Lars H.U.G. (& Kliché) Bookmark and Share


11 September 1953
Born as Lars Haagensen in Sorgenfri he joined the Aarhus music scene in 1977 as member of the band Kliché under the name Lars Hug. Other bandmembers were Johnny Voss , Jens Valo (later replaced by Nils Torp ) and Donald Brill . Steffen Brandt from TV-2 and Hilmer Hassig also briefly joined. Influenced by David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Eno and Talking Heads the bands first sign of life was on the Pære Punk compilation in 1979.The band kept seeking their borders with the two songs Militskvinder (militia women) and Masselinjen (mass line) based on texts from Mao. Both songs were present on the debut album ‘Supertanker’ of 1980 which also featured songs focused on industrialization, World War II and anti-political propaganda. The album was praised highly by critics. In 1982 came the follow-up ‘Okay Okay Boys , which expanded the group's futuristic concept. When the group stopped for a break, H.U.G. published a solo album called ‘City Slang’ with poems by his friend Søren Ulrik Thomsen set to music. The other three bandmembers set themselves to an album under the name Voss/Torp/Bill called ‘Dobbelt Plus’ (1984). Indirect it meant the end of Kliché who attempted to record a third album, but announced its dissolution in 1985 leaving with one goodbye single 'Shooting Star'. In 1987 Lars got sued by the person who actually was named Hug and under threat of a 10.000 dollar fine he felt obliged to change his stagename into the interpuncted Lars H.U.G.  (an abbreviation for Lars Hugh Uno Grammy).

This did not mean the end of the cooperation between the indivudal bandmembers. Voss & Torp were both present on Lars’ second solo album ‘Kysser Himlen Farvel’. A third solo album featured coversongs from Danish light music history translated to the new wave music of HUG. Therefore the title ‘Kopy’. Voss and Torp also made an album together with Steffan Brandt and singer Nanna called ‘Den store lysfest’. Afterwards Nils Torp started with Sofie Bonde as a synth duo called Souvenirs becoming highly succesfull in the Nineties. HUG himself released one more album in the Nineties called ‘Blidt Over Dig’ before disappearing from the limelight almost altogether. He’d rather be in the studio producing and writing for others.
He mingled in housemusic in 1991 as H.U.G. & The Blue Note with the single ‘Fever’ and wrote the themesong for the movie ‘Viktor & Viktoria’. In 1996 he teams up with Lisa Ekdahl for the duet single ‘Backwards’ and releases a new English album. In the same year he also distributes a mystery Christmas-single on CD-r under the title ‘Julesingle’, never meant as an official release. That has to wait to 2000 when he participates as Lars Christmas H.U.G. and The Belltrees on the compilation ‘The spirit of Christmas’. He also records another duet, this time with Lill Lindfors as themesong for the movie ‘Hånden på hjertet’. But it is not until 2003 that an entire new album sees the light of day. Meanwhile the rehabilitation of Kliché takes hold when in 2006 their debut album is noted in the Danish popular music canon as essential release for Danish rock. In 2011 the 2 albums get a re-release added with some lost tracks. Hug himself releases a new single ‘SommerSyner’ through his Facebook account. In 2015 he makes an unexpected return with a convincing album of new popsongs.

On the web:

- Lars' official website as a painter: http://www.larshug.dk
- Site dedicated to Kliché and Hug's music: http://www.hug-info.dk/

What do we think:

DB: Imagine an artist that is on the same wavelength as David Sylvian, is highly influenced by David Bowie in his Berlin-period (Low / Heroes) and has a soft spot for Brian Eno and Richard Barbieri. You probably get close to an artist like Lars H.U.G. with his helping buddies Torp and Voss. Intelligent popmusic with character. He also confirms the thought that it is not the quantity that counts but the quality. Over a career spanning 30 years he does not have a really big catalogue but almost everything is worth your while. Next to his singing career Lars is a renowned painter..

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Humpe (some of their music anyway) (Germany)

Enrico Ruggeri (Italy)


With Kliché

♪♪♪♪♪ - Supertanker , 1980

♪♪♪♪ - Okay Okay Boys - 1983


♪♪♪♪♪ - City Slang - 1984

♪♪♪♪ - Kysser Himlen Farvel - 1987

♪♪♪ - Kopy - 1989

♪♪♪ - Blidt Over Dig - 1992

- Kiss & Hug (From A Happy Boy) - 1996

- Save Me From This Rock`n´Roll - 2003

♪♪♪ - 10 sekunders stilhed - 2015

Voss / Torp (Brill)

- Dobbelt Plus - 1984

♪♪♪♪ - Den store lysfest -1989

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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