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Days after terror tragedy, Norwegian blues band lands in Brooklyn • Brooklyn Paper

Days after terror tragedy, Norwegian blues band lands in Brooklyn

Leaf it to them: The members of the Fabulous Flea Market Band bring their fabulous selves to Hank’s Saloon on Aug. 6.
Photo by Eigil Korsager

Chris Gambert’s homeland just suffered its worst act of terrorism, so naturally, he’s on the road, singing the blues.

Gambert is singer and guitarist in the Fabulous Flea Market Band, which has the maccabre distinction of being the first Norwegian band to play Brooklyn since a Christian extremist killed 76 people in two coordinated attacks on July 22.

We caught up with Gambert as he was gearing up for the band’s first East Coast tour in support of its new EP, “Little Something for Everyone” — an appropriate name for its fabulous “flea market” sound, which draws on blues, bluegrass, metal and jazz. The tour stops twice this Saturday — at Hank’s Saloon on Atlantic Avenue, before hustling over to Freddy’s Bar in Park Slope for a midnight show.

GO: How are you doing after the attacks?

Chris Gambert: It’s an unreal, very sad, very unsettling thing. I personally didn’t know anybody who was directly hurt or killed in what had happened, but it’s definitely something that affects you. Norway is a country that has been so sheltered from all of these realities, that in some ways makes this seem even more shocking.

GO: Where were you when it happened?

CG: I had just gotten to the US, it was the second day I got here. I saw it on the Internet, and I got in touch with the rest of the guys in the band. I sent an e-mail to give me word on what’s going on. I checked in with other people that I know, and luckily, so far, nobody I know directly was affected. But Norway’s a pretty small place. Out of 10 people you speak with, two will know each other or be related. It affects everyone here.

GO: What kind of outpouring was there afterwards?

CG: In Norway, they’ve had lots of memorial events, I think there was something like 200,000 people a couple days ago that just filled the whole downtown area. It was supposed to be a march, but there were so many people there, they couldn’t feasibly get it moving. People just stood and filled the whole center of the city.

GO: Do you have anything planned to mark the tragedy here?

CG: When the guys get over here, we’ll take some time and talk about things and see what makes sense for us in that context. Our message in general is that people can make the most of what they got, and do the best with what they have. So we’re going to try to at least while we’re here, get out there and show that we’re not going to let whatever horrible thing like this deter from the fact that people know there’s still a reason to keep going and that they can contribute something positive and meaningful. That’s what we can offer.

Fabulous Flea Market Band at Hank’s Saloon [46 Third Ave. at Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, (718) 625-8003], Aug. 6 at 10 pm, and at Freddy’s Bar [627 Fifth Ave. between 17th and 18th streets in Park Slope, (718) 768-8131], Aug. 6 at midnight. Both free. For info, visit www.myspace.com/fleamarketband.

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