You know your currency's worth next to nothing when you're in a country where the tramps look healthier and eat better than you.
Last year's ByLarm sticks in the memory as much for the eye-watering cost of a weekend in the Norwegian capital as for anything else. But setting aside the scavenging through bins for food and stealing Champagne from bars, ByLarm is a hot little festival in the cold of a Scandinavian winter. Norway's annual new music showcase introduced us to Lykke Li, Ida Maria, Ungdomskullen and Slagsmalsklubben last February. And this year's event promises a few new Nordic niceties too.
Home grown attractions include The Whiteset Boy Alive, Kakkmadafaka, Dag For Dag and the return of Ungdomskulen.
Heading up the Danish contingent is electropop troupe Who Made Who. Iceland offers up Ólafur Arnalds. There are bands from Sweden, the Faroes and Finland too.
The cost of a pint is heartstopping, the cold will be breathtaking, but the festival itself is bound to be another interesting little look into the world of Scandinavian music. Where, though, are Casiokids? Fixing their knackered equipment?
The venues – the pick of which is a room at the top of Norways tallest tower – are brilliant, the atmosphere is friendly and there's always a few pleasant surprises as sleepy Oslo comes alive for one weekend of thrills but no spills – at 6 pounds a pint you'll never let so much as a drop of beer slop out of your glass.
ByLarm takes place in Oslo from Feb 19 to 21 and DiS will be there to sniff out the best in new Norwegian and Scandic talent.
Information at Bylarm.no
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