There are numerous small music festivals springing up all over Britain these days, each offering some Unique Selling Point; from being child friendly to boasting poetry readings or being accompanied by wake-boarders on the nearby ornamental lake. One such offering comes in the form of High Wycombe’s grandly titled The People’s Festival. So Wycombe doesn’t really set the pulse racing, and the headliners establish the festival as some distance from the cutting edge: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry would be welcome anywhere, but the wider public could be forgiven for thinking (and not caring) that Finlay Quaye had long laid his radio friendly cod-rock to rest, and Jah Wobble is hardly a name on hipster’s lips. Of more interest to Norkmusikk, however, is the name that surprisingly pops up on the Transplant Stage in between Peter and the Wolf and Parka (me neither): none other than Haugesund’s melodic-rock-merchants The Alexandria Quartet! The foursome have already played a handful of British gigs, including gracing the Camden Barfly, and they recently released their self-tilted debut in Norway on YFM/Universal to a mixed reception. At their worst they sound distinctly like mega-bores Keane, but at their best singer Odd Martin Skalnes’ marketable voice soars like Buckley’s best bits; and one thing is for sure, The Alexandria Quartet have a real ear for a killer melody. So if you’re down Wycombe way ( I don’t know where it is either), then spurn Finlay in favour of a Norwegian act who you may well be hearing all over the radio very soon.
The Road To Wycombe’s Ears