Greenland Whalefishers album ” The Thirsty Cave ” awarded
ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2015
by Celtic Rock and Punk Radio – Germany
GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS ( Bergen, Norway )
” this is probably one of the best Celtic Punk bands you will ever see perform live. They rank right up there with Flogging Molly” – Séafra –punk.ie (Kentucky, USA)
“a solid slab of heavily Pogues influenced Celtic Punk” – Shite N’ Onions ( USA )
Greenland Whalefishers started out in Bergen Norway in 1994, long before anyone had heard of bands like Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys. Combining british punk with celtic folk influences, the band soon became one of the most interesting post-pogues bands .
More than two decades of touring all around the world performing sparkling live shows, releasing nine full length albums, DVD documentary movie, piles of singles, EPs and split-releases, contributing with music to the movie “Boondock Saints – All Saints Day”, places the underground folk punkers in Greenland Whalefishers as one of the worlds most credible celtic rock bands.
Greenland Whalefishers’ album “SONGS FROM the BUNKER” was rated to a fifth place by Shite N’ Onions on the list over the best Celtic Punk CDs in 2010. Shite N’ Onions also placed Greenland Whalefishers’ album “Loboville” on their list of the “10 BEST CELTIC PUNK ALBUMS EVER”, above artists like Dropkick Murphys and Shane MacGowan.
In 2014 the band celebrated their 20th anniversary.
As a part of the celebration Greenland whalefishers released the documentary movie “20 Years Of Waiting” covering the entire history of the band. The movie gained fantastic reviews:
“all was answered and more by this amazing Rockumentary celebrating 20 years of one of the greatest Paddy Punk bands in the world ever.”
Greenland Whalefishers have toured in the USA, Japan, England, Germany, Italy, Scotland, Poland, Czeck Republic, The Netherlands, Belgium etc, and will continue touring all over with more power and energy than ever on what may be called their never ending world tour. It is all this hard work and all the experience touring that has made critics applaud the bands albums and concerts saying;
” this is probably one of the best Celtic Punk bands you will ever see perform live “.
Greenland Whalefishers are:
Arvid Grov – vocals, electrick guitar
Ronny Terum – mandolin, banjo and bouzouki
Alexander Bjotveit – guitar, vocals
Agnes Skollevoll – tin-whistle, vocals
Odin Døssland – fiddle
Ørjan Eikeland Risan – drums
Atle-Hjørn Øien – bass
THE STORY OF GREENLAND WHALEFISHERS:
Back in 1993 Arvid and Two Sheds started to meet once a week in purpose to listen and jamming to folk music, which at this point penetrated their rock’n roll brains. Thin Lizzy, Pogues, Dubliners, Waterboys and similar bands got things started and inspired to song writing. Soon own songs got shaped and others where gathered to get a band started. By picking inexperienced musicians, Arvid succeeded to create and form a band just the way he wanted. So in……
Arvid Grov, Gunnar “Two Sheds”, Trond Eikemo, Agnes Skollevoll, Kjellaug Borten and Bjørn Helgesen became Greenland Whalefishers. Followed by three or four free gigs an optimism grew which led to a bank loan so we could purchase our own P.A. rig. In June, Arvid injured his hand, and Stig Blindheim was asked to step in as a guitarist for a few gigs, but after a while the band (except Trond) decided to take him in on permanent bases. Things went well, and we manage to release the CD single “Mary B. (Good).” “Mary B” attracted good public attention which led to more gigs. Occasionally, right after finishing “Mary B”, we ran in to fiddler Kristina Malmo. We sorted him out, one thing led to another, and he joined us as well.
This was the year when tons of Irish pubs established in Norway. They liked our music, we liked their beer. Except for three summer months, due to health problems, we had gigs all over the year. Anyway, Bjørn didn’t like all the travelling, so he decided to leave us in the autumn. Our biggest fan and “hang around”, Tommy Bårdsen, who occasionally was (and still is) an excellent bass player, were asked to take over. We sorted him out, offered him membership, and he was ready in no time.
In march, we was ready for our first trip abroad. The hugh Irish friend, songwriter and ballad-singer, Fred Ove Reksten, let us join him on a arrangement on the ship “Color Viking”. Our job was three gigs on board and one at “Dirty Nelly’s” in Newcastle. Because of an accident with “Two Sheds” and Kjellaug being constantly seasick on board, we had to perform without banjo and mandolin. Anyway, Kjellaug got well enough to join us at “Dirty Nelly’s”. “Two Sheds” had to stay behind at Newcastle General Hospital for an extra week. Anyway, inspired of things got well on tour, we decided to do a full-time CD “Mainstreet Sword” with “The Clown as a CD single. The day before we got in studio we had a support gig for The Dubliners. This went so well that even some of the lads in The Dubliners came out an listen to us. We also had a few beers with the lads after the concert. This kicked our asses so well that we could hardly wait to start recording. Well, the releases went well, we got some time at radio stations, we made a video and got more gigs. So far, so good. Many hours on the road and in studio forced Kjellaug to leave us. To fill the gap “Two Sheds” learned how to play the banjo.
The release of “Mainstreet Sword kept us busy the first part of the year. So much that Kristina couldn’t combine playing and take care of (increasing) family at the same time. So he left us. After a short while Kristina where replaced with Odin Døssland, to day 50 years old and with great experience. Anyway, in…
we got back in studio with the purpose of a new full-time CD. The result was a CD single, “T. Bells Blues”. The hard work the years before had created disagreements between us. Ambitions were different added with bad atmosphere. Everyone had to compromise with everyone to get the band going. Because of this we never finished the full-time CD. Well, the only person who just wanted to play, Tommy, left us in the end of year so he could handle his three jobs at the same time. As a sheep farmer, truck driver and running his own general store, day and night had not enough hours for this fellow. After trying four bass players we landed at Terje Schumann-Olsen. A real rock’n roll bass player.
Few gigs, lots of disagreements. Great girlfriends and wives.
We didn’t give up. Except Trond, he left us. After a long time with health problems and playing in different bands for more than 30 years, enough is enough. Terje left us too. He took his family with him and moved to Kristiansand. To get the gigs going, we hired back Tommy. As a drummer we were lucky to get Ørjan Eikeland Risan, a drummer that was perfect for us, especially his good mood is appreciated. We have had lots of gigs this year and scraped up money for a new release (full time) early next year. A tour in UK is planned in march 2001 so we feel comfortable with the situation. In fact, the future is so bright we need sunglasses even inside…
New Years Eve is over and looking back at 2001 is nice. January was so cold that all rehearsals were cancelled. Instead we spent a lot of time in studio working with “Loboville”. February also kept temperature low in the rehearsal assembly but we had to get ready for the “UK Mainstreet Tour”. And after lot of rehearsing and a few gigs, we were ready for our first real UK tour. It started in Glasgow followed by Bradford, Birmingham, Hereford, London and Stoke. We learned a lot and we’ve never met so much nice people before. A special thanks goes to Mr. Lard in Birmingham. Well back again rest of the spring contained lots of gigs and working in studio. In October we released “Loboville” that so far has been a great success for us. We must say that the passed year has been the best year of Greenland Whalefishers. Thanks to all our fans and especially Dagfinn (known as Dolphin in UK), Kjell, Mr Lard and at last Obi-Wan Kenobi for giving us the strength to keep going.
Peace And Love
the story goes on………
After some gigs around in Norway, it was a pleasure to get back to UK. “The UK know what i mean – tour” took us across the country, and the final show at “Market tavern” in Birmingham was a fantastic experience. Thanx to all the other bands (and fans) who shared that night with us! Early in the summer we started recording what was to be “Streets of salvation” in Grieghallen – Bergen, with Pytten as producer. We recorded 6-7 tracks and then we moved to Italy. Italy was over the top!! A big thanx again to Marco and Isaia! Brilliant food and wine! After Italy Stig left the band (fuck you!). Then Trond Olsen (fuck you to) joined us. A nice fellow to hang around with and a good guitarist as well! After some touring around Norway and work in the studio, we went back to Italy once more. We heard rumors there was still more wine left. We found it!! We had an exellent night at the “Cinnema Veccio” in Alba. No thanx to the Italian police. Then some more gigs in Norway….and another year was over.
We started the year roving arond the country in deep snow. In February we sat sail for Poland and a huge festival in Krakow. This was (once again) the last tour for our farmer Tommy. Then Terje Schumann-Olsen joined us (once again) on the bass. Spring time has been spent working in studio and rehearsing new material for our comming European tours. First gig was the “Holidays in the sun”, Morcambe – England. A fantastic night – a great show and a great crowd!!
In October we finally could release “Maybe the salvation starts here – EP” which was a four tracker, and a small taste of the full leght album “Streets of salvation” which was released in November.
We started off with promotion of ”Streets of Salvation”. Lots of gigs in Norway during January and February,
and off we went on our first tour in The Czech Republic in March. There we met up with Dusan our booking agent,
road manager and driver; great lad, great tour!!!
Back in Norway for more gigs. In June we set off for The UK together with JEF for a ten days rolling celebration tour.
Schumann couldn’t join us, so once more Tommy came to our rescue; both as a bass player and a steady driver.
Summer holiday;-) Finally time to sit down and relax with a few pints!!
Autumn came, more gigs.
In October we headed for Warsaw. Really good to be back in Poland!! Back home we started to prepare for the big
fairytale; our first Japan tour. (November)
An extremely well organised happening. Great gigs, crazy head banging Japanese fans and loads of great bands.
Memories enough to cover both this life and the next!!
The year ended in a hell of a fight out in Trond’s place – a worthy finale for a paddy punk band;-)
2004; best ever!!!!!!!!
The first part of the year was split between gigs and studio recordings of our next album. Due to hectic touring in 2004,
we chose (at least some of us) to slow down the touring.
But still some highlights even this year. The most spectacular happening was the gig together wit Shane MacGowan in Bergen
in May. In August we once more headed for a tour in The Czech Republic.
We had a hell of a good time and attended some great festivals as well. This was a vital injection – even if it didn’t feel like that after two days off in Prague;- After this tour Kristian left the band again, (fuck you) so now Odin is the only fuck playing fiddle. Some more gigs during the autumn. But most important; the new album will be finished before the end of this year!
In January 2006 the last mix was done on the «Down & Out» album – the 2nd album to be recorded in Grieghallen by Pytten. February was an intensive rehersal periode to prepare the band for touring.
The album was released March 17th at a packed Kvarteret in Bergen. Great gig! Great afterparty!
After som touring in Norway we set of for the second Japan tour featuring the release of «Down & Out» i the far east. Fantastic to se our japanese friends and fans again and to experience the land of the rising sun once more. The summer was spent touring the UK.
In November Schumann left the band for the 2nd time and we had to look for a replacement. For a short time, Katy (who we knew from touring with the norwegian band Jef) played bass.
Over the years the demand for the «old» ep`s and singles was growing among the fans. We decided to put together a compilation of most of the previous released stuff together with some live material and some unreleased songs. This resulted in «Amazing Space – B sides and other crap». It was released by our own label Patchwork Record Production in cooperation with the UK label Punk Shit Records.
Katy has her live debut with the band in January but quits after a short while. In April we met up with the chinese band SMZB. We did a couple of gigs together in Norway and later we together released the split album «Joining Forces». The following «Amazing Space tour» took us to Norway, UK, Italy and Czech Rep. This tour featured Arvid and Schumann on bass. On this tour we played at «Farmer Phil`s» for the first time. It turned out to be the start of a close relationship. On the norwegian leg of the tour Arvid, Tommy and Schumann shared the bass job.
First part of 2008 was quiet. Arvid writes songs and the rest of the band took care of their familys, cats and lovers.
Atle-Hjørn joins the band on bass, and we use the next half year to rehearse and make the band ready for touring again. We return to UK and the «Farmer Phil`s» in August which was Arvids last gig on bass.
In February we went back and did some gigs in Krakow, Poland. Atle-Hjørn had his first ever tour abroad without his mom. It went so so. In March we went back to Grieghallen to start recording what was to be the album «Songs From The Bunker». In April we got the sad news that our former member Kjellaug had passed away after struggeling with cancer for some time. The summer full booked with festival gigs in Norway. In between the gigs we worked on the comming album. In October we released a split EP with the UK based band The Tans. Rest of the year was spent i Grieghallen finishing the «Bunker» album.
In the end of the year we knew that nothing could go wrong….
The year started with intensive rehersal, to make the «Bunker» album ready for the road.
For some time we had been in touch with Ryan Bangsund and Jason Hendershot – two LA based fans which later became friends. For some time they had tried to arrange for us to do a tour i the US.
In March we finally hit USA on the «Hellbound for Hollywood» tour. We did three gigs on the west coast (Pomona, Carlsbad and Hollywood) and finished with celebrating St. Paddys with a gig in Las Vegas. The west coast was great and Las Vegas….. what happens in Vegas etc. A big hug to Jason, Ryan and Aireen for putting up with us!
On April 16th «Songs From The Bunker» was released on Inside in Bergen – the same venue where we shot the «Waiting» video in January. A lot of festival gigs in Norway before we went back to UK. We visited London and Birmingham before hitting up at Farmer Phil`s for the 3rd time. This time we recorded the gig.
2010 – a excellent year. The champange was extra sprakling this new years eve!
Started the year with touring Norway to promote «Songs From The Bunker». In the summer «The Bunker tour» took us to Poland, Germany (for the first time) and the Czech Rep. Arriving home, we started listening to the recordings from Farmer Phil`s 2010. We decided to go further and mixing the songs. Fans have over the years anticipated a live album from us, and we decides it was about time. A relaxing year, but good times.
«Live At Farmer Phil`s» is released on April 30th – to fantastic rewievs in the press!
We decided to do the «Live At Farmer Phil`s Festival» set on a tour, and in August we took it abroad. We went to the Czeck Rep. (thanx to Dusan and Theresa) and for the first time we visited Belgium and The Netherlands.
In October Trond left us without a warning due to healt issues. Touring a lot taks it`s toll.
Arvid did the guitar work on some gigs before Alexander joined the band. His first gig was at Garage – Bergen in December. We didn`t know at the time, but this gig was to be «Two Sheds» last gig with the GWF. After nearly 19 years he left the band for some reason or another. Ronny Terum joined the band and started rehearsing with great enthusiasm. Two new members within one month. They are welcome!
After getting two new members we had to rehearse a lot to get the band ready for touring again. Ronny had his first gig at St. Paddys on Kvarteret – Bergen. The same venue where we released «Down & Out» some years earlier. The festival season started in May in The Netherlands. It was followed with festivals in Germany.
After recording three albums in Grieghallen we decided to try something new. In October we started recording new material….. with Iver Sandøy at Bergen Kjøtt – Solslottet Studio.
January the 1st 2014 at 00:01 hours the brand new song “None Of Us Are Faithful” was put up on our webpage for free listening as a kick-start of the celebration of our 20th anniversary.
Mid january the band recorded the song “20 Years Of Waiting” for the up-coming documentary movie about Greenland Whalefishers.
On february the 1st the song “20 Years Of Waiting” including music video was put on our webpage for free streaming.
On the first of every new month all trough 2014 Greenland Whalefishers presented one new song for free listening on the bands webpage, as a celebration of the 20th anniversary.
On March the 17th we held a release party at Kvarteret Bergen for the documentary movie about Greenland Whalefishers called “20 Years Of Waiting”. The movie covers the entire history of the band and has gained outstanding reviews in the media.
The spring of 2014 was continuned with more studio-sessions and touring around Norway.
Late summer the band toured England and Italy. During the tour the band shot the music video for the song “Queen” in London England. The music video was later presented as the song of the month in October. The rest of the summer was spent in studio in addition to some gigs around Norway.
Late summer Hop Breweries released the official Greenland Whalefishers Beer in a limited edition. Sadly it never hit the streets as the band drank it all..
Even more studio sessions before sobering up for Christmas.
December 1st the song “Five Years” including music video was presented on our webpage.
2014 has been a fantastic year celebrating our 20th anniversary as a band by touring in Italy and England and releasing the documentary movie “20 Years Of Waiting” about the band.
The movie covers the entire history of Greenland Whalefishers up until 2014 and has gained fantastic reviews.
“all was answered and more by this amazing Rockumentary celebrating 20 years of one of the greatest Paddy Punk bands in the world ever.”
2015 has been another great year for Greenland Whalefishers. The band first released Looney Tunes EP and later the full album ” The Thirsty Cave “, both to outstanding reviews. ” The Thirsty Cave ” was also awarded ” ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2015 ” by Celtic Rock and Punk Radio in Germany.
On january the 15th Greenland Whalefishers recorded their cover version of The Pogues song “Birmingham Six” in Solslottet Studio at Bergen Kjøtt, for an up coming tribute sampler.
On february the 1st ” The Thirsty Cave ” was re-released as a digipak limited edition CD by Mass production, Deadlamd Records and Dirty Old Man records.
On March the 17th our version of The Pogues’ ” Birmingham Six ” was released on the compilation album ” Tribute to The Pogues “.
On March the 18th and 19th Greenland Whalefishers played two gigs in Norway with Jon Erik Kvåle Øien as stand-in guitar player as Alexander had to go off to Africa to attend some undone business. Andy and Rich (Dirty Old Man Records) came over from the UK and hang out at these shows. Happy days!
Spring continued with a few shows in Norway.
In June we started rehearsing with our original fiddle player Kristian Malmo as he had to step in and do some gig with us in the end of June as Odin had to go off to somewhere to attend some undone business.
On June the 9th, 10th and 11th Greenland Whalefishers did their first ever gigs in Ireland.
We played in Letterkenny, Belfast and ended the short tour in Dublin, playing together with Blood Or Whiskey and Paranoid Visions at Fibber Magees. Jon Erik came along on this tour and helped us out as roadie. The trip was filmed and ended up as a short road movie documentary on YouTube.
Thanks alot to Rich for organizing and getting us to Ireland for the first time!
In the spring the band did some gigs in Norway, before heading to France to play at the Fiesta la Mass in Rennes and the next day at Cafe Le Peche in Paris. First time in France! Thanks to Vincent and Mass Production! Rich joined us once again and also long time friends of GWF Jens and Corinne came to hang out. Happy days!
In November Greenland Whalefishers headed to Arnsberg in Germany to play one concert..
A great evening with a fantastic audience. Thanks alot to Muirsheen Durkin and Friends. Also great to finally meet awesome people like Nico Stern from MacSloans Celtic Pub Radio and Daniel Hoffmann from Celtic-rock.de Germany.
Greenland Whalefishers rounded up the year of 2016 with two gigs in Norway at Garage and Old Timers Motorcycle club.
A great year for the band. Greenland Whalefishers are ready and set for a new year !
Thanks alot to Rich Lard and Dirty Old Man Records UK, Mass Productions France, Deadlamb Records Ireland and to BOZ for great merchandise designs
Over the years we have toured in three continents and released 5 studio albums, one live album, tons of compilatons and countless ep`s and singles. Greenland Whalefishers have always been a close band and we have done most of the work promoting, booking etc. ourselves. However we have been blessed with the help of friends and fans all over the world to reach as far as we have.
Some of them deserves to be mentioned:
Mr. Rich Lard (UK) – who dragged our arses outside Norway. Who promoted us and released our records over the years – because he genually belives in us and our music. If you ever need a place to stay – we are ready to kick out a wife…
Then in no perticular order:
Dusan (Czeck Rep.): Getting us to Czech Rep. and driving us around the country for years.
Mikal (Poland): A big mouth and a big heart. Thanx for giving us Propaganda. Also thanx to Malgosha.
Ryan and Jason (US): First fans – now friends. Thanx a lot for finally getting us to US, for hospitality and loads of fun and beer!
Mr. Bang Joe (Japan) – for opening the doors to the far east!
Kjell (Norway) – always thinking big!
Pytten, Erik Grønner, Dagfinn (Dolphin), Heidi, The staff at Farmer Phil`s (for always welcoming us back). The staff at Trnkobrani, Theresa (Rock Cafe – Prague), Marco, Jens (for bringing exclusive wine), Andries, Hanneke, Pieter, Ciara, Sho (tour manager in Japan), Balle Malurt,
Bands who have crossed our paths over the years:
SMZB, Jef, Dogshit Sandwhich, Eastfield, Clovers, Shane MacGowan, Cherry Coces, Junior, Dick Guru,
Venues that have always greeted us:
Farmer Phil`s Festival (UK), Market Tavern (UK), Rock Cafe (CZ), Trnkobrani Open Air Festival (CZ), Kvarteret (NO), Scruffy Murphy`s (NO), Gutenberg (NO),