ELIN – A ROCK CHICK IN HER TEENAGE YEARS
Elin listened to a lot of music in her first teenage years, mostly rock music, but she fell head over heels in love with one particular band – the Uriah Heep, and became a huge fan of them. She especially admired the brain behind many of Uriah Heep’s compositons – Ken Hensley, who’s solo-album she enjoyed just as much.
As a small curiosity: Little did she know that many years later, she would get to meet her idol, Ken Hensley, in her home town, Tórshavn, where she had the opportunity to tell him, how much his music had meant to her. She was so grateful to be able to thank him for his music.
Here Elin is with her idol, Ken Hensley, in the bar Glitnir in Tórshavn in 2012:
Back in the early seventies Elin could just sit for hours enjoying listening to Uriah Heep records, often together with her best friend, Maria, who shared similar taste in music.
They also listened and head-banged a lot to albums by Deep Purple, the Doors, Black Sabbath, Steppenwolf, Free, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Frank Zappa, Andrew LLoyd Webber’s musical Jesus Christ Superstar (the one starring Ian Gillian as Jesus), and other albums.
FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE
Elin’s first real public appearance on stage as a singer was when she was 16 years old in a play at the theatre in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, where she sang a Faroese version of the song “Streets of London” by Ralph McTell translated or rewritten by herself at only 15 years old. The Faroese lyrics that she wrote became very popular. People would copy the lyrics on stencil paper and sing them at parties. The song has been recorded with her lyrics by various other Faroese bands a couple of times since then.
Here is a photo from Elin’s very first public performance in the old theatre in Tórshavn, Sjónleikarhúsið, in 1974:
After this performance she was asked to participate in a live radio entertainment show called “V4” in the Faroese public radio. She became well known by the Faroese public these years, because she toured the Faroe Islands with the other performers on the radio show and was heard singing on the radio many Saturday evenings in the wintertime for almost three years. It’s worth to mention that there was no TV on the Faroe Islands these years – not until 1983 – so everybody listened to the radio.
Here is a photo from one of the V4 performances:
Here is a two-part broadcast series that Tórður Johannesarson made about the singer Elin. Tórður says this about the broadcasts:
“In two parts we hear Elin Brimheim Heinesen sing some satirical ballads and other folk songs. Elin Brimheim Heinesen has been around many music genres, from jazz to pop. In these shows, the focus is mostly on the satirical ballads that she sang when she was very prominent in the 70s in the Faroese entertainment radio program V4”.
In the first part, Elin talks about how she became part of the V4 entertainment programs (in Faroese):
In the late seventies Elin was involved in forming the first Jazz Club in Tórshavn – a legendary club, which not only presented jazz but all kinds of rhythmic music. The jazz club became a reknown place many Faroese musicians still remember with gratitude because it offered them an opportunity to play and listen to music never heard live before in Tórshavn. Furthermore several foreign bands and musicians were invited to the Faroe Islands to play at the jazz club, which was very inspiring for Faroese musicians. Elin was very much into jazz and blues in the second half of the seventies because of her engagement in the Tórshavn Jazz Club – so this has had a huge influence also.
Elin also had several performances at the jazz club, among others with her uncle Svenn Brimheim, where she sang jazz and blues from The Real Book.
Elin on stage with her uncle Svenn Brimheim (© Ole Wich):
At that time Elin also played folk music with some of her classmates – Ívar Bærentsen, guitar, and Bergur Hansen, flute – she sang and played the piano herself. She also began composing her own music mostly in folk tradition with inspiration from jazz and blues, and performed several times in the jazz club – also with other musicians.
Here is Elin singing with Bergur on flute and Ívar on guitar:
FIRST JAZZ RECORD EVER RECORDED IN THE FAROE ISLANDS
Elin appeared in 1977 on the first jazz LP ever made in the Faroe Islands “Jazz í Føroyum 1” (TUTL HJF 1) on the track “Hundasjúku blues” (Hangover blues) composed by Kristian Blak, which is one of the songs that has stayed the longest ever on the Top 15 hit list in the Faroe Islands (aprx. 20 weeks). The album was recorded in the legendary Faroese music producer Milson Zachariassen’s studio in his cellar.
The same year (1977) Elin appeared on a record for children “Nu ska’ vi u å sejle” [TUTL HJF 3] 1977 with the band Kræklingar and others with music made by Kristian Blak. She sang Girafsangen (“The Giraf Song”)
TOURING IN SCOTLAND, ORKNEY AND SHETLAND
In the summer of 1977 Elin went on tour in Scotland, Orkneys and Shetland where she was a part of a group of Faroese folk dancers and a folk band. She also performed on stage herself with guitar player Ívar Bærentsen and bass player Kolbein Simonsen and sang some of her own songs and some of Ívar Bærentsens songs. The concerts were popular especially in Orkney and Shetland where all tickets were sold out at all the concerts.
Here Elin is performing with Ívar Bærentsen on guitar and Kolbein Simonsen on bass in Orkney and Shetland:
MUSICAL / THEATRE: “LÍV OG LEIKUR Í FIMTI ÁR”
In 1976 Elin was one of the actors on stage in the musical “Lív og leikur í fimti ár” (Life and Play in 50 Years).
Here are all the actors on stage in the theatre Sjónleikarhúsið – Elin is no. 3 from the left in the front row:
Here Elin is having her first solo performance on stage, where she sang her own songs, in the late 70’ies at the International Women’s day: