The Fabulous Flea Market Band Live at the Black Cat

Two riddles for you:

What do you call four Norwegians gathered around a single mic?

If one of them is holding a trombone, then it’s Flea Market Band playing Norway’s finest Bluegrass punk.


What are the odds that someone you met online who lives half a world away would end up playing a club three short blocks from where you work?

One hundred percent, it seems!

Imagine my surprise when I found out Lars and his band, The Fabulous Flea Market band would be playing the Black Cat club here in Washington DC. From Oslo to right next door, go figure.

The Black Cat is a small club in DC where at 8:00 on the dot they roll up the garage doors to let indie band fans stream in. Black Cat is famous for cheap tickets, cheap beer and great indie music. Tonight was no exception.

The Fabulous Flea Market band is a four piece band with a fairly typical bluegrass makeup: Mandolin, banjo, guitar, upright bass, violin and uh, the occasional trombone. It wasn’t hard to pick out Lars. He looks just like his picture, plus the trombone is a dead giveaway. He also sings harmony, plays harmonica, guitar, egg shaker and violin, all very well.

The band looks like an old fashioned bluegrass band, well besides Lars, and they play around a single mic a la Flatt and Scruggs in the early years. Very tight harmonies complete the bluegrass image. However, in complete contrast to that image the music they play in very modern, with modern themes and a catchiness that borders on pop. Although there was a small crowd at the Black Cat that night, they all got into it, clapping, dancing, singing and hooting and hollering. We even sang along on some of the songs in Norwegian. Who knows what we were singing, something about being a stalker I think, but it was a blast.

I was going to put down my favorite song here, but I loved them all. It was a fantastic show. I hope to see them again. Maybe I’ll even drive down to see them in Richmond.

If you have a chance to see them while they’re here, do it. You can find the schedule here.

The Fabulous Flea Market Band is:

Chris Gambert
Anders Bjornvold
Lars Kolberg
Kurt Amundsen

And right here you can see “The Drunkard’s Daughter,” recorded live from the Black Cat!