Award-winning Norwegian indie-pop artist Sondre Lerche played his first concert in London for over three years at Oslo in Hackney last Wednesday.
Based in New York City and now with over ten albums on his resume, he’s a busy man. As well as being a judge in the Norwegian version of ‘The Voice’ he’s also on a worldwide tour with his new album.
I meet Lerche backstage over a less rock and roll drink choice: water. Sat on a sofa he offers me some tea, and after joking with his American friend about his Norwegian – or lack of it – he’s ready to talk. He explains how his tour crew this time round is made up only of himself and a friend.
“We fix everything, except that we’re using Oslo’s soundman tonight.” Lerche says.
He admits that sometimes he can get exhausted, but admits he’s ultimately a control freak and often struggles to sit still.
“I’m a reckless person and I don’t like to be bored,” he says.
Lerche suspects that many people think that the artist lifestyle is a bit more glamorous than it is in reality. He says that it’s a tough life and a lot of hard work, yet he still wants to do everything for himself.
“Before, when I just sat there when everyone was fixing stuff for me, I almost became a child,” he added.
After touring in the US for four weeks, he headed over to Europe and has just come back from Paris. He says that he is looking forward to playing for the Londoners: “London is always fun, I enjoy playing in big cities.”
“They’re pretty easy to talk to and it’s easy to talk to them between songs; I like that,” Lerche adds.
He says that he enjoys playing at small venues and feels like it gives him a better connection with the audience.
“I like when I actually can see people’s eyes and I feel like we’re all sharing a big secret,” he says.
When people start to spot Lerche at the venue it doesn’t take much time before people ask if they can take a picture with him, and he doesn’t seem to mind.
He adds: “They’re really loyal, after three to four years they are still waiting for you. I’m really thankful for all of them”
This is not the first time playing in London for Lerche. As a 19-year-old he started to play gigs here and in 2009 he played at Royal Albert Hall. I can see a sparkle in Lerche’s eyes when he talks about it and he says that this is a concert he always will carry in his heart.
“That was incredible,” he says. “It was so big and I was all by myself on the stage. I sang a song without the mic and that was amazing.”
And singing without a mic is something Lerche decided to do at this London gig as well. You could hear the audience scream the lyrics, while he was on stage singing and playing his acoustic guitar.
He has always been famous for producing original music, and already as a 13-year-old kid his name was well known. He says that he has always tried to do his own thing and doesn’t care about what’s popular or not.
“I was a really strange kid, but that was natural to me. I’ve never cared about what other people think,” he explains.
He thinks that’s one of the reasons he can live as an artist today.
At the end of the night it’s obvious how busy Lerche and his band are. During the last song Lerhce has to excuse his band mates, explaining: “Sorry guys, I have to sing the last song by myself, the rest of the band has to prepare the merch stand.”
If you want to find out more about Sondre Lerche and his music take a look at his website.