Jan Dahle reviewing ARTCH release party at Odin's Kro - Fredrikstad.

It was Saturday June 2nd and Artch was to have the release party for the re-released versions of "Another Return" and "For The Sake Of Mankind". This would happen in Eirikur's hometown Gressvik, a small village a few kilometers from Fredrikstad. The guys picked me up in Fredrikstad, and we headed for Odin's Kro, where the release party would be held. It was time for sound check, if you can call it sound check when the band just plays through their amps with no PA. When Eirikur shows up he's surprised to learn that the band is actually going to do a gig tonight: "What, are we playing tonight?". Led Zeppelin called it "Communication Breakdown"!
What's maybe more important than checking the sound is to play through the songs original drummer Jørn is going to perform with the band. Jørn haven't really played drums since Artch's farewell show in December 1993, but tonight he'll be playing three songs and now he's going to play them for the first time in seven and a half years. The run through goes surprisingly well, and Jørn doesn't really have anything to worry about before tonight's gig.
After the sound check Eirikur left for Sarpsborg to do a cabaret of old rock classics, and the rest of us walked over to Petter Johansen's (Artch's long time light man and chief of explosions, and co-owner of Odin's Kro) house a few hundred meters from Odin's Kro. The band, some of their family and friends gathered for some food and drinks in Petter's garden, and we all had a nice evening. That was at least until I was asked to introduce the band on stage, then I turned into a nervous wreck.
When we returned to Odin's Kro some old Artch videos was shown for the audience. It wasn't really room for many fans tonight, and as a result the release party hadn't been advertised in the press. Enough friends and fans knew about it through word of mouth to pretty much fill Odin's Kro, so I guess it wouldn't have been a good idea to let everyone know. After I had done an introduction of the band, which I'm glad wasn't recorded, the band entered the floor (there was no stage, so the band just played in a corner next to the bar) and everyone seemed to be pleased. Artch played through a handful of songs from their two albums. You can't really say that it sounded great, but it weren't really expected to sound great under these conditions. This short gig was more fun than a concert everyone will be taking about for the musical performances. What many will be talking about in the future though is the fact that Jørn did "To Whom It May Concern", "When Angels Cry" and "Another Return To Church Hill" with the band. Everyone with a long time interest in the band really enjoyed this moment. After he had played Jørn went over to the microphone and praised the fact that the band chose Gudmund as his replacement when he wasn't able to commit himself in the fall of 1999, when Artch played their first reunion gig.
This was the first time that Jørn had actually seen Artch play live (He didn't have the chance to see them either in Oslo 1999 or Skien 2000, but he would soon see the band again), and he was pleased with what he saw and heard. After the gig there were some jamming to be done and first it was long time friend of the band Åge Sten Nilsen who did some songs. Later on we were treaded to a few songs from Geir, Bernt and Gudmund's cover band Break Even, before Cato sat down with the acoustic guitar. Now it was pretty late and as the night went on Odin's Kro became less crowded. Everyone went home, and for yours truly the night ended with the walk back to Petter's house and a good night's sleep.

Jan Dahle

(Pics to come!!)