Craft Spells

Toves Galleri Vesterbro, 2011

Copenhagen Sessions, here we go! We have temporarily left Vienna and moved a bit further north to explore the Danish capital, which welcomes us with a rather adventurous opening session. It’s a cool October evening and we pick up the Seattle-based Craft Spells at the Vega venue after their soundcheck. What was initially the bedroom project of the young Californian Justin Vallesteros is now a full band on their first Europe tour, having collected very favourable reviews for their dreamy, melancholic debut album „Idle Labor“. After walking through the Vesterbro neighbourhood for a few minutes, we pop into a laundry and Craft Spells start setting up their instruments. Hardly a minute later the owner storms in, barks something in Danish and finally kicks us out without much discussion. „It’s bad for business“, he says. The band takes it with a smile and we walk on until we find a small, almost abandoned shopping mall that unfolds some dreary, washed-out charm. It is a bit weird that the guy who made us leave his laundry shows up again there, walking into the supermarket and giving us occasional suspicious gazes through the shop windows when Craft Spells start into a beautiful acoustic version of „The Fog Rose High“. For the second song, „Your Tomb“, the four guys walk along the mall, past closed and empty shops (and one of the omnipresent Netto supermarkets), and engage in some moonwalking in the end. „That was fun!“, Justin says. Yes, it was! A great start in Copenhagen!

Michael Luger
Sound Recording
Sarah Brugner
Post production
Michael Luger
Johanne Fick
Craft Spells

Toves Galleri Vesterbro

Toves Galleri is a shopping center and temporary art space in the Vesterbro neighbourhood of Copenhagen. What was formerly a rather shabby arcade between Vesterbrogade and Matthaeusgade has been transformed into a modern shopping center in 2008, named after the well-known local poet Tove Ditlevsen, whose poems can be read on pillars in the mall. One year after opening, though, the number of customers was low, shops moved out and the center declared bankruptcy. These days only a few shops are left, including a supermarket and a fitness center. In 2010 artists „borrowed the name, premises, and the graphic identity“ of the shopping arcade and created a „contemporary workout space“ (the name refers to the fitness center next door), where exhibitions are held, artists can work and workshops take place. It is an attempt to revitalize the shopping center that did not meet the demands of trendy Vesterbro.