Celebrated Sami duo return to the UK

 Date:16/05/2007 - 01/07/2007
 Type:Culture, Music
 Location:England, London

Norwegian Sami duo Adjágas, renowned for their charismatic ‘yoiking’, return to the UK again for new concerts following the release of their much acclaimed album.

Adjágas are a young Sami duo who consist of Sara Mariella Gaup (23) and Lawra Somby (26). Sara, from Guovdageaidnu/Kautokeino, has been singing since she was a child, performing on stage since the age of 12. Lawra learnt his musical skills from his father Ánde. Despite growing up in Oslo city centre, he comes from a proud Sami family, and to this day travels almost perpetually, within and outside Norway. The two deeply charismatic ‘yoikers’ work with a revolving core of musicians and producers, and their live show sheds a different light on their music and its tradition.

Adjágas is the Sami word for the mental state between waking and sleeping. Samiland, also known as Sápmi, is the territory at the very northernmost parts of Norway, Sweden and Finland, spreading into Russia. The Sami tribes, numbering about 60,000 now, follow a nomadic existence, herding their reindeer all year from the central lands in the winter to the coasts in summer and back again.

It is undoubtedly their Sami roots that define Adjágas as being so different. Their music is based around the concept of the ‘yoik’, a traditional musical form which describes something not with its words but its sounds. “You can start a ‘yoik’ where you like, you can end it where you like,” the duo explain. “Its elements remain structured, but it’s fluid at the same time. A ‘yoik’ is like liquid in a bottle – you can shake it up, but the contents remain the same. And the content of the ‘yoik’ deliberately has many meanings, in order to spare the feelings of the subject. It is also possible to be the subject of more than one ‘yoik’: how it sounds depends upon the perspective of the person who is delivering it. More importantly, a ‘yoik’ is not written. It comes to a person. Some ‘yoikers’ sleep with their mobile phone by their bed at all times so that when a ‘yoik’ comes to them in their dreams they are able to record it the moment they wake. A ‘yoik’ that is deliberately written has no soul, and a ‘yoiker’ knows this.”

Adjágas describe their music as “gentle, peaceful, hypnotic, quietly passionate, dreamlike, deeply spiritual and utterly engrossing – but at the same time, strangely alien. Lyrics are unrecognisable, startling vocals delivered in a style that veers between whispered but crystal clear sweetness, unbridled emotion and all points in between, sometimes hitting notes that may previously have never existed.”

Adjágas's self-titled debut album is out now - reviews in the UK press include:

  • “The current folk revival has brought many maverick sounds into the mainstream. Few, though, are more beguiling than Adjágas.” Q
  • “Otherworldly, trance-like, intoxicating… A rare jewel of an album… Mesmerising…” The Sun
  • “Spellbinding.” The Guardian
  • “Strikingly beautiful.” The Times
  • “Hypnotic, open-ended and sweetly dolorous… Should hit the spot with fans of Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Sigur Rós and Cowboy Junkies.” Uncut
  • “Such is the intensity on this record you wouldn’t believe Adjagas has only two members. Norwegian from Sámi families – the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia – they feed their folk tradition into a mesmeric mix that sounds like Sigur Rós reared on alt-americana. Part of this tradition is yoik singing – making sounds rather than words - and this debut is an enchanting snapshot of another world that will keep you going back for more”. (5/6) Time Out

Adjágas - UK tour:

16 May, 7.30pm: The Luminaire, 311 High Road, Kilburn, London NW6 7JR. £7 via WeGotTickets, £8 door
17 May: The Great Escape, Brighton. Buy tickets, click here.
18 May: The Great Escape Brighton. Buy tickets, click here.
19 May: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (support to Tunng) More info, click here.
21 May: Telford's Warehouse, Chester (support to Tunng). More info, click here.
22 May: Thekla, Bristol (support to Tunng). Buy tickets, click here.
31 May: Whealans, Dublin. More info, click here.
1 June: Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham. More info, click here.
2 June: Homefires, London
3 June: Homefires, London
22 June, 8pm: Glastonbury Festival, Glastonbury. Sold out.
27 June, 8pm: Glee Club, Birmingham. More info. click here.
30 June, 8pm: Tollhouse, Stirling
1 July, 8pm: Academy 3, Manchester. More info, click here.

Send this article to a friend  
Print version

Adjágas consist of Sara Mariella Gaup and Lawra SombyPhoto: Knut Åserud

Norway - the official site in the UK / Contact the Embassy / Contact information
© 2003/2007