I discovered this album in 2013. I had tickets for the Ukulele Festival Of Great Britain and there was a Danish act listed in the line-up I wasn’t previously aware of. I eagerly Googled Elof & Wamberg and came across this, their debut album on Bandcamp and after one stream I knew I’d be there with bells on at the front of the stage to see them. Naturally, they were amazing and before I knew it the album had gone from Bandcamp and appeared in iTunes, Amazon and Spotify etc… they were up there with the big boys!
With Nicolaj Wamberg on double bass and Tobias Elof on ukulele, the album in the main is a blend of original songs and traditional Nordic folk tunes. Whilst their style is an intriguing modernisation of the old, their traditional Danish roots are plain to hear and I think give this duo their alluring charm.
The musicianship of both players is without question. Their talents sparkle on every single track and it’s fascinating to see each performer take the lead in different sections of a song.
Wamberg is also an accomplished fiddle player which adds a nice variation to the album and Elof’s love for Jamaican music even makes a subtle appearance (he used to played in the Danish reggae band Twillusion). Just have a listen to faux delay in the middle of “Halling” and you’ll hear exactly what I mean.
A version of J.C. Doane’s “Uke Talk” also appears on the album with technical perfection from the ukulele played with welcome support from the bass. Interestingly the band’s appearance at the Ukulele Festival Of Great Britain 2013 saw James Hill on the same bill and what can only be described as a “uke off” between these two masters brought the house down with a performance of this iconic tune.
Those lucky enough to have visited the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain in 2015 will have been treated to a solo performance from Tobias Elof. If like me you missed out, then fret not, a new album from the duo is on it’s way and I for one cannot wait!
Until then, revel in this sensational album of stirring and expressive traditional music beautifully arranged and performed with the kind of technical skill you and I can only dream of.
Elof & Wamberg – 12 Ornli’ Syge Tracks For Ukulele Og Kontrabas is available from your favourite download or streaming service or why not buy the CD straight from the Danish record label at folkshop.dk.