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HEADWAITER ‘Headwaiter’
(Market Square MSMCD125)(2004)


Headwho? With a name like that there should be some witty food jokes to be got into this review. But d’ya know what? I like this CD.

Chances are, you’ll never have heard of Headwaiter. Well, they’re a Norwegian rock act and their PR suggests that it is a project by sepulchral-voiced front man Per Jorgenson backed by the cream of Bergen’s rock / indie scene. And if you think Bergen rings a vague bell you’ve probably been watching too much TV (it’s home of World Idol winner Kurt Nilsen).

According to the Oxford English, sepulchral means ‘gloomy, dismal’ and that’s a pretty accurate description of Per’s delivery. So think Nick Cave. Think Leonard Cohen. It turns out Per is, when he’s not being a budding rock musician, the owner of a successful restaurant chain. So it’s apparent where the headwaiter link comes from. But is the main course the dog’s bollocks?

For a gastronome, this is pretty damn fine fare. It’s late night rock dominated by deep throaty vocals - imagine some of Floyd/Roger Water’s quieter moments with Nick Cave on vocals and you won’t be wide of the mark. The album is vocal and rhythm guitar dominated with some insanely catchy choruses - for example, on the exquisite 'Strange Things Happen' (a duet with Tim Rose), 'Are You Celebrating Me', and a personal favourite 'My Sweet Love' (which has distinct Lennon overtones).

It’s one of those albums that you keep reaching for but are never quite sure why. Definitely a ‘grower’ and one that gets further under your skin with each listen. It’s not one for if you want to practice air guitar, but in life’s quieter moments it’s soothing and hypnotic. As they say, in all the best restaurants, ‘enjoy’.


Review by Pete Whalley

Buy this CD

Not Goin' Anywhere
© 2004 Headwaiter/Market Square. All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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