staying true to the catchiness one had come to associate them with on the rocker ‘When The Day Breaks’. Impressed by the show, the crew at Verkstedet decided to book the band for a second gig early the following year.
The band performing at Café Mono, Oslo, as part of the Zoom festival. Photo by Andreas Segrov.
Problems with their rehearsal room at Dragsuget were starting to arise, as the place were getting a new owner. Given the invitation to take over for themselves, the band was planning to accept. But because of bad communication and misunderstandings, they were asked to pack their equipment and leave before getting the chance to make a decision. Fortunately they came in contact with a guy who was renting out offices at Økern, hoping bands would use them as rehearsal rooms. In addition to Økern becoming their new «home» for 2012, the new year was kickstarted with their second gig at Verkstedet, taking place on its first weekend. Having only played short lasting gigs throughout the last half year, the band ceased the opportunity to play a really long one. In addition to songs from their album and «old new ones», they gave a taste of what they had been working on lately. A demo of ‘Late Night Soldiers’ had existed for a long time, but was now presented in an upgraded form, seeing Øystein using the bow with his guitar. ‘Our Picture Don’t Seem Right’ was another rocker, while ‘Drunken Lies’ showed a more melancholic side of the band. In total the gig consisted of 14 songs, ending with Kelly doing his first ever stage dive. The concert also saw Angelica Talatas making her third warm-up performance for them, in addition to the debut of indie country guy ‘A Ton of Bricks Falling a Thousand Yards’.
Verkstedet, January 6th 2012
Frustration would again start to arise around the band’s name. The Chris Isaak-association was taking too much attention away from their own music. They also feared an eventual sue from the man himself, or from his record company. The decision to make another name change was not an easy one, knowing that people were really tired of this nonsense. After some discussion, though, they decided to call themselves ‘Bravo Papa’, swearing that the name would be final. Having finally settled on a band name, Bravo Papa released their debut album ‘Noshow’ on several electronic media like Spotify, Itunes and Wimp on March 4th. Feeling comfortably “settled down” with their new name and their new rehearsal room at Økern, the cover-art shot by drummer Mads was made to convey this feeling by showing a near empty street similar to the fascinating area that was now called “home”. Along with their debut album, the band also released their official webpage, which was meant to be a clean deep dive into all things Bravo Papa. This was a place to come not only to watch live recordings of their gigs, but also video interviews, reports and behind the scenes material for the biggest hopefully soon to come “Bravo Papa nerds”. The concept was called ‘Bravo Papa TV’.
On June 2nd, Bravo Papa again returned on stage in their favorite bar Café Mono. This time on every Norwegian music fan’s favorite day of the year, namely ‘Musikkfest Oslo’, translated to ‘Music Party Oslo, or ‘Day Of The Music’, which it was previously called. On this day hundreds of bands gather around in Oslo to give music lovers what they crave. It was time to show off what Bravo Papa was all about for those who had yet to discover them. Five songs were played, and in true Bravo Papa spirit they ceased the opportunity to show off one of their brand-new songs. “The End Of The Night” which was characterized by an orgasmic refrain in contrast to the more laid-back verse, featured lyrics about sexual frustration and psychological protection.
Café Mono, June 2nd 2012
On their next gig, Bravo Papa would again plug out the electric guitars and rediscover their songs acoustically. The festival was a private party arranged by two girls the band got to know through the website ‘Underskog’. Maida and Rebecca seemed to have a yearly tradition of inviting bands to come and play in their garden, and this year, which was their third year, Bravo Papa was lucky to be asked to headline the festival and play along with other really talented musicians. The band played a full 12 song concert, and would again debut a brand-new song called ‘The Tumor That Connects Our Flesh’. Øystein and Kelly ceased the opportunity to celebrate their ten-year anniversary of song writing collaboration, as they on July 7th (after 12.00 pm on Kelly’s birthday) exactly ten years earlier, had written their first song together called ‘Tonight’. The song had thus far been the only song they had written which had ever reached the radio stations, and had also earned them a “star” or a recommendation on NRK’s ‘Urørt’. What a way to celebrate a birthday, both then and ten years later!
Hagefestivalen, June 7th 2012
On July 24th Bravo Papa released their first ever music video for the song ‘Fourth of December’. The idea was really simple and did not require a budget. After starting in his new job in Fredrikstad, Kelly had to travel far by train every day, and was intrigued by the environments passing by as he was looking out the window. He picked up his Iphone and started filming with the intention of capturing the dynamic vibe of the song he was making a video for. Their first “true” music video though, was shot two months later. As it turned out, Maida Hals who had booked the band for the Garden Festival, was not only a festival arranger, but also a freelance film maker, and had already made a couple of music videos for other artists. Even though the band was thankful for being given the opportunity to play in her garden, Maida wanted to thank them for their support by recording a video for them for free. Maida and the band then got together to pick a song and plan the video. This was not an easy task as the band were most eager to show off their new songs from their upcoming album rather than making a video for something “old”. The problem was of course the lack of recordings for any new songs. Maida had an idea for a potential video, as she was very fascinated by a car graveyard in Sweden. She had passed this place a couple of times, and taken photographs of it. Looking at the photographs it was impossible not to share her fascination. Ideas started to roll, and they all eventually agreed that the song ‘Troubled Party’ would be the most suitable song for the concept. They soon after drove down to the car cemetery in Sweden and shot the video. The dirty rotten cars and the wet bushes could not prevent them from dressing up in suits, or in the case of the drummer – a beautiful dress.
Official music video for Troubled Party
Less than seven months had passed since the electronic release of their debut album. Still Bravo Papa already felt they had been delaying the recording of their second album for too long, and couldn’t wait a day longer. Renting a studio and paying a producer per day when recording their last album, had left a sour taste in the mouth for them all. This time around the band wanted more control over the process, and chose to invest some money in great equipment rather than renting it from somebody else. With a high-tech sound card, a Macbook Pro and some sexy microphones, the band travelled to a cabin in Oppland that belonged to bassist Alex’s girlfriend’s family, where they would spend the weekend. Peace and quiet, some morning meditation and three course meals seemed to be the receipt for a successful experience. After rigging up drums, guitars and bass, Kelly took the seat behind the mixer and everything was set. Throughout the three days they spent in Oppland in November 2012, the band managed to record all instruments for 11 songs, making the groundwork for their second LP.
The band getting ready to record their second LP. Photo by Kjetil Rønningen.
In January 2013 Øystein visited Kelly to record some additional acoustic guitars for their album. Having already set up the equipment, they saw an opportunity to make a stripped-down mini-gig for Bravo Papa TV. The 40 minute recording featured six Bravo Papa songs, a cover of The Smiths’ ‘There’s a Light That Never Goes Out’ and two songs from the Mars University-era that had not been performed for nine years – ‘Miss America’ and ‘Down By The Lake’.
Acoustic mini-gig in Kelly’s appartement
In march, Bravo Papa spontaneously stopped by Queens Pub in Oslo for their plug and play concept, performing three songs. As an extra number, Øystein and Kelly played a cover version of ‘There’s a Light That Never Goes Out’ by The Smiths. The performance impressed the owners, who booked the band for a full gig on April 21st. Adapting to the “bruine café”-concept of the location, the band found it most fitting to play yet another half-acoustic concert. Songs from their two recorded albums, as well as the brand new “Jokes Are Made For Laughs’, made up the 9-song set-list.
Following up on the success of last year’s Garden Festival, the guys were again invited to play on it this year. The original concept may have been to have a festival in a garden, but as the festival grew bigger and their garden smaller, Maida and Rebecca had to relocate. Having done some research, they discovered that Langøyene would be a nice green-area and perfect place to mingle, fitting the festival’s concept. About two weeks before the arrangement, Langøyene was closed due to acute danger of pollution. They then got a deal with the city agency to have the festival in the beautiful Frognerparken. The final deal was made less than 24 hours before the concerts were going to take place, and when the day came and it was raining, the festival had to be moved inside. In the last minute on June 29th, they got a deal to arrange the festival in the location Humla, Hausmania. What ended up being the last garden festival in the four year-long tradition, may not have taken place in a garden, but it was still a great day. Unfortunately, Alexander was on vacation, making this the first concert not featuring a full line-up. The three remaining members therefore had to be creative for this show, but saw ways to have fun with and reinterpret some of their songs. The solution would be to have drummer Mads play the bass guitar, while drum loops were programmed on an Ipad. Experimental versions of ‘Your Dad Was a Reptile’, ‘If We’ll Ever Find The Time’ and ‘Troubled Party’ were performed, as well as two brand new songs, ‘Not Until You Freak Out’ and ‘The Second Coming of Chris Isaak’. Having changed their name, their old band name was still a fun play on words, and the guys thought it deserved to be a song title. The lyrics would see Chris Isaak coming back from the dead on a surf board, obeyed as the “clean-living-singer-surfer” that he is.
Continuing to rehearse at Økern, Bravo Papa made contact with the critically acclaimed band Level & Tyson, whom they shared rehearsal room with. Their guitarist and vocalist Richard Noir Lorentz Johansen, who had also played the drums in the successful indie pop band Superfamily, showed interest in the band’s music, and they had talks about him producing Bravo Papa’s next album. Unfortunately, this cooperation never saw the light of day. The two bands would show up on each other’s gigs, though, and in late summer 2013, Bravo Papa were invited by Level & Tyson’s drummer Mattis Møksvold Lauritzen, to play on his and his father’s festival Late Summer Hell (‘Sensommerhælvete’) on Skui gård in Bærum, along with other great bands, including Level & Tyson. This time around it was Mads who could not make it as he was travelling Norway’s tallest mountain Galdhøpiggen, but the three remaining members would play stripped-down versions of six of their songs, including two new ones ‘In The Waiting Room’ and ‘What She Wants’, on august 17th.
One month later, on September 27th, Bravo Papa would return to Sound of Mu for their third intimate half-acoustic gig in what had become one of their favorite locations to play in. On all of the three gigs, the pub would be crowded, with people sitting down in front of the stage listening attentively. The band were also lucky to see several of the members from Level & Tyson showing up and showing their support, making this a great night. The band had a great relationship with the art bar, and would have loved to play there again, but sadly this was their last visit, as the bar had to close for good in August 2014.
Sound of Mu, September 27th 2013
On March 14th 2014, Bravo Papa reunited with Angelica Talatas for the first time in more than two years, to play at Café Mir. For this 11-song long gig, Bravo Papa opened with the brand-new song ‘Together We Could Spend More Time Apart’, as well as showing off another new one called ‘My Ship Made of Gold’. That same month, their song Troubled Party was used in a video called 24 days in three minutes, made by Oslo Fotokunstskole (Oslo Photography Art School), to show off some of their art.
Café Mir, March 14th 2014
It had been almost two years since the recording of their second LP, and on their gigs they were already playing songs that was going to be part of their third album. The idea of recording and producing themselves was partly meant to be a way to release their material faster, as well as having more control of the sound, but the process ended up being more complicated than they had foreseen. The raw material they had recorded in the cabin in Oppland in 2012 was of good quality, but the band just didn’t feel that they would manage to make a professional mix themselves just yet. Satisfied with what Simen Sveberg Andreassen had done with the raw material for their first album, they would again invite him to the same for their second. As well as mixing what they had, he would bring in new ideas, making this album also spur with new life. The song ‘Bird Craft’ for example, would see him add backing vocals as well as a synth orchestra, making it a truly beautiful work. He also invited the band to his ‘Studio Elg’ in Holmestrand, to add some instruments, as well as having Kelly record all of his vocals over again.
Bravo Papa in Studio Elg, Holmestrand, recording additional tracks on their second album. From left to right: Mads, Øystein, Alex. Photo by Kjetil Rønningen.
The second LP ‘Good Night No Love’, consisting of 11 songs, was finally released on June 8th 2014. Having had several ideas for the cover art, the band ended up making it really simple after Alexander showed them the album title in turquoise, written in the ‘Tribbon’-font on a clean background. The band actually thought the font looked so good that they would make the Tribbon-font in different variations the standard for their band logo on future releases.
Bravo Papa was again invited to play on this year’s Late Summer Hell, taking place on august 16th. With all members present this year, they played a full nine-song long rock set, showing off their new song ‘Ashes of Wisdom’. Ending their rock gigs with the noisy Good Night No Love had become a tradition. In December, Bravo Papa was invited to play on Kelly’s workplace’s Christmas Party (Julebord), taking place at Josefine Vertshus in Oslo. Dressed up in suits and dresses, the audience would dance in front of the stage, making sure this short rock set would be a success. Bravo Papa may not have been making much noise in the first part of 2015, but made up for this with the fantastic gig in the cellar at Qadis on April 30th, making this the perfect celebration of “night ‘till May 1st“. Three new songs were performed – ‘The Final Blow of “Love”’, ‘The Right Mistakes’ and ‘Paper Tigers’.
Qadis, April 30th 2015
June 30th would be the band’s last day in their rehearsal room at Økern. As mentioned earlier, they had made the area a part of their identity. The name ‘Økern’ had even been suggested as their band name in the days where they just couldn’t decide. There had been problems here though, as the locations had not been designed to be used as rehearsal rooms, but as offices. This of course had its charms, but a big problem was the lack of isolation between the rooms. Frustration over not hearing themselves play when other bands would play louder had been increasing, and even worse, if they from now on wanted to record their albums themselves in their rehearsal room, there would just be too much noise to make that possible. The band therefore packed their equipment and moved to a new rehearsal room at Øveriet, close to Grünerløkka, where they would share locations with the pop/funk-band ‘Millions’, later called The Nite.
Bravo Papa in their new rehearsal room at Øveriet. From left to right: Alex, Mads, Øystein. Photo by Kjetil Rønningen.
In November, Bravo Papa released their first stand-alone single ‘The Right Mistakes’. It was their first release without involvement from anyone else in the mixing process, and that shows. It was even recorded in their old rehearsal room at Økern. The song was first released as video only. The music video was made by Kelly, following a pink inflatable unicorn in a pool in south France. Half a year later, the song was released on Spotify and other streaming services on May 21th, 2016.
Official music video for The Right Mistakes
At the start of 2016, Bravo Papa would start another recording process, making the groundwork for their third album. Seven songs were recorded in their new much better isolated rehearsal room. Really satisfied with the quality of the recordings, they were now hopeful that they had enough experience and competence to mix this album themselves. The way there was a rocky one though – something just sounded really off. There were times when they considered bringing in someone else, but what they were presented with sounded even worse. On August 11th, Bravo Papa would play on Café Sør in Oslo, as part of their summer festival, along with No Man’s Island. Three new songs were performed – ‘Turn Away’, ‘Heavy Like Ground/Part of The Ground’ and ‘I Got a Baby, But My Baby Didn’t Get a Job’.
Café Sør, August 11th 2016
On September 3rd, Bravo Papa played on Oppsal Gatefest (Oppsal Street Party), along with other much younger artists. As Øystein could not attend to this concert, Kelly would have to play the guitar for the first time in the band’s history. The five-song set was really not that bad, even though the camping wagon they played in had not yet been turned towards the bar where the audience liked to hang out. New song ‘Soul Searching Ground Breaking Kids in The Storm’ was performed along with other simplified versions of their songs. Ironically this was their highest paid gig yet. Bravo Papa would in December return to this year’s Christmas Party at Kelly’s workplace, again at Josefine Vertshus. Another success with people dancing, and new song ‘The Scarecrow is Back in Town’ was performed.
Oppsal Gatefest, September 3rd 2016
In the beginning of 2017, Kelly went back to mixing their 2016 recordings, and finally found a way to make it sound right. The rest of the band were pleased with the results, and decided to record four more songs in April. Having gotten the hang of it, the rest of the mixing process went really fast, and they were able to release their next full-length album on July 7th, just three months after the recordings were finished. The album was named ‘Bosselini, as Øystein found an old photo of himself as a child playing the bass guitar, wearing a t-shirt made by the really 90s brand Bosselini. The photo became the cover-art for the album.
Just a few weeks before the release of the album, a music video for the song ‘The Scarecrow is Back in Town’ was released, featuring Iselin Dibaj and Line Aaseland as actors, with Line trying to hide herself in a box, and Iselin trying to get her out of it.
official music video for The Scarecrow is back in town
On August 19th, Bravo Papa played at Hovedøyafestivalen. Comedian Espen Thoresen and actor Viktoria Winge were watching from the front row, and the band got compliments from Winge after the show.
Confident in their own recording and mixing competence, Bravo Papa started the recording of their fourth album in the beginning of 2018 in their rehearsal room. Having made a lot of new material, it was hard to decide which songs to include on the album. A lot of the songs they had been playing live throughout the years had not been recorded yet. Going through old e-mails with demos from their rehearsals, Alexander suggested that they should make a darker album, as some of these songs just seemed to belong together. Bravo Papa had apart from the concerts in Bærum, until now mostly played in Oslo. As Alexander had moved to Nittedal, he found a really nice newly opened coffee bar there, called ‘Nybrent’. On April 27th, they were showing off loads of new material that would later appear on their fourth LP. New songs included the western-esque ‘Volunteers on The Run’, the haunting ‘Try To Wake Me’, ‘Smoke Me, I’m Yours to Inhale’ and ‘The Asylum’. Another song from their next album that had never been performed before was ‘Stay This Night’, which had actually been written in the days they were rehearsing at Dragsuget, around 2011.
Nybrent, April 27th 2018
Moving closer to the release of their fourth album, Bravo Papa showed up for another performance at Nybrent on November 16th. Included in the 10 track set-list, another new song ‘Black Fire’ was shown off.
Nybrent, November 16th 2018
On December 6th, Bravo Papa released a radio-edit version of ‘Volunteers on The Run’, with drummer Mads on the cover photographing the photographer. Only a day later on December 7th, Bravo Papa released their fourth album – ‘Drum On’. Having the competence now to record, mix and master everything by themselves, had finally given them the freedom and control over the process they had been craving. This had made it possible to release a new album only 1,5 years after the last one, and everything was sounding better than their last release. The album only included 7 songs, but was still 45 minutes long, almost the same as Bosselini. The cover-art contains Øystein’s son playing the drums.
Bravo Papa returned for a third performance on this year’s Christmas Party at Kelly’s workplace, at Josefine Vertshus. They were not able to get the same vibe though, as they’ve had on previous occasions, probably making this their last appearance in this setting.
Øystein and Alex at Øveriet. Photo by Kjetil Rønningen.
The autumn of 2019 meant 10 years with Bravo Papa. Of course, that depends on how one sees it. Firstly, the band was not called Bravo Papa 10 years ago, and they had not yet found all of their members. It was not until early 2010 that Alexander would join the band. They all agreed that an anniversary of some kind should be celebrated, but if that should be August 2019 or February 2010 was not clear. Kelly then had the idea that this whole period should be celebrated, with gigs and surprises throughout this half year. They then booked three gigs on some of the best locations in Oslo, kicking off their tour on August 13th, at Uhørt. And what better way to mark an anniversary than with a reunion between the band and Angelica Talatas. Five years had passed since they last shared a stage together on Café Mir, and now she would have her fifth beautiful warm-up gig for the guys. Two brand new songs were performed – ‘Leading to You’ and ‘Aegis on Fire’.
Uhørt, August 13th 2019
The year’s next surprise was an 11 minutes long song called ‘Hardened Wax’. The original jam would also be the released recording, with Kelly adding vocals on top of it later. The song was not released on streaming services like Spotify, but could be listened to through Soundcloud. Their next concert would take place at Dattera til Hagen on October 24th – a split gig with the new promising duo No Friends Have I. The band would now perform more stripped down versions of their songs, along with Kelly playing an acoustic guitar on stage for the first time since Oppsal Gatefest. This seemed to be a perfect fit for a place like Dattera, creating a warm atmosphere and more intimate contact with the audience. The band was so satisfied with this concert that they decided to release it as their first official live album only one month later, on November 29th.
Dattera til Hagen, October 24th 2019
Only few days later, on December 3rd, the band released their 2017 album Bosselini in a remastered edition. This was the perfect warm up to their final gig of the year, which saw them revisit Café Mir, for the first time since 2014. The night was another split gig with No Friends Have I, and it saw the band balancing stripped down versions and rock versions of their songs – a nice way to end the anniversary.
Mir, December 3rd 2019
Bravo Papa had on their latest concerts hinted about plans for the recording of a possible fifth album. But as with all other musicians, plans for 2020 were forced to be put on hold as a pandemic was spreading all over the world. With social distancing it was seldom possible to get together in a room and rehearse. Bravo Papa would still have meetings on Zoom discussing their future plans, but latency problems made rehearsing impossible. Yet now and then the government opened up society for a short time, and it was possible to get together. When they finally did, they experienced a new creative drive laying the ground for several new songs. As they came closer to summer, smaller gatherings were allowed, which made it possible to arrange smaller festivals. Among them was the Trestock festival in Holmestrand. They had the year before been in contact with the arrangers to play at that year’s festival, but in the end it was decided that it would be better for the band to play in 2020. As the pandemic forced most of society to close down both before and after summer, to be able to play on this festival seemed a bit surreal, yet like a glimpse of freedom in an otherwise tough year. Following up on the remaster of Bosselini in 2019, they also released a remaster of their album Drum On on July 23rd, just a few weeks ahead of the concert.
Trestock festival, August 8th 2020