The Estonian folk music trio Trad.Attack! has won countless prizes in its own country during its four years of existence. The trio has stated as its objective to play in every country in the world. Some thirty countries are already covered and in the weekend it was time to inaugurate the culture festival Estfest in Stockholm.
Trad.Attack! has a rare, well, attack in its music. A youthful freshness and plenty of spirit which reminds me of Garmarna or Hedningarna at their most energetic. At the same time, there was something measured in the first half of their act at Skyddsrummet, an embassy-reception-ish polish. The striking lighting, however, transformed the former fallout shelter just below Münchenbryggeriet and Fylkingen to a grand and atmospheric venue. Even if the strongest drink served at the bar was kvass.
After the measured first set and the interval, both the band and the audience got really into the concert. Sandra Vabarna sings and plays the Estonian bagpipe torupill, with a bag traditionally made of the stomach of a grey seal. Jalmar Vabarna is a nimble guitarist who sometimes plays in a really percussive style while Tõnu Tubli is a pretty darn awesome drummer who gets several opportunities to show off during the evening.
The material varies from traditional ditties which the audience seems to know by heart to somewhat folk-pop-like elements, perhaps tasting a bit like The Cranberries. They often use archive recordings of Estonian folk music which they then build on with their instruments.Read more