The Margarets

The Margarets


The Margarets are four cousins from a tiny island off the west coast of Norway. Their debut album sold gold and got sensational reviews in the music press. "The perfect record" (VG, Scandinavias biggest newspaper - 6 out of 6 points).


We drive over the bridge in the dusk. I ask Alex when Giske became connected to the mainland. He answers that the bridge opened the same fall that The Smiths released "Strangeways, Here We Come".
That's how it goes. Everything can be traced back to an album, a song, a refrain. All shining moments have their soundtracks.
It's a December day and the colors refuse to plant themselves in the landscape, and the light hesitates to come forward. From the airplane window Giske looks like a ball someone has kicked into the ocean. It seems like the island is floating aimlessly in the wind. I stare down at Giske and think how so many songs are about streets, avenues, and towns.
I can imagine Muddy Waters recording Hootchie Cootchie Man in Chicago. I see Elvis getting on the Mystery Train in Memphis. And more: Martha & the Vandellas dancing in the streets of Detroit, the Fab Four crossing Abbey Road. Even more: Van Morrison returning to Hyndford Street in Belfast, Paddy McAloon tipping his hat in greeting to Manhattan.
The roads on Giske must have shrunk in the rain. There's not enough space for more than one car at a time. People politely drive over on the side of the road and wave as they pass by. Everybody knows everybody here. The world is small and flat. This is not The Motor City. This is not Beat Street. This is not Rock City.
But the bridge is the rope that keeps Giske from floating away. And with the bridge came Margaret buzzing along in the mail truck. The post woman who made the world a bigger place. She who placed Manchester, Glasgow, London, and Liverpool in the mailboxes. Packages of records that got four boys to lose themselves and to find a name: The Margarets.
The headlights search in the evening light for the fisherman's cabin down by the furniture factory. It was here that these songs came to life. It was here they came out kicking in between sunbathing, crabbing, and eating potato balls. Since then, the songs have grown up in Halden, Malmö, and New York City.
I think that it makes sense. It works like that when a post woman opens up the world for you. If your heart finds the right beat. If the songs mean so much that you just have to sing or pick up an electric guitar. Then your island detaches, and moves out west to 6th Avenue.
London can yell. Manchester has a lot to answer for. Atlantic City lights up and calls you in. Nashville has a cheating heart. Giske is a melodrama if you just open your car door: Thunderclouds, blinding rainstorms, a closed airport, a great big sky, and mailboxes with lead weights so packages of records won't blow away.
We drive around the island late in the evening. Seeing the lights from Aalesund. Seeing the light from the Alnes lighthouse, and the flash from the top of the radio tower that Ante brags about climbing all the way up. The houses in Giske have huddled together, as if to keep warm in the rain.
I think that the rain also has a light in itself. The dark has a light in itself. The house calls with yellow windows and all that's to be found inside: Family pictures, coffee drinking, laughter, chatter, postcards, pop songs. All of the simple things that make it the heart. To find this house. To drive down to the wharf. To hear these songs. It's a sort of homecoming. It is an amazing feeling of knowing you're welcome. To zoom over the bridge and drive right home.


Love Will Haunt You Down (2005) album
What Kept You? (2002) album
Alain Delon/Rubber Rubbish (2001) sgl

Set List

Only own songs, normally 75 minutes.

20 Years Erased
The Woods
She Caught The Last Bus Home
Alain Delon
Come Around
The Moment
The Singer
How Can Someone With Such Beautiful Legs Get Feet So Cold?
Rubber Rubbish
Spoonful Of Love
In Your Endless Night Of Darkness