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Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Folk


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HAPP means "in good health", which is exactly how Fribo sound on this nicely crafted and highly engaging album, combining the singing and flute-playing of Norwegian Anne Sofie Linge Valdal, Scots fiddlers Hannah Read and her predecessor Sarah-Jane Summers (both play on the album), English guitarist and singer Ewan MacPherson and Swedish percussionist Magnus Lundmark. The music is largely Scandinavian in origin or influence, beaty but not ponderously so, with Valdal's voice shrilling acrobatically over driving guitar and fiddle when she's not sounding those distinctively wheedling Scandinavian overtone flutes. There's an intriguing splicing of Gaelic mouth music (from guest singer Naomi Harvey) and a traditional Norwegian ditty, and while converting poetry to song can be a hit-or-miss affair, Macpherson's Robert Frost setting, Miles to Go, works pretty well. Tunes range from the languid fiddle and guitar of The Honey Waltz to the exhilarating acceleration of sets such as Svarttrosten. JIM GILCHRIST - THE SCOTSMAN - FOLK

There are a growing number of groups covering the sort of material which Fribo perform. But I’ve yet to hear anyone with the variety and finesse of this young trio: the Norwegian singer Anne Sofie Linge Valdal; the Scotland-based singer and Hardanger and fiddle player Sarah-Jane Summers; and Ewan MacPherson, who plays guitars, mandola, Jew’s harp and sings too. The story goes that they met around a table in Edinburgh in 2003.
A huge amount of thought has gone into the production of this album. It’s far more than a collection of tunes: it flows immaculately, and there’s plenty of space to enjoy each individual’s skills. Linge Valdal opens with a Norwegian welcome song, which takes us into some typically Norwegian Jew’s harp playing from MacPherson, before we find ourselves seamlessly enjoying traditional Gaelic mouth music from Summers. There are fiddle tunes, jigs, gorgeous evening psalms from Norway (with imaginative percussion from guest musician and producer Fraser Fifield), haunting bowed mandola, and a hypnotic tune from Lancashire.
The trio describe their music as a collision of traditions; it’s certainly one which has sparked a vast amount of creativity without ever losing a sense of the music’s roots. Above all it’s an album that’s brilliantly produced, fun, moving, engaging, adventurous and a sheer delight from start to finish. Fribo translates as open house, so take it as an invitation to step in and meet them.
- Songlines Magazine - Album Review by Fiona Talkington

If ever there was a soundtrack to my life, this is what I would want it to be. Fribo, the labour of three musicians hailing from Norway, Scotland and England, have blended Norwegian and Scottish folk to create a sound of almost magical proportions. If the room hadn't been full of people, I most likely would have been jumping about the floor like an idiot (dancing is not my forte) and, judging by all the movement going on around me, I'm in no doubt the rest of the audience were thinking the same. The musical equivalent of finding a tenner in your coat pocket you never knew you had, this band are, for lack of a better word, awesome.
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- ThreeWeeks eDaily

“...Infectious rhythms stand next to haunting beauty.”
Fiddle On Magazine

"...a truly inspirational band" - Karen Tweed

"If ever there was a soundtrack to my life, this is what I would want it to be... this band are, for lack of a better word, awesome." Edinburgh Fringe Review - ThreeWeeks | eDaily *****

"High quality, distinctive and original, a welcome change that proved very popular with our audience." Peter Chegwyn - Gosport & Fareham

"Fribo are creative, talented and cooperative... They were an asset in our unique collaborative sessions and did a fabulous concert,too." Kerry Clarke - Calgary Folk Festival

”Fribo ga Storfjordkonferansen 2010 det lille ekstra. Deira innslag er fengande og god å lytte til på same tid...Vi kan på det varmaste tilrå å nytte Fribo.” Storfjordkonferansen 2010, ved rådmann i Norddal kommune Stig Holmstrøm

"Fribo was a Festival highlight." Ruth Oakley - City of London Festivals

"They are a wonderful bunch of players…I can't recommend them enough." Doug Cox - Vancouver Island Festival

"Fribo raised this island two feet higher out of the water and it hasn't come down yet." Bob Bossin - Gabriola Island

“Fribo have emerged with a sound that’s entirely their own, a hybrid where all the parts create equal tension. What can seem low-key is subtlety, a less is more ethos that works beautifully. Welcome Fribo to the world of folk”. Sing Out!

" with a refreshing tang and a keen edge." Living Tradition

“…What immediately strikes you is the freshness and zest
emanating from the trio." Rock n’ Reel ****

“Fribo is for me one of the discoveries of the year”
New Folk Sounds

"There are a growing number of groups covering the sort of material which Fribo perform. But I’ve yet to hear anyone with the variety and finesse of this young trio... …fun, moving, engaging, adventurous.”
Songlines ****

"...Fribo's debut is full of masterly, intoxicating impressionism, a seriously rewarding and intensely original album" Netrhythms

"They are FABULOUS!!!" Genevieve Tudor - BBC Radio Shropshire

- Various


- The Ha' O' Habrahellia FECD201
(Fellside Recordings 2007)

- Best of Folk - The Royal Oak Compliation
(Magic Park Records MPM16972 2008)

- VOL 4 –
The Norwegian Traditional Music Agency. presents a variation of Norwegian music.

- Happ Fribo Records 00035
(Fribo Records 2011)



Fribo (Meaning “Open House”) is a unique collaboration between Norwegian singer Anne Sofie Linge Valdal, Scottish fiddler Hannah Read and English born Ewan MacPherson on guitar. Described by Celtic Connections Festival as“…one of the freshest and most inventive acts on the emerging 'Nu-Nordic' scene, exploring and creating links between British and Scandinavian traditions, with a deft peppering of wider contemporary influences.”

After first playing around an old Edinburgh kitchen table in 2003, Fribo have become experts in finding subtle ways of exchanging traditions whilst expressing them anew; with an exuberant feel for contemporary sounds and rhythms.

Today after honing their musical explorations through five years’ touring experience and a very well received debut album, Fribo is rapidly gaining recognition and acclaim and are releasing their second album called 'Happ' (Old Norn language meaning "in good health") on March 2011.

The dynamic blending of Voices, Willow Flute, Fiddle, Jews Harp and Guitar has become a “...zestful, vibrant, multi-national North Sea sound.” (Womad)

To further widen the band’s sound-scape Fribo now work with the extremely tall Swedish percussionist Magnus Lundmark.

To date Fribo have toured through Europe and North America, performing at large-scale events such as: WOMAD, Celtic Connections, APAP, Vancouver, FolkBaltica Festival, Telemark Festival, Calgary, Gosport & Blàs.

The band has been featured artist and can be heard regularly on many radio stations worldwide including: BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 3, ABC Australia, Radio Nan Gaidheal and the World Sevice.