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FOLQUE

Prog Folk • Norway


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Folque biography
This Norwegian folk outfit started out in the early 70s mixing acoustic instruments (fiddle, mandolin, banjo and piano) with the electric guitar, bass and keyboards. They created an earthy music made up of playful, catchy melodies with male/female vocal interplay. Despite important personnel changes over the years (their first-rate lead female singer was replaced, among others), they have managed to remain true to their sound and have churned out over ten fine albums between 1974 and 1998. In 2004, they reunited to play a gig at the Norsk Folkemuseum and don't seem to show any signs of slowing down.

Their highest rated album is their third, entitled "Vardøger", closely followed by their first two, "Folque" and "Kjempene På Dovrefjell" released in the mid-70s, and by "Fredløs" and "Sort Messe" released in the early 80s. Their material is pure, often foot-stomping folk with Norwegian vocals. Despite the mostly minor keys, it is fresh and exhilirating and dons some wonderful arrangements.

Highly recommended to fans of MALICORNE, The POGUES, KEBNEKAISE and GRYPHON as well as those heavily into Nordic and Irish folk. A good introduction is the recent live sampler "Stormkast".

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

: : : DISCOGRAPHY : : :
1974 - Folque*
1975 - Kjempene På dovrefjell*
1977 - Vardøger*
1978 - Dans, Dans Olav Liljekrans
1979 - Folque's Beste (compilation)
1980 - Fredløs
1981 - Landet Ditt
1983 - Sort Messe
1998 - Stormkast (compilation & live)

Folque official website

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FOLQUE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy FOLQUE Music


Kjempene Pa DovrefjellKjempene Pa Dovrefjell
Import
MSI:PANOR 2000
Audio CD$44.44 (used)
VardogerVardoger
Import
Panor 2000
Audio CD$153.75 (used)
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FOLQUE shows & tickets


  • Folque at John Dee, Oslo on 25 Oct 2014

FOLQUE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FOLQUE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 17 ratings
Folque
1974
3.31 | 11 ratings
Kjempene på Dovrefjell
1975
2.34 | 7 ratings
Vardøger
1977
2.50 | 2 ratings
Dans, Dans, Olav Liljekrans
1978
3.00 | 3 ratings
Fredløs
1980
3.00 | 1 ratings
Landet Ditt
1981
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sort Messe
1983
2.00 | 1 ratings
Stormkast
1998

FOLQUE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
Dans Dans ...
1991

FOLQUE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

FOLQUE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Folque's Beste
1979

FOLQUE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Det e Ikkje Her æ Høre Tel
1980

FOLQUE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vardøger by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.34 | 7 ratings

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Vardøger
Folque Prog Folk

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

2 stars So this is like traditional Nordish folk (folklore ?) music sounds. Expect uniquely sounding folk (every country sounds uniquely), however, strangely combined with country music. I though that this happened only with 90s (oh my gosh) group Rednex. This is better, but not too much.

Sound of Vardoger is extremely dense and Heavy, depressing (except Æ'kje gutane and few others), I'm again not sure what to think about this music (today I'm reviewing albums that I long postponed because of this). There are good songs (song?) like for example Beiarblakkjen, but most of them are simply the same over and over again. Not Prog Folk, but just Folk (and even Folk that I absolutely don't like). Hapless creation of tortured minds perhaps.

2(+), not for me though.

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 Vardøger by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.34 | 7 ratings

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Vardøger
Folque Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars Gosh !! Memories comes flooding back.

When I am listening to this band, and in particular the female vocals, I am brought back to the 1970s and the music scene most people want to forget. The Progg scene. Not Prog. Progg !

... Beginning of a rant. Progg is a codeword for Stalinist/leftist folk music where every word was shouted out like thunder by some non-smiling bands who sang the virtues of a classless stalinist paradise. The music was pretty dire. But it was only there to spread the message. To my knowledge, Folque was not a part of that scene. But the music is pretty similar because all American influences was banned in their stalinist world. .......End of rant.

Folque blends in bluegrass into their Norwegian folk music and rocks it up with country & western. That's why I would not call their music folk rock....... well, maybe it is folk rock. They use bass, flute, guitars, drums and traditional harding fiddle (one of the Norwegian weapons of mass destruction). The vocals here, and in particular the annoying female vocals, is more bombastic than melodic. Which is the traditional Norwegian way of singing folk music. Which reminds me why I dislike this music so much. Check out the difference between Folque and for example Iona and you will get my point. The vocalist in Iona is singing the words. The female vocalist in Folque is shouting the words.

The songs here is a mix of Norwegian folk music, country & western and bluegrass. The progressive element is hidden well out of sight. The quality is reasonable good. There is no good songs here though. I call it a mediocre album. In short; I do not like it. It has not aged well too. It has not aged well too. But if you are looking for a good Norwegian folk rock album, this is a good choice. But it ain't prog.

2 stars.

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 Kjempene på Dovrefjell by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.31 | 11 ratings

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Kjempene på Dovrefjell
Folque Prog Folk

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars This band was riding high on the Norwegian folk rock wave back in the 1970s. One of the reasons is this album which is regarded as a classic from that scene.

Prog wise, only Den gode grønne skogen have a structure which can be attributed to the prog rock scene. The music is rooted in the Norwegian folk music scene with the traditional singing (kveding) and the harding fiddle. Folque has then added some country & western from USA to give the music a contemporary feeling (well, in the 1970s). There are some bluegrass and straight country here. Banjo, bass and drums. Welcome to Nashville, Tennessee. The "rock" bit in folk rock is not present.

The quality is dubious. Mainly because I am not a fan of folk music from my own country. There is no prog rock here too, with the small exception of the song mentioned. The songs are decent, but nothing more. Den gode grønne skogen is the only good song here and that's all I get out of this.

2 stars

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 Folque by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.52 | 17 ratings

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Folque
Folque Prog Folk

Review by Concentration Moon

4 stars This album has a lot of energy, reminding me a lot of the French band Malicorne. Folque is folk more in the "world music" sense rather than the "acoustic guitar" sense if you know what I mean. It feels like it's from a very long time ago rather than the 20th century. If you're tired of the average folk album from the UK, listen to this. Note that I have no idea what the lyrics translate to.

The female singer has an interesting voice and style. She really can sing. The male vocalist is good as well, but what makes the album for me is the string instruments (violins?) and not so run-of-the-mill percussion. The strings are particularly good on the instrumental track "Springar".

4.5 stars if I could.

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 Vardøger by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.34 | 7 ratings

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Vardøger
Folque Prog Folk

Review by ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator Prog Folk Researcher

2 stars Folque are a band that will appeal to fans of traditional-leaning Nordic folk like Gjallarhorn, Kebnekaise and Garmarna. They tend to be mellower than most of Garmarna’s music, and Lisa Helljesen’s vocals are solid but not in the same league as Gjallarhorn’s Jenny Wilhelms.

Like all those bands Folque form their music around traditional Nordic folk (hence the name) but add modern instrumentation such as electric guitar, drums and synthesizers. Of course the instruments that make this folk dominate though, and especially violin, mandolin and dulcimer. At least two band members play banjos, but really the violin tends to overpower all the other stringed instruments on the first half of the album, while on the second half most tracks emphasize the banjos.

Several songs including “Æ'kje Gutane”, “Felerier”, “Dansevise” and “Gjevrevalsen” are simply traditional folk arrangements with really no progressive tendencies whatsoever. On that note the band should probably be considered more of a plain folk band than a contemporary one, but occasionally they stray into this century with some guitar and drums garnishments to liven things up (“Varulv”, “Beiarblakkjen”). These are the exceptions though, and the norm really is a traditional folk album with just enough of the twentieth century in it to earn them a place in the world music rack at your more discerning neighborhood book stores.

I can’t say this album does much for me personally, but it’s decent enough for what it is. I don’t expect most progressive folk fans will find the sounds here too appealing, but if you happen to run across a copy it might make for appropriate background music while reading a dusty old book about European history, or possibly for the drinking hour at a family reunion if Nordic bloodlines run in your family. Otherwise I can’t say the album rates much more than a fan’s choice, so two stars it is and on to the next one in the stack.

peace

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 Kjempene på Dovrefjell by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.31 | 11 ratings

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Kjempene på Dovrefjell
Folque Prog Folk

Review by Skink_123

5 stars Den Gode Grønne Skogen is one of the best songs comming from Norway in all time. It have a huge builde up, and when the bass joins in it just rocks crazy.

If you dont know Norwegian, the song is about a virgin who bets with her boyfriend 10 against 100 that she will visit him and come back still as a virgin. She gets to his place when he is sleeping out his alkohol from the day before, and she takes one of her golden rings and binds it to his hair so he would know she have been there. He gets mad and calls for his weapons and horse and tell that if he find her, the birds could stop their thirst with here blod! Quite a story!

The other songs and texts are equally fun.

I highly recomend it! Good musicians.

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 Vardøger by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.34 | 7 ratings

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Vardøger
Folque Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Folque's third album, Vardoger, is pointed by most progheads as the album we should start with. I agree that from the Folque albums I heard (only the first three) , this one should please us more. But be wary when you want to investigate the folk/folk-rock band that , although there are times when they are very good and intricate moments/passages on the longer tracks , most of the album is still very traditional-sounding folk music that could easily be played in your local village summer celebrations such as the End Of Harvesting reunion with all of those suave female dancers full of old lace costume (it takes hours to undo those clothes , so any mating urges must be severely restrained).

Comparisons can again be drawn to Steeleye Span for the very traditional side and Fairport Convention and Incredible String Band for the slightly rockier side, but Folque should be more closely associated with the first mentionned one.

Again most progheads will find their happiness in the longer tracks but if one wants to investigate some of those intricate rythms , he migh also find his happyness. Again , I state here that Folque is a borderline case for inclusion in the ProgArchives, but most folk purists regards early Folque albums as essential.

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 Kjempene på Dovrefjell by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.31 | 11 ratings

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Kjempene på Dovrefjell
Folque Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Folque's second album is the logical follow-up to their debut but it seems that this would be a concept album. I use the word "seems" because I do not speak or read Norwegian, therefore I am unable to grasp much except judge on the musical qualities of such an album.

And that music is actually still quite folk asa in pure folk with rock beats at times, and the longer tracks hold enough interplay to be at least entertaining to most progheads, but I did not find this album very progressive (at least compared to Comus , Algarnas Tradgard , Spirogyra). This seven piece combo seems to take the early Steeleye Span attitude (mainly traditional folk than give it a rock beat) but sometimes reaching out to Fairport Convention (circa Liege and Lief era) and also a bit of mostly-Scottish Incredible String Band.

As interesting the comparison I just made above , most proghead should approach Folque with much caution because this group is rather borderline for the scope of the ProgArchives. Howeber , should you want to investigate this , You might want to start with this album or its follow-up Vardoger.

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 Folque by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.52 | 17 ratings

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Folque
Folque Prog Folk

Review by tiruveleplemo

4 stars Let me first say that I was in doubt whether to give it five or four stars, but I settled on four. A four plus! The song material on this one is great and the arrangements are good and sound fresh, not dated. It's not that experimental, but it's good solid folk-rock. The songs are sung in Norwegian, although "Ravnene", "Alison Gross" and "Harpa" are originally English folk-tunes translated into Norwegian. "Ravnene"(the ravens) is one of the best tracks on the album! It's english equivalent is the song "Twa Corbies" and I have a version of it done by Steeleye Span. Folque's version is without doubt the better! The main reason, in addition to the wonderful arrangement, is Lisa Helljesen - Folque's excellent singer. I absolutely love her voice! Lisa sings on the next two albums too, but then she left the band and on the rest of Folque's albums Jenn Mortensen replaced her. Alas I say.. Not that Jenn is a bad singer, it's just that Lisa totally outshines her. There are some male vocals here too, nicely done by Jörn Jensen who left soon after this album was finished, and Jörn and Lisa sings together on a few songs, most notably "Alison Gross". I wouldn't say there is a bad track on the album, although "Nissedans" tends to be a bit repetitive. Favourites include the forementioned "Ravnene", the stunning "Harpa" (this song tells the same story as Loreena McKennitt's "The Bonny Swans", Clannad's "Two Sisters" and Pentangle's "Cruel Sister" if you know those), the wonderfully arranged "Reven og Björnen" (possibly the best arrangement on the album), the solid folk-rocker "Skjön Jomfru" and offcourse the groovin' "Reinlender", an instrumental which was a Norwegian radio favourite in the mid-seventies! I surely recommend this album together with the following two - "Kjempene pá Dovrefjell" and "Vardöger".

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 Folque by FOLQUE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.52 | 17 ratings

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Folque
Folque Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Wow ! Although I did ask Max to include a bunch of Norwegian bands , I had not dared mentioned this one, because they play what I call downright folk music . Only their desire to make truthful folk might make this prog in the adventurous side of it. Almost entirely acoustic, this album is a bit the Norwegian equivalent of Kebnekaise (Sweden) or Malicorne (France) and one feels like some foot stomping and square dancing when listening to this. I have not heard the other albums but would like to thank my library to have this one in stock - that alone is quite a feat. Good female vocals sung in Norwegian.

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