Per Gessle’s Roxette – Brussels, Belgium – 12th October 2018 – #4

Without a day off after the magnificent Hamburg show, Per & Co. performed in Brussels on Friday. They all flew to the Belgian capital and since the connection between Hamburg and Brussels is not the greatest, some of us fans also travelled by the same plane. I must say it was a bit bizarre, listening to the Small Town Talk album on Spotify while sharing the flight with THE artist and his musicians. We all behaved, so we didn’t jump on either Per or anyone else from the band. Not on BoJo either. Haha. We all landed safe and sound and headed to our accommodations.

The doors were to open at 7 pm at the venue, but it was a standing show, so we got there a bit earlier to queue. When we entered we realized that the front row was right in front of the stage, without any fence. The stage was so low you could touch Per’s monitor. I liked it a lot that the balconies were hidden by huge black curtains with lights on them. This way the whole area looked like being covered with stars. Nice view from the stage it must have been. One not too important, but I think interesting detail is that it was the first time I saw much more guys in the crowd than girls. Why in Belgium, no clue.

This time there was no support act. The gig was to start at 20:30 and end at 22:30. The gang started playing at appr. 20:40. The setlist? Stayed the very same as it was in Hamburg the day before.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

The Look turned out to be a great starter in Belgium too. It can never go wrong! After the song Per talked to the crowd and said he played there 29 years ago ”when you weren’t even born”. ”Or were you here?”, he asked. Some in the audience shouted yes and Per said ”we should go on a cruise together”. He tried to remember anything from that evening, but he couldn’t and Clarence, who was there back then too, he couldn’t remember it either.

Between MATAH and CBB Mr. G told about 1993 when the Roxette team went to Italy. ”Scary thought. Not Italy, the Roxette team”, he said.

With DFS, the gang speeded the tempo up and Per said we’re still young. Oh yes, they are and we are too! It got confirmed during SGNO as well. The intro to it increased the excitement and we partied on. I was standing on the left side of the stage again and Chris and Ola, as well as Per were so close to us when they came to the front to play their guitars. Once Mr. G kicked in the air with his left leg and it felt like there was 1 cm between his leg and my camera. The cam survived. Haha. After the song Per said it’s fantastic he is here, ”thanx to you guys”.

Before playing SMT, a guy shouted ”we love you”. Per smiled, but he still finds it a bit difficult to take compliments. That’s what I saw on his face this time too. He said this is a great day and he had another great day back in May 1990. Mr. G mentioned Åsa in Brussels, that he wrote Joyride thanks to his wife who left a note on the piano saying ”hello, you fool, I love you, bla-bla-bla”. The crowd laughed. Then he took a break he said and took some Swedish icecream, some coffee and then he wrote SMT. Helena got her well-deserved applause after she sang the song.

After IGYC, Per said ”dank u wel” I think (it means ”thank you”) and in reply to that someone shouted ”tack så mycket”. Per was happy both about his own and the shouting guy’s ”thank you”-s. Then Per talked about his Nashville experience before he started playing STT, which of course sounded wonderful at Ancienne Belgique. We definitely need it on a live CD, don’t we? 😉

The intro to IHAPIMH just almost contained na na nana na, but the audience was clapping loudly and enjoyed the song so much.

Before IMHBL Per mentioned that when they started rehearsing for the tour he had appr. 72 songs that he wanted everyone to learn in the band. Magnus said and they did. There was one song that he didn’t really feel like playing, but then he heard it was Magnus’s fave track of all time. Magnus said he had to pay Per to play this song and he stills pay Mr. G every gig. It became a nice sing-along.

Do I have to mention that OppNox and TBL put everyone on fire? On and off stage. I love this part! You could see in the video Åsa recorded from the back how the crowd enjoyed themselves during TBL.

Getting back to the ’90s, before FLAF Per asked Magnus about his girlfriends in the ’90s. Magnus said he didn’t have any. Per said then tell us about his boyfriends. Magnus said he didn’t have any friends at all.

Before DMS Per wanted to say something about the Party Crasher album, but then he said he shouldn’t. Magnus said we’d really love to know and then Per said Magnus blogged about it on www.puke.com. The crowd laughed out loud. The song by the way sounded awesome again and Chris became the definite hero of the night. Poor guy was rocking on his guitar so much that even something got broken on it and it flew over the audience and Christoffer’s hand was also bleeding like hell. Jakob, Christoffer’s technician tried to wipe the blood off with a towel, but it didn’t help much. The guys tried to find some plasters and were trying hard to stop the hand bleeding. Per asked, ”did that make sense?” Haha. Mr. G started introducing the band. Started with Chris who was still bleeding, then moved on to Ola, then Andreas. That was funny, because PG said he called 5 drummers, but 4 couldn’t make it, so that’s how Andreas ended up in the band. Haha. Then Mr. G introduced Clarence, who produced almost every existing Roxette song, even the hits and the B-sides. Then Magnus, Malin-My and Helena were introduced too. And then Per turned to the audience and said: ”And a wonderful crowd, thank you!” In the meantime, Chris got his plasters. Per asked him if he can continue and Chris said the show must go on. The crowd applauded him and shouted woohoo.

During HDYD we had a blast again, the intro teaser worked fine. Then came Dangerous and off they went. The audience didn’t stop clapping or shouting, not even for a second, however, it took a bit longer time now for the band to come back on stage to play the first encore, QOR and Joyride.

The crowd didn’t keep quiet while waiting for the 2nd encore either. They were really loud. And so the gang came up on stage again. Per said the next song he wrote for a friend of his in the ’80s, when there was a bit of a conflict in his friend’s life. LTYH it was, of course. Then the closing song TSHTSG. And it plays in my head again until the next show.

There was a Belgian couple who I met for the first time. We talked a bit before the show and they said it’s the only concert they plan to see on this tour. They have kids and have to work and the logistics are not so easy. After the show we talked again and they loved it so much they started thinking about how to organize things to be able to attend at least one more gig. Oh yeah!

Per after the show:

BRUSSELS: YEEHAA. Back again at the Ancienne Belgique. Haven’t played here for 29 years. Had a blast, dear you! Hot and cozy. Wonderful crowd. Great band. Happy!!!!

See you all in London. Plan A: Got to get some band aid for Chris’s hand…….. Plan B: Call MP! Cheers, P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

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by WIM

 

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Hamburg, Germany – 11th October 2018 – #3

Hamburg, Germany, the best show so far on tour! And that was a seated gig! If all seated gigs are like this, I’m very much into them. Once the tour was announced and we could see there were several seated concerts, we thought OK, the setlist would probably be too slow, full of ballads, so the seats might be because of that. Then we saw the setlist at the first show and realized there is a great flow in the mix of ballads and uptempo or midtempo songs. So when we reached the first seated concert in the schedule, we got curious how it would work out. Should we stand up? Should we stay seated? What is the rule at the venue? Are we allowed to stand up anyway? If we stand up, when should we? First world problems, I know…

The show in Hamburg was held at a concert hall, a beautiful building. The soundcheck started at appr. 5 pm again and those who met Per in town before he left for the soundcheck got lucky, because Mr. G was in a very nice mood, stopping to sign stuff and fans could also take pictures with him.

Since it was a seated gig and we had our fixed spots, no one was really queueing in front of the venue. Once we arrived we could take it easy, enter the building, check out the merchandise, grab some drinks, chat with other fans. That’s a big advantage of seated events.

This time the support act was again Lee MacDougall. Great guy, really. He was much fun on stage in Hamburg too and he even changed 2 songs in his short setlist. Well, this is how people can get to know his music. He mentioned that in Leipzig he said he is the biggest Roxette fan in the UK, but after the show a guy from the UK, called Huw stepped to him and said that actually HE is the biggest fan in the UK, so Lee corrected himself in Hamburg and said that since Huw is here, he can only tell he is the biggest fan in England.

Already during the support act it was a bit strange to be sitting. I was sitting in the front row and the stage was a bit too high for looking up there without having problems with your neck after. So the thought of standing up got stronger and stronger each second. Haha. Another thing that made me think we should stand up was that hey… the setlist starts with The Look, c’mon! How could you stay seated during The Look?! I mean even the royal family showed it long ago that it just doesn’t work. 😉

Even if Per said after Leipzig that they ”got a few more things to check out in Hamburg” regarding the setlist, there was only a slight change. Listen To Your Heart got moved to the 2nd encore, but otherwise the running order stayed the same. 20 songs. After talking to some of the band members later, it seems to stay like this, since 22 songs both Per and them all found too long. Oh well… ask a fan anytime, we wouldn’t have enough of a 30-song-long setlist either. Let’s hope that at least it stays 20 until the end of the tour and it doesn’t get even less, as it happened during last year’s tour.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride

Encore 2
19. Listen To Your Heart
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

So, back to the first world problems of standing up, when the gang hit the stage a bit after 9 pm and started playing The Look, appr. 5 seconds passed and the whole concert hall was standing. Woohoo! That defined the mood of the crowd and I think it guaranteed the success of the complete show. Also, it probably gave even more energy to the band. 150% energy on and off stage, I can tell. And the level dropped to 120% during the ballads. Haha. Most of the crowd stayed standing during the whole gig, but also those who ”sat down” were sitting on the upper edge of their seats and only during the ballads and talks in between the songs. Once an uptempo song came, everyone got on their feet again. Great vibes! It was fantastic being part of that crowd!

After The Look, Per talked to the audience while drinking his ginger tea and said he didn’t play in Hamburg since 2015 and asked who was there. Tons of people shouted in the crowds they were there. Nice.

He moved on digging in that deep box of Roxette songs and they played 2 ballads, Milk And Toast And Honey and Crash! Boom! Bang!. Both of them sounded great and the audience liked them a lot. After the ballads, Per tried to throw his acoustic pick to the crowd, but it got probably stuck to his hand so it landed on stage very close to himself. It happens. We were laughing and while Micke N-S brought Per his guitar he plays during speed-up song Dressed For Success, he was kidding him showing how he throws a plectrum. DFS was loved, as well as She’s Got Nothing On! Constant party mood in the crowd and madness on stage! Even 1 drumstick of Andreas flew to the edge of the stage at the end of the song. Per said he is getting too old for this. Someone in the crowd shouted we too. Haha. Per heard it and said you too are definitely getting old.

In the talking before Spending My Time Per mentioned he wrote 2 songs in one afternoon. The first one was Joyride, then he had some tea and biscuits and then he wrote the next one. The crowd sounded very happy to hear SMT and Helena got applauded loudly.

2 more ballads came, I’m Glad You Called and Small Town Talk with Chris in the 2nd verse again. Pure magic!

Showing how fab the crowd was, when the band started the intro to I Have A Party In My Head, the audience started singing Opus’s ”Live Is Life”, not just the Na Na Nana Na part, but the complete chorus. Per laughed and pointed at the audience while looking at the band, then talked into the mic saying this sounds great by the way, however, this coming song is from the Son of A Plumber album. He was glad that the crowd recognized that one.

It Must Have Been Love was next, Magnus’s favourite track (including The Beatles, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Zappa and even Milli Vanilli). Per said he tried to avoid to play it, but Magnus said he has to play it, he kills Mr. G otherwise. Per said he knows and it’s scary. Good they played it. The audience burst out into a loud sing-along.

Then came the party section again, with Opportunity Nox and The Big L. and these 2 songs rocked big time in Hamburg too. Per said ”getting ready for the weekend, right”. The ”bringing me down to my knees” part of TBL was funny, because since we had a bigger space in the front between the stage and the front row without fence or anything else, we could really get down to our knees. Almost. Haha. This time I was on the left side of the stage and loved how Ola and Malin-My came to the front to rock their instruments during TBL.

Before Fading Like A Flower, Per and Magnus talked about the ’90s again. Magnus said he doesn’t just remember the ’90s, he IS the ’90s. Wherever the ’90s went, he was there before. Haha. How Helena sang the song in Hamburg sounded a bit different vs. the first 2 gigs. I would say her version got more powerful from getting the energy from the wonderful vibe of the gig. Fantastic!

Doesn’t Make Sense was a blast again. I love the whole song. Beautiful lyrics, great PG vocals, how he sings ”nose” is still killing me and the ending where Chris and Andreas go crazy is one of the greatest parts of each show.

In the band presentation Per mentioned he is extremely lucky to have this band with him. Magnus he found in a flea market, he said. Haha.

How Do You Do! and Dangerous were very much welcomed by the audience to have some more party. HDYD had the teaser intro this time and the crowd started singing the song before Per started it. No one could believe the gang went off stage after these 2 songs. The audience didn’t stop clapping and shouting, waiting for them to come back on stage.

Then the band members appeared one after another and Per came back as well to play Queen Of Rain and Joyride in the first encore. Since the audience was whistling, Andreas tried to whistle using his hands too, but wearing gloves, it just couldn’t happen. It was funny though. I love how Per and Chris interact during the intro to Joyride. After these two songs the gang went off stage again, but the audience went crazy to have them back. And so they came to sing 2 more tracks in the 2nd encore.

This time Listen To Your Heart was moved to the 2nd encore, but the closing song remained The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye. Helena was very happy to receive the love of the crowd after LTYH. Loud applause she got. And TSHTSG, well… keeps on playing in my head… again and again. Tütütütürütü. Awesome version!

Per closed the show with saying ”hope to see you again very soon”. Let’s see what happens, but with such a band and such an audience anything can happen! 😉

Sven Lindström was there in the crowd too. He liked the show and said he will probably see another one Sweden.

Åsa wasn’t there at the gig. It would have been great if someone filmed this concert for a DVD actually. Hard to top, but there are more gigs to come, so let’s see!

Per’s post after the show:

Hamburg tonite. Oh yeah! Thanx everyone for showing up and singing along. Wonderful feedback on every song, love that! Extra special thanks for the Party In My Head-intro (yaknowwhatImean…theunmentionablesong….). Have to come back to Hamburg again and again, it’s addictive!!!!! I’ve had two great days here, checking out Anton C’s fab exhibition and just enjoying myself in the sunshine. Brussels tomorrow. Rise and shine everyone! Lots of love from P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

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Per Gessle’s Roxette – Leipzig, Germany – 9th October 2018 – #2

Last night PG & Co. performed in Leipzig, Per coming back to town for the first time since 2011, when Roxette played there. The gang arrived to the venue at appr. 5 pm for a short soundcheck where they mainly rehearsed The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye, but we could also hear SGNO. So we knew these 2 songs have a safe place on the setlist last night again. But what’s with the rest? We were curious.

This time the support act was Lee MacDougall, the guy who would have been the support to Roxette in 2016, when the tour got cancelled. Good he had the chance this time. He is a great musician with a nice voice, so we enjoyed him performing. His sense of humor is fun too, so it was a great 30 minutes, him being on stage. He got introduced to Roxette when he was appr. 8 years old, via Baywatch, Pamela Anderson. There he heard The Look in a commercial and got hooked. He says he is the biggest Roxette fan in England. We will see him several times on tour, since he is the support in Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich, Berlin and Cologne as well. Just a funny moment: Lee goes unplugged on one of his songs and while he walked around the stage with his guitar, he stepped on PG’s already sticked-on-the-floor setlist and stayed there for a while. Haha. Thank God the songs to be played were still visible after.

Per and the band hit the stage at 9 pm. Different running order of PG’s shirts meant different running order on the setlist too. Slightly different though. They skipped The Finest Prize for reasons I can’t understand and also Silver Blue. Silver Blue’s spot got occupied by Doesn’t Make Sense and the encores were changed a bit too.

Setlist:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. Crash! Boom! Bang!
4. Dressed For Success
5. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
6. Spending My Time
7. I’m Glad You Called
8. Small Town Talk
9. I Have A Party In My Head
10. It Must Have Been Love
11. Opportunity Nox
12. The Big L.
13. Fading Like A Flower
14. Doesn’t Make Sense
Band presentation
15. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 16)
16. Dangerous

Encore
17. Queen Of Rain
18. Joyride
19. Listen To Your Heart

Encore 2
20. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

This time there were some technical hiccups, which somehow made us feel the gang got a bit distracted. Even some word changes in the lyrics happened by Helena. All this caused a bit lower energy level on stage in Leipzig than in Prague, but the audience’s loudness and sing-alongs made Per & Co. very happy and they got confirmation again that what they are doing is just fab.

I love how the band members interact with each other on stage, changing their places, kidding each other, singing towards each other, etc. They are so good together!

I was happy The Look stayed first on the setlist, because it really gets you into the Roxette party mood right from the beginning and it can define the whole show. I think I didn’t mention it in my Prague review, but there is a little pause in The Look, which adds to the excitement.

Per talked to the crowd after they finished the song that he was there in Leipzig 7 years ago and it’s fantastic to be back. He also told they would do a big dive into the box of Roxette songs. He also sneaked in a couple of solo songs just for good measure.

Before Crash! Boom! Bang! Per told they went to record the album in Capri, where the world’s most expensive pizzas and the cheapest wine are sold. They took full advantage of that. The song sounded wonderful and the crowd appreciated it with a loud applause.

During She’s Got Nothing On, Helena and Malin-My came to the front and animated the audience, it was cool. They were full of energy, and also Chris was going wild on his guitar and involved Ola in the madness too. A real party song this one is.

Before Spending My Time Per mentioned he wrote 2 songs on one crazy afternoon in the spring of 1990. One of them was Joyride. The audience shouted woohoo and Per said not bad actually. Helena got a huge applause for performing the song.

This time during I’m Glad You Called there seemed to be less acting. But it’s always a bit strange to see Per without his guitar. He sometimes doesn’t know what to do with his hands while singing without holding any instruments. It’s fun though when he is demonstrating the lyrics. And while Per and Helena walked away from each other for the non-singing part, we could enjoy the music Malin-My, Chris and Ola played for us. This song was a success too. Per commented after the song, it’s music for old people. Haha.

Small Town Talk was a highlight in Leipzig too. Wonderful to hear it live and Chris joining Per in the duet is just amazing. Can’t get enough of it!

During the intro to I Have A Party In My Head the audience burst out into loud clapping. It sounded awesome! Really a great crowd it was! Per said he is always so surprised that people recognize tracks from Son of A Plumber, because he doesn’t. The audience burst out laughing.

Mr. G told the crowd he tried to avoid playing the next song, but it’s actually Magnus’s favourite, so he couldn’t skip it. Magnus said he would be very disappointed and he would hit Per if he didn’t play it. Yep, it was It Must Have Been Love’s turn. The crowd loved it!

It was lovely that the setlist remained the same at this point, when Opportunity Nox and The Big L. followed IMHBL. Party time guaranteed!

Before Fading Like A Flower they, I mean Magnus and Per were again joking about the ’90s, talking about their favourite bands from that decade. Besides Roxette, Milli Vanilli popped up, as well as Beagle and Brainpool.

Doesn’t Make Sense was very welcomed by the audience, they were clapping a lot during the whole song and it seems it wasn’t working only in Prague that Chris and Andreas went wild on this song towards the end, but in Leipzig as well. It rocked big time!

During the band presentation Per started with their own little guitar God, Chris (sweating plus drinking after DMS), Ola who plays everything with strings on, even shoes, Andreas the drummer, Clarence got a long long applause, being the producer of Roxette songs, Magnus the stand up comedy guy, the most talented Malin-My and last but not least, Helena Josefsson on vocals.

The crowd didn’t stop clapping and shouting when the band went off stage and it took some more time for the gang to come back. They certainly enjoyed the audience’s reaction. It was so loud and wonderful! The first encore now started again with Queen Of Rain, but as Doesn’t Make Sense was moved, Joyride and Listen To Your Heart came to the first encore. Joyride started with a tiny little intro, where Chris was standing in front of PG with his guitar and they were kidding each other. It was much fun! After the song PG said ”well, we can play all night…”. Oh well, you know, Per, you really could! We wouldn’t mind! 😉

After LTYH, the crowd was loud again, wanting the whole gang back on stage and so they came and played the last song. The 2nd encore now contained The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye only. When Per and the band came back, someone in the audience shouted ”gott nytt år” (= happy new year) , so Per repeated it in the mic. Then someone else shouted ”tack” (= thank you). A real Swedish lesson. Haha. TSHTSG, what can I say? It’s absolutely awesome how this song sounds now live. I could listen to it 24/7. Actually, this one is playing on one’s head for a long time either after the show during the whole night or the day after. Top earworm!

Åsa wasn’t there this time, so we’ll see how many videos were shot, if any at all. We could already see a backstage video Per shared. Let’s hope we can see more of such vids.

As you read Per’s comment on the gig, it makes you curious what changes they plan in the setlist in Hamburg. Fingers crossed the number of songs gets back to 22 at least and won’t be decreased by even more songs.

Per after the show:

Leipzig = Wow!!!! Haven’t been in this city since 2011 and hey, do I love to play here! Great crowd as always.

We tried a different running order tonight to get the perfect flow. Got a few more things to check out in Hamburg. That’s the way it should be, every gig should be different. That’s why we play everything 100% live. No tricks.

Thanks everyone for showing up and making that typical Roxette noise!!! Love it! See y’all soon again. Cheers, P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

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Brisant report (starts at appr. 27:40)

 

Whatever works – but does it work? My take on Per Gessle’s Roxette tour

Per Gessle has started his European tour last Sunday, October 7th in Prague, Czech Republic in front of nearly 1,000 people. It’s the first time since 2009, where he hits the bumpy roads of Europe again and is going to visit 20 cities in the coming weeks.

This time he is no longer the man from Roxette as 9 years ago, the project is labelled “Per Gessle’s Roxette”. He admitted in our exclusive RoxetteBlog interview back in April that it’s a great name: “since it’s exactly what it is. This is my personal version of Roxette. I play Roxette-songs I’ve written, music that still is such a big slice of my life. In the perfect world Marie would have been by my side to sing and perform, but that won’t happen anymore. I have to live with that. You do too. The options I have are to perform the songs without her or not perform them at all. I chose the obvious one.

When I was compiling the potential setlist predictions back in June, I was thinking this is going to be something similar to the Party Crasher tour. Back then – meaning 2009 – we still didn’t know exactly what good and bad future would bring, but we were happy to get these very personal interpretations of Roxette’s vast catalogue from Gessle. This year I truly felt coming back to Roxette music with a mix of Nashville vibes and 2017 band (big hand to new additions to the band: Andreas, Ola and Malin My) would be a fantastic way to introduce these songs in a new & exciting way. Per already tested the ground during 2017 Scandinavian concerts – several Roxette tracks were played and got ovations from the crowd generating even more unforgettable sing-a-longs.

How the setlist looks like in the end? There are some surprises, which always is a surprising thing at the Per Gessle concert, wink-wink. We actually got a track that was never performed live before though recorded 28 years ago. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye was performed by Per on the lead and Malin My & Helena doing the chorus. Gessle has always been highlighting this as a forgotten gem among other pearls from the early 90s. For understandable reasons. It also a nice way to end up the concert, instead of a worn-out Church of your heart closer. Hope it stays in the setlist as long as possible.

You might have been expecting to hear more tracks from English solo albums as it’s a solo concert after all. Well, no, not really. There was nothing off The World According To Gessle, which left many unhappy about that decision. Still, I Want You To Know could’ve found its way as a modern country version. I have a party in my head and Doesn’t make sense re-appeared in the set, which already was kind of unexpected as the latter one was never a single and I have not predicted Son of a plumber would find its way among all those Roxette tracks. There were 2 songs off Small Town Talk, though the second single, Being With You, was left out for the reasons one could only wonder. It reminds me the time when Party Crasher’s Silly really was omitted due to “being impossible to perform live”. It must have been a different thing with an accoustic song this time. Small Town Talk is my absolute highlight of the evening in which Per Gessle pairs with the band’s own Christoffer Lundquist for an amazing duet. We need more of Chris’ singing at the concert! The Finest Prize is as powerful as it was last year with Helena Josefsson taking over the second verse, so scrapping the song in Leipzig is definitely a miss.

Was the Roxette part of the setlist unexpected? Well, im Westen nichts Neues (all quite on the western front). There was The Look to start with which is a wise move as it brings everyone in this very party mood that stays throughout the concert. Then Joyride for the end with 3 lonely fan-brang balloons flying over the audience. Did they change anything in the arrangements? Very little if you ask me, but I might be deaf as well. Adding pedal steal or violin here and there is a little bit too little to say it’s been a major change.

Per Gessle performed 10 songs on his own, where e.g. “Milk and toast and honey”, “It must have been love” or “I’m glad you called” were 50:50 duets with one-of-a-kind Helena Josefsson. She is one of the most talented persons Per has worked with anyway. She was switching constantly places – from being in the back next to Malin My to the front position between Per and Magnus. And she owned both positions superbly.

What I have really mixed feeling about is actually leaving some of the most prominent tracks like “Spending my time”, “Queen of rain” or “Listen to your heart” to Helena herself. She’s a very talented singer – if I haven’t highlighted that already enough  – and I absolutely adore her in many songs during the concert (“I’m glad you called” acting-game for instance), but some of Roxette arrangements weren’t particularly friendly to her voice. I feel like “Fading like a flower” in a slower arrangements doesn’t do the justice to this somewhat wonderful power ballad. If you expect Per would do all songs himself, that’s not the case this time. He is really presenting new versions of Roxette songs now; this is how he now imagines the Roxette world where Marie cannot longer perform. Does it mean female voice is essential for those songs to survive? Would Per’s interpretation be worse than Helena’s versions? How would it sound if they had replaced this with a duet? There are so many questions and so little time. You need to hear this yourself to be able to judge.

In a certain way I feel like calling this a Per Gessle concert is misleading and I do not mean anything negative here (there’s too much of that childish shit over social media now). It just doesn’t really do the justice for the concert itself. For my part it was Per Gessle AND Helena Josefsson concert with Roxette songs in the focus. Helena plays the vital role to Per’s 2018 concert as the starting riff to The Look. I really miss his versions we’ve all known from 2009 as I preferred a male narrative, it gave a totally new dimension to the lyrics and the accoustic arrangements back then were to die for. If I was to compare “Listen to your heart” anno domini 2009 to 2018, I would definitely go for the Party crasher version. But hey, it seems like – for the reasons I can only guess – this is not what works for Per any longer.

Is there a space for a change? Limited. From the Leipzig gig it seems like the band plays 2 songs less – “Silver blue” and “The Finest Prize” were kicked off the field. We might hear “Sleeping in my car” or something already performed in the past like “7twenty7”, but obviously it’s always tricky to predict the future.

This new concert is definitely not something everyone can approve. Though I have a lot of mixed feelings about the arrangements and songs picked up to perform, the audience reaction was rather positive, which makes me think this can have a future as a long-going set of different performances in clubs all over the world.  Whatever works and it seems actually to work, no matter if you like it or not.

If you feel like reading more about the Prague concert, here’s the Patricia take on it.

(c) Tomasz Wysocki

Per Gessle’s Roxette – Prague, Czech Republic – 7th October 2018 – #1

Another year, another tour! The Per Gessle’s Roxette tour premiered last night in Prague, Czech Republic. Being it the first show, Mr. G & Co. did a longer soundcheck. They started at appr. 4 pm and it lasted for about 1.5 hours. We could hear the gang playing Spending My Time, Listen To Your Heart, The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye, Fading Like A Flower, Opportunity Nox and The Big L. and since the doors were closed, we sometimes could just hear noises we couldn’t recognize. Haha. It was a nice teaser for the gig anyway.

The gates opened a bit after 6 pm. The first thing we could check was the merchandise. I already shared some pictures on our Facebook page, so you could see there are T-shirts mostly, also ones that include the dates. The correct dates and places this time, woohoo! There is a gym bag which is new, Small Town Talk CD and the rest we know from past tours (RoXXXette power bank, PG’s tour photo book from last year, Roxette’s 30 Biggest Hits CD, The RoxBox CD, PG cards from the tour last year).

The security guys told us 900-1000 tickets were sold as far as they knew. It was a cozy place and it was very hot inside. There was a support act, Robin Mood and before and after him we could of course listen to Per’s mix tape, which didn’t change much vs. the last one. Great songs to get into the mood. When the setting up for PG & Co started, I could have a glimpse of the setlist while the technicians put it to each band member’s spot. Running through it I was happy with all the songs and even the length of the setlist, however, I missed 2 songs badly: Vulnerable and Name You Beautiful. I hope they pop up later on this tour.

The show started at appr. 21:00. The setlist was as follows:

1. The Look
2. Milk And Toast And Honey
3. The Finest Prize
4. Crash! Boom! Bang!
5. Dressed For Success
6. She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
7. Spending My Time
8. I’m Glad You Called
9. Small Town Talk
10. I Have A Party In My Head
11. It Must Have Been Love
12. Opportunity Nox
13. The Big L.
14. Fading Like A Flower
15. Silver Blue
Band presentation
16. How Do You Do! (in a medley with No. 17)
17. Dangerous

Encore
18. Queen Of Rain
19. Doesn’t Make Sense

Encore 2
20. Joyride
21. Listen To Your Heart
22. The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye

 

The Look: After seeing the opening song, I was quite surprised. It’s not the obvious choice of starting the shows with, but it’s definitely a great direction. Start with a huge uptempo hit and grab the audience already at the very beginning. It worked totally fine! I decided to go live on our Facebook page with the tour opening, but I couldn’t keep my camera steady after a while, I got too much into the mood, so stopped filming in the middle of the song. I realized it only after the live stuff started that Facebook changed some settings, so landscape doesn’t work for live videos. Sorry for that. Haha.

After the first song, Per talked a bit to the audience, mentioning it was the opening gig on their European tour and that he likes Prague, because it’s a beautiful city. He also recognized some familiar faces. He also mentioned he’s been writing songs for more than 40 years, which is crazy. He said most of the songs he wrote for Roxette and during the night they dig very deep into the Roxette box of songs, but he also sneaked in a couple of his solo songs.

Milk And Toast And Honey: One song Per mentioned during the interviews lately, that it’s among his choices, because he loves it and they never played it live before (which is not true, we all know, but well… time flies). It sounded great in this arrangement and it was nice to hear Per singing in it. He said after the song that it felt good.

The Finest Prize: Last year we could hear the Swedish version of this song live, Första pris and somehow it felt obvious they would include the English version on the setlist. Love it, no matter in which language, and it sounds fab live!

Crash! Boom! Bang!: After TFP Per talked to the audience again and told about their journey to Capri in 1993 to record CBB. He said there were very expensive pizzas and a very drunk producer, haha, he said he is just kidding, it was the drummer. Per started singing it, then Helena sang the other half of the song. Sounded beautiful! Only one person shouted ”Marie!” during the song, but that was the only one occasion during the whole show.

Dressed For Success: Speeding up a bit, Per asked to tighten our shoelaces. And we needed it! Great party song and the clapping coreography still works.

She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio): To go on in party mood, PG’s left leg stomping at its best and swaying his hips during the whole song. This song is still great both on the radio and live! After playing it, Per asked the crowd if we were having a good time and we shouted yeees! He said he trusts us. Haha.

Spending My Time: Before they started performing it, Per said it’s a very special song for him, he wrote it on the same day as Joyride. It turned out to be one of the songs Helena was singing alone. Which was a bit strange, we expected it being divided half-half between Per and her. It’s also a very special song to fans, a real Marie-song, so probably this could have been the hardest part of the show for Marie hardcores, but the arrangement was so different vs. how Marie sings the song that it makes no sense to compare. It became a totally different song and Helena sang it beautifully. She got a huge applause from the audience and she was so happy about it. Once you would think the song was over, but they went on playing it after some seconds of pause. By the way, Helena is standing in the back with Malin-My and is singing into a mic on a stand, but when she sings in the front, she holds the mic in her hands.

I’m Glad You Called: This was probably the most hilarious part that we could eye-witness during the show. Everyone has to see it live! Per acting! Haha. Singing a duet with Helena, without the guitar in his hand, standing there (and walking away!) like a schoolboy. So lovely! For this song, Magnus, Clarence and Andreas went off stage and only Malin-My, Ola and Christoffer stayed there to play behind Per and Helena.

Small Town Talk: Per told the audience he went to Nashville to record his latest solo albums and now they would play the title track of the English album. Malin-My started with her wonderful violin-playing. So beautiful! Then PG went on with the first verse and I thought it would be Helena singing the rest, BUT: a huge surprise in this one! The part sung by Nick Lowe on the album is sung by Chris live. It was amazing! He has such a beautiful voice and together with Per this song sounded fabulous! We were all very happy that Christoffer got THIS moment during the concert (instead of playing a local song again 😉 ). The crowd loved it to the full and he got a huge applause, he got distracted, he said after the show when we congratulated him.

I Have A Party In My Head: LOL! Another hilarious moment! When the intro started to play, it sounded like Opus’s ”Live Is Life”, so Per sang: Na Na Nana Na. It was so cool! The crowd just laughed out loud. 🙂 Then came the flutes, the flutes! Of course, on this song. One could guess it during the rehearsals when Per posted a picture of Helena and Malin-My. Sounded great!

It Must Have Been Love: Per introduced the song as one he wrote during the soundcheck earlier yesterday. Haha. I would say it was in the very same arrangement as during Per’s tour last year and the crowd loved to sing-along.

Opportunity Nox: If you ask me, THE best part of the gig started here for 2 songs. We wished so much to hear OppNox live again and we got it! And it’s still rocking! Wonderful party song!

The Big L.: Party on! Malin-My came to the front next to Chris and rocked her violin.The whole song was superb, we were jumping so much!

Fading Like A Flower: Per said let’s stick to the ’90s a bit. The ’90s were great. He asked Magnus what he thinks and Magnus said he hardly remembers, he was very young. Per asked him about the girls, Magnus said they were great. Then Per joked and asked about the boys, haha, Magnus asked if there is something else Per wants to know. Then the song started. This was the only song that didn’t really work for me in this arrangement and it was another song sung only by Helena. She sang beautifully and all, but this song is living in its rocky version. Hard to beat.

Silver Blue: Per and Helena were singing it half-half. Sounded beautiful.

Band presentation: Per said he wants to introduce his amazing band whom he bribed to join him. Magnus said it wasn’t cheap. Haha. This time the introduction started with Christoffer, then came Ola, then Andreas (straight out of prison, haha). Then Per said that’s it. He was kidding and turned to the other side to introduce Clarence (the Mozart of Hammarby), then Magnus, then Malin-My (on violin and flutes and platform soles, haha) and ”last but not least, Helena Josefsson on lead guitar”. Haha. Per got used to introducing Chris as the last but not least, that he just added the lead guitar automatically. Helena’s reaction was she played air guitar. Haha. Per said it’s getting late for him. 🙂

How Do You Do!: One of those 3-chord songs again. The crowd went crazy and started clapping so hard. It was great to hear it live again!

Dangerous: How it was a medley during the Roxette tour, it was arranged the same way this time again, right after HDYD. After this song, the gang went off the stage. The crowd was shouting Gessle, Gessle and clapping and whistling too. It didn’t take much time until the band and Per came back on stage.

Queen Of Rain: The first song of the first encore, another song from the ’90s. Per said he wrote it for the Joyride album, but it didn’t make it, because they had too many ballads. They kept it for later and it became a single. The crowd was happy to hear it. Another song that was sung by Helena.

Doesn’t Make Sense: What a fab song this still is! It was wonderful to hear it live again! Chris went absolutely wild on this one, together with Andreas. The gang went off the stage again to come back for the 2nd encore 2 minutes later.

Joyride: Per came up on stage and he said they had a wonderful evening and hoped we did too. The first song of the 2nd encore was Joyride. There can’t be a show without it. And Per turning around and around and around with his guitar during this one is still a must. Haha.

Listen To Your Heart: It was in the same arrangement as last year, Helena singing it. She got a huge applause in the end.

The Sweet Hello, The Sad Goodbye: Great closing song, awesome to hear it live! Nicely arranged version that gives the song another life. Loved it!

 

Regarding the stage set, on the background Per’s drawings were proyected and sometimes videos and also the Per Gessle’s Roxette tour background during the band presentation. So a bit of a mix, but I have to see another concert or even more 😉 to be able to pay more attention to the background as well.

The stage clothes are very nice and I like how they all fit each other. Now everyone is in the same style of clothes. I can’t identify with the platform boots of Malin-My and Helena though. Haha. And hey, there is no nail polish for Mr. G!

Åsa was there and filmed a lot, so the vids will surely pop up on Mr. G’s sites soon. One thing I can tell, the videos don’t give it all back. You can only judge how a concert is when you are there. I know many fans were skeptic about the whole thing and it’s mainly hard for Marie supporters to deal with this, but with all my love towards Marie, I have to say this concept worked. No one wanted to replace Marie, no one wanted to act or sing like Marie. The songs got another life, different arrangement, different style. And all sounded great. Even Per and the band were quite nervous in the beginning, you could see it, but with each song they got the confirmation that what they are doing is good and they enjoyed it to the full. So give it a chance and attend a show to be able to judge yourself. You can still get your tickets HERE.

 

Per about the premiere show:

THANX ALL YOU WONDERFUL PEOPLE WHO SHOWED UP AT THE PRAGUE SHOW. OPENING NITE = NERVOUS ARTIST + MUSICIANS. IS THE SHOW TOO LONG? TOO BORING? TOO MANY BALLADS? TOO MANY SINGALONGS?

YOU MADE US FEEL THAT WE HAVE A GREAT CONCEPT AND CONCERT IN THE CAN FOR EVERYONE TO ENJOY OVER THE NEXT SIX WEEKS OR SO. THANK YOU FOR YOUR FEEDBACK AND FOR BEING THERE!

WE CERTAINLY HAD A BLAST . EXTRA SPECIAL THANX FROM ME TO MY OUTSTANDING BAND WHO MAKES MY MUSIC SOUND INTELLIGENT AND SPECIAL AND PROBABLY BETTER THAN IT ACTUALLY IS.

SEE Y’ALL IN LEIPZIG!

P.

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

More photos:
Musicserver.cz
iDNES.cz
ireport.cz

Videos:
Dressed For Success

 

21 questions to Per Gessle in Aftonbladet Söndag

There is a 2-page Per Gessle article in Aftonbladet Söndag’s 2nd September 2018 issue. Nina Jakobson asked Mr. G 21 interesting questions and he answered them in his entertaining, Gessleish way. Here it is in English.

1. Two albums last year and one this year. How many songs do you actually have in you?
– I’ve had a good flow for many years. As long as it feels important and is fun, I’m rolling on. I’m still very curious musically. That’s enough for quite a long time.

2. Which song are you most proud of?
– In a way I’m proud of all finished songs I have written. Otherwise I wouldn’t have finished writing them. Most end up in the trash bin. The other day a song from En händig man, TomTom popped up. It’s a good one. Min plats from En vacker natt tunred out to be as I had hoped. Tycker om när du tar på mig is nice. What’s she like? from Roxette is special. Hjärta utan hem from Gyllene Tider makes me happy. Gyllene Tider is a fantastic little band.

3. And is there any song you’re a little less satisfied with?
– Some songs have definitely not improved over the years. But when they were written and recorded, they felt like future classics!

4. What is the leitmotif in your music?
– Melodies. Always strong melodies.

5. What is the difference between singing in English and Swedish?
– There are two completely different expressions. English is easier to sing. It sounds better. There is even greater difference in writing in English than in Swedish. In your native language, you can express yourself “heavier” and more precisely.

6. You are the idol of many, but who is yours?
– My wife! I have no real idol anymore. When I was young, I had quite many: John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor, Ronnie Peterson, the Monty Python gang, Uncle Melker in Saltkråkan.

7. How was singing with Nick Lowe?
– Incredible. He came to Stockholm and I had the honor to spend a few days with him. Besides working in the studio, we played music, drank wine and talked about dirty tour memories.

8. What would you have done if you were not a musician?
– I wanted to be an architect when I was little. But then I heard Get It On from T. Rex.

9. When is it the hardest to be you?
– I’ve been lucky enough to work with what I love, that is, songwriting and music. So it’s not that difficult to be me compared to many others. Possibly, when I put too high demands on myself and my environment. I do it sometimes. It’s tricky to break that pattern.

10. If I were to move in with you, what’s the first thing that would bother me?
– That everything is in order and is very organized. It doesn’t fit everyone. Some get stressed by it.

11. What is your most unknown talent?
– I like cleaning.

12. Who would play the main role in the movie about your life?
– Micke Syd.

13. Who would sing the soundtrack?
– Marie Fredriksson and Helena Josefsson. They are the best I have worked with. I love when girls sing my songs. There is some sort of feminine fragility in many of my songs that comes out so well then.

14. What do you do when you are not making music?
– Watching movies, reading car magazines and thinking.

15. Why do you have so many cars?
– It would have been a shame if they were left unsold.

16. What do you do when nobody sees you?
– I’m always visible. It feels so.

17. Do you get starstruck? When?
– Earlier more than now. When I met David Bowie, I barely dared to speak. But it was in 1983. I have since then noticed that all performers, artists, actors and sportsmen/women I like, strangely enough, are very ordinary people. They work hard and determined and have talent, luck and timing. Most of them are very open and nice.

18. What’s your favorite swearword?
– Fuck.

19. When did you use it last?
– Recently when I realized that the squirrels chewed up our cushions and towels out in the garden. Squirrels are sweet but my Chip and Dale quota has been filled for a long time.

20. What gives you goosebumps?
– Music. Sometimes I can end up in some sort of music coma and bury myself in Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell for hours. Goosebumps are lovely.

21. What would you do if you were God for a day?
– Clean up a little.

 

Mono Mind live Q&A on Instagram

Mono Mind decided to do a ”live” Q&A on Instagram and announced it 2 days before the happening. It wasn’t a real instalive thing though, but you could type in your Qs in the Mono Mind instastory and they picked the ones they wanted to answer. In written form. So no live video with MM characters or real life members and distorted or non-distorted voices. It was much fun anyway. Mainly after Mr. G posted THIS pic on Instagram, right at the time the whole thing went ”live” at 19:00 CET. So you could be sure it was Per himself answering the questions. Not that from the style of the answers and the wording you wouldn’t know. 😉 Cool thing!

Here is the complete Q&A:

Q: – Do you plan any live promotion?
A: – YES, that would be lovely, wouldn’t it? Cooky cookin’ on stage and the other lads beefin’ things up!

Q: – When will other band members join Helena in the videos?
A: – Well, it isn’t really Helena in the video, it’s Cooky! They look similar don’t they?

Q: – How did you choose your pseudonyms? What do they mean?
A: – They don’t really mean anything! They are just great names. Don’t you like them?!

Q: – How did it feel that SMAP reached No. 1 on different charts just for the music itself, no one knowing who behind the band are?
A: – Isn’t it lovely that music can have a life on its own? Mono Mind believes that a great song is always gonna stay a great song!

Q: – If Madonna’s 60th b’day is a song, what would it be?
A: – Oh, we love Madonna! We can’t really believe she’s turned 60! A song? We’ll send out LaLaLove any day!

Q: – How important do you think lyrics are in EDM songs?
A: – Our idea is that a good lyrical really makes the song better in any genre. It’s as simple as that!

Q: – Any plans on releasing a full album?
A: – Yes! We have an album in the can. Hopefully, it can be out before we get the chance to change our minds! We do that all the time…

Q: – Do you plan to shoot more videos?
A: – Yes, hopefully we’ll do a videoclip for every single we release. Sometimes we’re gonna use humans, sometimes it’s cartoons. They look lovely, don’t you think!

Q: – How do you look for the DJs who are making your remixes?
A: – Well, we try to use our network and also listen a lot to what’s happening on the remix scene. There is so much talent out there it makes you dizzy!

Q: – Why ”Mono Mind”?
A: – Well, the project started out as ”one man’s vision” but then expanded into something else. But we kept the name!

Q: – Who writes the songs? Dr Robot maybe?
A: – There are quite a few people who have been involved in MM so far. That’s the whole idea. The Doctor is like parmigiano on the pasta!

Q: – I love your group! Will you be touring?
A: – Well, nothing is planned yet but we would love to tour. We think the world needs Mono Mind more than Mono Mind needs the world. Or is it the other way around?! We need to release more songs first, though. But, short answer: Si, Si!

Q: – Any physical releases?
A: – That’s a very good question! We’re talking about it. Mono Mind is definitely a vinyl group. Si si!

Q: – How did this project come to life? Tell us how you decided to start MM, please?
A: – It’s a very looonnngggg story. We will reveal everything in the Mono Mind book 🙂 or in the Mono Mind musical 🙂 or on Netflix 🙂

Q: – ABBA or Roxette?
A: – HAHAHA. Dr. Robot fell to floor and grabbed after his Voulez-vous T-shirt!

Q: – Your laboratory is in Sweden, but you started spreading your music in the US. Why did you start from there?
A: – It’s the land of opportunities, dear you!

Mono Mind finished the Q&A at appr. 20:10 CET with this bye-bye note: ”That’s all folks! Thank you for all your questions! Until next time, loves!”

Follow Mono Mind on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, check their videos on YouTube and most importantly, listen to them on the usual digital platforms (Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, etc.) and sing along. Enjoy!

Mono Mind shows a real face

The first – and so far the last – time I myself wrote or posted about Mono Mind was almost a year ago. I remember when I saw the lyric video to Save Me A Place (Bridge & Mountain Remix) on SiriusXM’s YouTube channel in September 2017 and couldn’t believe my eyes it was already uploaded a month before. Then I started searching for more info and was amazed by finding out that this song had something to do with David Guetta (at least according to BMI). We’d been wondering since 2014 what kind of project it could have been, what Per worked on with Guetta. Then some more research and found out Mono Mind had existed even longer, since 2016 when they released a song called Sugar Rush, however, it was withdrawn later and Save Me A Place became the gang’s debut single.

I couldn’t imagine how come we (Gessle fans) didn’t know anything about this project until September 2017. Then I remembered some kind of interview in which Per said it’s not important for him anymore to let us hear what he records. He is doing it for fun. That’s something hard to accept for a fan. Not the fun part, but that you might not get to hear ”everything” what your idol records.

Then there were these Mono Mind characters. No real names mentioned, just fantasy names for each of them (we all know PG loves aliases), and how they looked as Per on some of the Party Crasher booklet pics or as the characters on The Per Gessle Selection’s champagne labels.

A playlist including some of Mono Mind’s favorite tunes and musical inspirations across the decades provided one more clue who could be behind MM.

Besides these, there was the voice of Per (that you can recognize no matter how distorted it is) and Helena Josefsson singing, so all the obvious clues who Mono Mind are. Still… I felt kind of guilty writing about them, revealing the connection to PG & Co. Even Billboard kept the whole Mono Mind project a mystery. When the gang entered the Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts at No. 39, Billboard still wrote it was a mysterious act. Then bang, in October Save Me A Place (Bridge & Mountain Remix) became the No. 1 dance song on the US radio charts and the No. 1 electronic song on iTunes and Amazon in the US. On the Dance/Mix Show Airplay charts SMAP climbed up to No. 2! History repeated itself. Reaching such success in the US without using Per’s fame, just by the music itself. I can imagine it was a fantastic feeling for Mr. G.

And I think then I understood the whole mystery act thing. To get to see how far they can get without revealing who is behind. A bit like Daft Punk (however, it’s a different story) don’t really show their faces and wanted to succeed with their music instead of making too much fuss about who they are. Or The Fireman, the experimental music duo of Paul McCartney and Youth. Even if the band members’ names had been known to the public since soon after their first album release, they remained officially anonymous for 15 years, until their 3rd album release. Blame it on the 21st century and social media, these days it’s even harder to keep such secrets and mysteries.

Fortunately, with every Mono Mind release there are more and more details revealed. Some on purpose, some ”by accident”(?) – a collaborator posts about a common project with his childhood idol here, a digital platform shares Per’s name as the songwriter there. By the latest reveal, namely Helena appearing in the LaLaLove official video shared on several MTV websites I start feeling relieved. That sooner or later all members in Mono Mind show their real faces. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mr. G, pardon me, Dr Robot in the videos as well.

As per PG, there is nothing left to prove for him, but he proves to be an Artist who can constantly renew and challenge himself, while still keeping his trademark in songwriting. I admire him for being able to do so. He is so incredibly talented!

I can’t say I’m a fan of remixes or better said, I don’t find it interesting enough for me to hear a song in different types of remixes, because I’m mostly interested in the original artist’s thoughts on the arrangement and less in what other musicians think what they could do with a song. There are of course cool remixes. If I have to mention one related to Roxette, then it’s definitely Bassflow. At the same time, I must admit some remixes in general sound better than the original song.

From the 3 Mono Mind releases so far I have 1-1 favourite version. Save Me A Place was released in 5 remix versions and the Bridge & Mountain Remix is the one I consider being the ”original” and that’s what I like the most. I would love to hear an original original of this one though. I Found My Soul At Marvingate sounds the best to me in the Sofa Tunes Remix version, better than the original (being too slow). LaLaLove sounds better in its original version than in the Hugel Remix.

A dream would be to hear the demos one day, without any distorted PG voice. However, I must say Per’s voice sounds attractive to me in any version. 😉

What do we know so far?

So, what we know about Mono Mind so far is that ”is meant to be a musical laboratory where everything is possible. Mono Mind’s home turf is Sweden but the collaborators are plentiful and can be from anywhere. Mixing the inspiration from the current music scene with an insatiable appetite for vintage pop, electronica and ambient music Mono Mind strives for electrifying beauty and something quite different. The journey begins here.”

Members: Dr Robot (Per Gessle), Cooky Carter (Helena Josefsson), Rain Davis (Clarence Öfwerman) and Bright Jones (Christoffer Lundquist).

They started introducing the band members in short videos on their Facebook page, but stopped after 3 Rain Davis, 2 Cooky Carter and 1 Dr Robot videos. Where is a video with Bright Jones?

There was an Ask Anything Chat with the guys and girl last October. It contained more fun & fantasy than reality: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3. Very creative with tiny references only hardcore fans can connect to the real people behind.

Songs released so far (credit info from Mono Mind’s website):

  1. Save Me A Place Words by Mono Mind; Music by Mono Mind / Jack Hisbach / Giorgio Tuinfort / Michael Einziger (however, BMI also mentions David Guetta among the composers, so could Jack Hisbach be an alias of DG?)
  2. I Found My Soul At Marvingate Words & Music by Mono Mind
  3. LaLaLove Words by Mono Mind; Music by Mono Mind / Alex Shield

   

NRJ DJ Awards 2018 – Vote!

Why I also decided to write about Mono Mind now is that there is a voting taking place in France. MM is nominated at the French NRJ DJ Awards 2018 in the following two categories – ”Group Of The Year” and ”Club Hit Of The Year” (Save Me A Place – Hugel Remix). They are now in the same league as David Guetta or Tiesto or Armin Van Buuren. It’s already very cool, but imagine if they won! You can all vote until August 26, but the results will be announced at a ceremony only on November 7. Click HERE to vote for the ”Group Of The Year” and HERE to vote for the ”Club Hit Of The Year”. Don’t get scared by the French website. Once you are on the voting site, click Mono Mind. A sign in window will pop up. You can sign in with your Facebook account (that would be the easiest to get through). If you’re signed in for the first time, you will have to validate your e-mail address and click the confirmation link in the e-mail you get. Then you’ll have to go back to the voting site (click the links I mentioned above) and click on Mono Mind again. To be sure that you have really voted, you can see a tick at the category you’ve already voted for. Until you can’t see the tick next to the category, your vote doesn’t count.

Follow Mono Mind!

Some Roxette fans who are not much into jazz or country can identify with Mono Mind’s music more than with any other PG or MF solo project these days and that is also why I think their tunes have to reach more people worldwide.

Follow Mono Mind on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, check their videos on YouTube and most importantly, listen to them on the usual digital platforms (Spotify, Deezer, iTunes, etc.) and sing along. Enjoy!

 

Per Gessle’s Top9 songs from the 90’s

This program is from more than a year ago, but last summer there was a heavy Per Gessle solo tour, so I didn’t have the time to sit down and summarize Gessles nio i topp in English. Now I feel like I need to practice my Swedish, so why not listening to these enthusiastic PG podcasts again. Maybe you get into the mood too. 😉

Per and Sven Lindström talk about the 9 best songs from the 90’s in THIS podcast. The guys say there could have been thousands of songs chosen for this program and it was really hard to pick 9 real good hits that remained in the heart and brain. Per says it was the decade when Roxette had its greatest success, so he was also involved and actually listened to other bands’ music differently vs. how he listened to music e.g. in the 80’s or 70’s and 60’s.

Per’s Top9 songs from the 90’s:

9. The La’s – There She Goes
8. Matthew Sweet – Sick of Myself
7. Natalie Imbruglia – Torn
6. The Dandy Warhols – Every Day Should Be A Holiday
5. Guy Clark – Dublin Blues
4. Oasis – Supersonic
3. Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
2. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mary Jane’s Last Dance
1. The Cure – Friday I’m In Love

Per’s first choice is The La’s There She Goes, a song that was released in 1988, but it flopped, then it was released again in 1989 and it flopped again. Then it was remixed by Steve Lillywhite (U2’s producer) and re-released in 1990. Per thinks it’s an awesome song, survived all the trends and is still cool.

Per looks at his list and says there are several one hit wonders on it. Matthew Sweet is his next choice and Sven says besides the song chosen by PG, Sick of Myself, Matthew Sweet had at least one other hit. Per then laughs and says he means one hit wonders in HIS world. Sick of Myself from 1995 is a fantastic song, it’s kind of a bubblegum pop song. It’s from the album, 100% Fun, and that’s exactly what it is: 100% fun. Pure power pop, which fitted the 90’s so much.

Natalie Imbruglia (it’s worth listening to PG how he tries to pronounce her name, haha) is No. 7 with Torn, released in 1997. Per thinks this song has that magical power good pop music has to have. Mr. G says 1997 was the year when The World According to Gessle came out, while he and Marie were taking a break from Roxette. Sven says in the 90’s Per worked with Roxette, Gyllene Tider and solo as well and real power pop songs were born then, like June Afternoon or Sleeping In My Car. It was the decade of classic guitar pop. Sleeping In My Car he tried to write with the thought of Gyllene Tider power pop a la Roxette. Sven mentions SIMC was released on Crash! Boom! Bang! and Per says after they had been working on the album for more than a year, EMI couldn’t find a single. Then Per went home pissed off and wrote SIMC and that became the lead single off CBB.

No. 6 is The Dandy Warhols, Every Day Should Be A Holiday, also from 1997. Per thinks The Dandy Warhols made cool pop music, he thinks their song Bohemian Like You (2000) is a masterpiece. Sven likes their tough guitar sound and the melodies.

The next song on the list is a wonderful country song, Guy Clark’s Dublin Blues from 1995. Per thinks it’s incredibly good. Guy Clark lived in Nashville where Per recorded his latest 2 Swedish solo albums. Mr. G likes how Guy Clark expressed himself as a singer-songwriter and how he sang his own texts. Per says country music came into his life indirectly. His mum listened to Gunnar Wiklund in the 60’s, Jim Reeves classic country songs, then there was the Eagles, then The Rolling Stones’ Dead Flowers in 1971 and then Neil Young. There is country music everywhere.

Mr. G says one can’t write a list of 90’s songs without Oasis, so they come next with Supersonic from 1994. It’s a very well-done song with a really cool guitar sound, everything is good about it, the singing and title as well. Sven mentions Liam Gallagher said Oasis is like Ferrari. ”Great to look at, great to drive, and it’ll fucking spin out of control every now and again.” Per (a Ferrari lover) says Liam was right.

The third place is of a one hit wonder, Crash Test Dummies and their Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm from 1993. The song was produced by Jerry Harrison from Talking Heads. The exciting video made the song even bigger and it was shown on MTV all the time. It was an odd song, just like XTC’s Senses Working Overtime. Per likes the title a lot.

No. 2 on PG’s list is Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Mary Jane’s Last Dance, released on the Greatest Hits album in 1993. Per thinks it’s an awesome song with an awesome guitar sound. It had a fantastic video starring Kim Basinger. It was worth buying the Greatest Hits album for those 2 new songs on it. Sven jokes this is what they did with Roxette as well, releasing a greatest hits album with new songs. Per laughs. Sven is wondering why Per as a huge Tom Petty fan didn’t put this song to the first place, but Mr. G says it’s because the No. 1 on his list is a bit better than this song.

Saying that, you might be surprised that No. 1 is Friday I’m In Love from The Cure, from 1992. For Per they are a typical one hit wonder band, even if there are hardcore fans still following them. Friday I’m In Love is such a good song that no other hit comes even close to it. It has timeless pop quality and great production and has followed Per through all his life since it was released. After the song Per shows his high and low voice. It’s worth listening, haha. Awesome!

Sven says Per had at least 6 different lists before he finalized THIS list. There was a list that had Brainpool on it with Bandstarter, which is an awesome song and there could have been R.E.M. with Man on the Moon as well, but this Top9 wasn’t a double LP, so they got erased from the list in the end.

BOXETTE: 7 things we hope could happen with this release

Over 4 years ago we have prepared a comprehensive summary of all Roxette concerts we know have been recorded professionally on tape. Some of these have only been shown live on TV, others were lucky enough to become official releases and there is even one or two that were streamed online in dark days of slow internet. And for the most of these cases they weren’t showcasing the whole concert.

There were quite few concerts released on VHS, some received laser-disc treatment (do you remember what that was?) and only selected saw the light of DVD revolution, not to mention Bluray nor streaming-days. Currently only Roxette’s “Travelling the world”, a release covering 2012 gigs, is available to mass audience, while some of you might still find MTV Unplugged circulating over the auction sites as a part of 2006 out-of-stock RoxBox.

For a very long time there have been discussions when we could expect re-release of major Roxette concerts and each time Per Gessle answered Warner and Team Rox are investigating what’s possible. This week Roxette Cafe, Facebook-based fan site, has found a plan to release a 4-DVD box called “Boxette” on the Slovenian site. The box includes:

  1. SWEDEN LIVE ’88 (filmed at Himmelstalundshallen in Norrköping, Sweden on 16 December 1988) & LOOK SHARP ’89 (filmed at two concerts at Borgholm Castle on the Baltic Sea island of Öland on 25/26 July 1989)
  2. LIVE-ISM ’91 (performance at Sydney Entertainment Centre in Australia on 13 December 1991)
  3. CRASH!BOOM!BANG!LIVE! ’95 (recorded on 14 January 1995 at Ellis Park Johannesburg, South Africa)
  4. ROOM SERVICE TOUR ’01 (recording from the Globen Arena Stockholm on 16 November 2001)

The 4 DVD collection will be housed in a hardcover book with a 24 page booklet with new interviews including one with Per Gessle. Though we have not received any press release from Roxette management team yet, Per already shared this on Roxette and Per Gessle Facebook profiles, making  it officially. Still it’s unsure if the provided information is full and final nor when this would be released.  And as Sandra Knospe noticed, the cover picture was taken almost exactly 29 years ago on the 12th of July 1989 – obviously without that pink Instagram filter 😉

Is that release a good news, you may ask? Idea-wise and from fans perspective – it’s excellent. I found its name funny in that very peculiar Gesslish style (RoxBox or It must have been lunch are another examples). Are there any risks? Potentially. It depends how much involvement and care Warner and Rox team have given to this project.

Here’s the list of 7 things we hope could happen with this release:

1. Sound

Everyone connected to the Internet at the end of 2001 remembers how exciting it was to wait for the second to last Roxette concert during the Room Service tour in Globen, Stockholm. It was about to be streamed all over the world free of charge to anyone that was willing to watch. Crazy jolly times! And how disappointed many of us were when we noticed (heard, to be more precise) that the whole concert had those awful metal noices in the background. Back in the day both Marie and Per said the quality of Stockholm gig would not be high enough for a DVD or home video. “Recording a concert for a DVD would mean cameramen running around on the stage. It would destroy the night,” said Per, Daily Roxette reported back in 2001. 18 years later it became an option as it seems for the reason one can only speculate. Better late than never, but we hope the sound would be remastered across all releases and if necessary replaced with soundboard recordings that we know exists for most of the concerts. Do I need to say that older concerts would also gain a lot with improved sound? After all, if Roxette studio albums got newly remastered back in 2009, why not Boxette-concerts?

2. Picture

Fans living in the 90s surely fondly remember times where VHS was the only way to watch something on demand – anywhere and anytime, though looking for a certain song was certainly an effort. But every time the concert was played, the quality got a little bit worse and after few years VHS recording looked like an out-dated movie taken from the vaults. Together with sound remastering, one can hope picture remastering was done as well. We obviously understand it takes time and money (and most of all – efforts) to do so, but as we have waited so long for that release, this would be a clear sign for everyone it was done properly with all the deserved respect to Roxette legacy and to 2018 audience needs. And hey, we’re hoping master tapes were found in the EMI/Warner archives as it would be the only way to get it right and in better quality. We’re already fed up watching VHS-rips of ’88 performances or a blurry internet connection version of 2001 Stockholm gig. Fingers crossed for 16:9 ratio as well if possible. And a colour version.

3. Bonus songs

Tracklisting provided by the Slovenian site gives us very little hope there would be something extra on this release, except for the 24-page booklet. No additional footage from the legendary Borgholm castle concert, where Listen to your heart video was shot. Nothing extra from the massive Jo-burg C!B!B! gig nor any omitted songs from the Sydney performance. We understand some songs could have been removed from the official releases due to lack of space on VHS or a certain formatting-demand from TV-channels around the world, but why not to look more deeply for forgotten treasures? Just have a look at the RoxBox case; it turned out that MTV has all the songs recorded beyond the TV broadcast that could’ve been released for the first time. Why not to have the same high expectation from this release? Dear Warner, I’m sure you can do it right.

Let’s have a closer look at the announced tracklist and what could’ve been improved:

DVD1
  • Sweden Live ’88 could be enhanced with “I Call Your Name”, “Chances”, “Goodbye to you”, “It must have been love” (pre-Pretty Woman Christmas version!) or “Sleeping Single”, that were performed during that concert.
  • Look Sharp ’89 – it seems like there are just 3 live songs we already know by heart (Dance Away – Cry – Paint) and 3 extra materials that serve as official videos for Dangeroud, Listen to your heart and Silver Blue.
    Sweden Live ’88 part:
  1. Dressed for Success
  2. The Look
  3. Cry
  4. Joy of a Toy
  5. Surrender
  6. Neverending Love
  7. Dance Away
  8. Dangerous
  9. Soul Deep
  10. Listen to Your Heart
  11. The Look
  12. Dressed For Success

    Look Sharp ’89 part:

  13. Dance Away – LIVE
  14. Dangerous – VIDEO
  15. Cry – LIVE
  16. Paint – LIVE
  17. Silver Blue – VIDEO
  18. Listen To Your Heart – VIDEO
  19. The Look (remix) – VIDEO
DVD2
  • LIVE-ISM ’91 recorded in Sydney misses 6 songs from the setlist, obviously following the VHS release. Why these 6 songs didn’t make the final release in 1992 – gods only know, but it means we have been living without Sydney versions of Listen To Your Heart (seriously?) Fading Like a Flower (?!), Sleeping Single (again!), Spending My Time (what the?), Paint and Dance Away for the past 26 years. And do we really need to see “How do you do” video here, hm? I would not mind removing it.
  1. Hotblooded
  2. Dangerous
  3. The Big L
  4. Watercolours in the Rain
  5. Church of Your Heart
  6. Knockin’ on Every Door
  7. Things Will Never Be the Same
  8. Dressed for Success
  9. Soul Deep
  10. The Look
  11. It Must Have Been Love
  12. (Do you get) Excited?
  13. Joyride
  14. Perfect Day
  15. How Do You Do!
DVD3
  • CRASH!BOOM!BANG!LIVE! ’95 – 5 songs were removed from the final cut including “Go to sleep”, “So you wanna be rock’n’roll star”, “Fading like a flower” (is there a FLAF curse that three official releases – Live-ism, MTV Unplugged and C!B!B! in a row erased that songs off the setlist?!), “I love the sound of crashing guitars” and“Hotblooded”.
  1. Sleeping in My Car
  2. Fireworks
  3. Almost Unreal
  4. Dangerous
  5. Crash! Boom! Bang!
  6. Listen to Your Heart
  7. The First Girl on the Moon
  8. Harleys & Indians
  9. Lies
  10. The Rain
  11. Run to You
  12. It Must Have Been Love
  13. Dressed for Success
  14. The Big L
  15. Spending My Time
  16. The Look
  17. Love Is All
  18. Joyride
DVD4
  • ROOM SERVICE TOUR ’01 – the second ever concert – just after 2006 RoxBox MTV Unplugged – to be released entirely. Not much to comment yet, as long as we get the better quality to what we have seen so far. My expectation here is not very high; still wondering what made this release possible after 18 long years?
  1. Crush on You
  2. Dressed for Success
  3. Listen to Your Heart
  4. Waiting for the Rain
  5. Real Sugar
  6. It Must Have Been Love
  7. The Centre of the Heart
  8. Stars
  9. You Don’t Understand Me
  10. Fading Like a Flower
  11. Spending My Time
  12. Dangerous
  13. Sleeping in My Car
  14. Milk and Toast and Honey
  15. Wish I Could Fly
  16. The Big L.
  17. Joyride
  18. Little Girl
  19. Crash!Boom!Bang!
  20. Anyone
  21. Hotblooded
  22. The Look
  23. Queen of Rain
  24. Church of Your Heart

4. Quality

I belive I mentioned several times: we are in 2018. It means few things – political-wise it feels like we have moved quite significantly back in time, but for the most of world – except the flat-earthers out there – technology has proved to be moving forward very fast. DVD became famous in the early 00’s as you could put much more material, increase the quality of video to even 5GB compared to 700-MB CD size. Since then we have seen double-sided DVDs (remember RoxBox?). The only concert Rox & team released on Bluray (size from 25 to even 180GB, faster data transfer, better picture resolution of 1920x1080p, better sound options) was “Travelling the world”. Why not to get the same for these legendary concerts? If not for us fans, then these concerts simple deserve being served to general audience in much better quality. If you are interested in knowing more about the quality of DVD versus Bluray, there is a great Wikipedia article summing things up.

5. Extra material

We all know – the concert is one thing. But after watching Roxette Diairies and hearing about forthcoming Look Sharp! 30th anniversary release, we are sure there is so much more video material existing, recorded by Per and Åsa themselves covering backstages, soundchecks, travels and free time during the Roxette touring hey days. A short documentary special on each concert (or tour) could be provided with this behind-the-camera feeling. It was wonderful to watch the documentary on “Travelling the world” or two other docs “The Making of Joyride” or “Really Roxette” on previous DVDs. These homevideos deserve to be part of Roxette concert history. Will there be a better occassion to share them than this?

6. Streaming

We’re living in interesting times where it’s not about owning the stuff any longer, but about having access to it. So why not to try and pitch one of the global streaming platforms and make these concerts available for some time for those who would watch but are no longer collecting DVDs, Blurays or might even have no device to play it? HBO, Amazon, Netflix are looking for different stuff and maybe they could feel the Roxette niche is worth investing in. It’s worth a try. If not paid platforms, why not previously mentioned ad-supported YouTube?

7. Future releases

And does this Boxette mean no other release will ever officially see the daylight? What about magical Zurich ’91 or South American concerts recorded for TV purposes in both ’92 and ’95? Why not to include MTV Unplugged and all videos every made into that box? If Roxette days are over, group’s history needs to be wrapped up in a very decent form covering all video efforts ever made. And more.

But let’s see what the future brings. Hoping only the good.

Per Gessle – En vacker kväll – live DVD

1 year after Per Gessle’s most wonderful  ”En vacker kväll” tour you can now relive the whole 2017 summer feeling. We already hoped for a live DVD when we were there in Halmstad for the 16th gig on 11th August 2017 and saw so many cameras around. Then in December we could see the fantastic documentary, Gessle enligt Gessle (Part 1; Part 2), in which there was footage from the tour as well. We’d been kept waiting a bit longer, but at last, tadaaa, the live DVD was released on 25th June.

The DVD looks beautiful already on the outside. It comes in a shiny cardboard sleeve which you can take off and there is the usual plastic DVD case, including the same pictures and info on the front and back covers as the cardboard sleeve. The picture on the front cover is not from Halmstad. It’s probably from Rättvik. The black & white inside picture, showing PG + the whole band + Lars Winnerbäck from the back after taking a bow is from Linköping. Pictures are taken by Anders Roos.

You put on the DVD and you’re right back in Halmstad. The crowd cheering before PG & Co come up on stage, clapping, whistling, shouting. Then they are all there and start playing the hits. It’s awesome to see and hear Per and his fantastic band and also to see so many familiar faces, not only on stage, but also in the crowd, from all around the world.

Goosebumps during the whole film, from the first shalalalalalalala singalong to the gang taking a bow. It’s really great to have the complete show recorded, including all the talkings, intros and of course, the fab songs. The sound is awesome, the recordings are perfect. Grumpy Production did a wonderful job filming it all.

”Ljudet av ett annat hjärta” was a highlight during each gig. A cool uptempo song among the ballads. It makes you jump up from your sofa and dance in front of the TV. And ”Spegelboll” keeps you on your feet too. And towards the end, ”Sommartider” with the adrenalin rush drum intro. Gosh! Can we just turn back time? Or maybe fast forward to October now, please! I need a tour, right now! 😉

P.S.: Thanx for including ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” over the cast & crew credits!!!

If you were there in Halmstad, it is a must to have this DVD in your collection. If you were not there, it is a must too! Get it from Bengans, Ginza or CDON and e.n.j.o.y.! Watch the trailer HERE!

 

Per Gessle – Small Town Talk album release

Per Gessle will release his next English solo album on 7th September 2018. The title is ”Small Town Talk” and the album can already be pre-ordered in 3 formats at Bengans: standard CD, standard 2 LP gatefold and an exclusive, numbered limited edition white 2 LP gatefold (500 copies available – only at Bengans).

CD tracklist:

  1. There’s a Place
  2. The Finest Prize (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  3. Small Town Talk (feat. Nick Lowe)
  4. Simple Sound
  5. Far Too Close (feat. Savannah Church)
  6. Hold on My Heart (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  7. No One Makes It on Her Own (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  8. Being with You
  9. It Came Too Fast
  10. Name You Beautiful (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  11. For the First Time (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  12. One of These Days
  13. Rudy & Me (feat. Jessica S)

2 LP tracklist:

Disc 1 – Side A

  1. There’s a Place
  2. The Finest Prize (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  3. Small Town Talk (feat. Nick Lowe)
  4. Simple Sound

Disc 1 – Side B

  1. Far Too Close (feat. Savannah Church)
  2. Hold on My Heart (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  3. No One Makes It on Her Own (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  4. Being with You

Disc 2 – Side A

  1. It Came Too Fast
  2. Name You Beautiful (feat. Helena Josefsson)
  3. For the First Time (feat. Helena Josefsson)

Disc 2 – Side B

  1. One of These Days
  2. Rudy & Me (feat. Jessica S)
  3. Far Too Close (feat. Savannah Church) [Alex Shield Remix]

The album cover is a hot Nashville pic of Per taken by Anton Corbijn. Curious what other pictures we will find in the booklet. Exciting to see the tracklist! Looks like a great mix of Per’s Swedish Nashville songs translated into English, 2 gems that we could only hear as demos so far, 1 song that is probably a re-arranged version of Roxette’s NOMIOHO and at last, we will get to hear the duet with Jessica Sweetman, which Mr. G skipped to release on ”En vacker dag”. Probably, because he already knew he would release his Nashville project in English later. Very cool that ”Name You Beautiful” got a spot on the album and that Mr. G is doing the title track as a duet with one of his greatest idols, Nick Lowe. I personally wish ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” would be hiding behind one of the English titles, but somehow I doubt it’s any of them. Never mind! Mahi Nana! 😉 Many other fab songs to be enjoyed anyway. The first single is one of the fan favourites, the English version of ”Första pris”. ”The Finest Prize” is planned to be released digitally on 13th July.

 

Here we go again: 2018 solo tour setlist predictions

Only 4 months are left to – what is currently planned – the premiere night of Per Gessle’s solo tour in Prague, Czech Republic on the 7th of October. The upcoming tournée will take the man from Roxette across 12 countries & 21 European cities in just 40 days. For the second time ever Gessle takes himself and European fans on the English language adventure through music, lyrics and memories he has been part of for the last 30 years.

Last year over 1,000 of you, dear RoxetteBlog readers voted for your favourite songs of Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette in the series of 10 polls just before the solo Swedish tour took off. We are still hoping some of your suggestions might help Mr G to prepare a setlist as the band will surely start rehearsing during late summer. So here comes a little summary of what we know, what we think we know and what we don’t know (and we might never know).

As Roxette sadly became the past, Per declares his plans to concentrate mostly on the vast Roxette catalogue during his European tour in the exclusive RoxetteBlog interviewIn the perfect world Marie would have been by my side to sing and perform but that won’t happen anymore. I have to live with that. You do too. The options I have are to perform the songs without her or not perform them at all. I chose the obvious one (…) Most of the songs will most certainly be Roxette-songs. I’ll probably sneak in a couple from the new solo album as well. Time will tell.

Do we have any hints of what Roxette gems can be performed during the tour? In the generic TV commercial produced for promotional purposes you can easily see and hear 3 Roxette songs from Halmstad’s 2017 concert as follow: The Look, Joyride, It must have been love. These hits are likely to get the same treatment as last year as it’s going to be the same band that goes on European roads with Per. It must have been love with Helena on the lead might be a hard to swallow for some, but well, we’re in 2018.  Dressed for success and Listen to your heart were also performed on a brief occassion during 2017 gigs, so these are another safe bets.  Looking also at some historical data, during the Party Crasher Tour the band performed 13 Roxette songs, beside 5 megahits mentioned previously, tracks such as Wish I Could Fly / She Doesn’t Live Here Anymore / 7Twenty7 / Opportunity Nox / Church Of Your Heart / Dangerous / Sleeping In My Car / Queen Of Rain. Country arrangements, anyone?

Would there be enough space on this year’s setlist to put songs less known which we haven’t heard in a while? I belive mosts fans support the idea of hearing compositions Per has created and sang himself originally on the official releases which haven’t heard live at all. One of the Swedish auction site Tradera user put a poster on sale that seems to be the official one for the Swedish leg of 2018 tour. What can come as a little surprise is the fact it includes tracks’ names that haven’t been performed by Gessle solo so far which are: Spending my time / How do you do / Fading like a flower / June Afternoon / Crash! Boom! Bang! / Vulnerable / Real sugar. Back in 2009 Vulnerable was said to be “impossible” to perform live. Have 9 years changed anything in that matter? Is it a random choice from the concert agency? Or maybe the poster is just fake? But hey, June Afternoon or Real Sugar are brilliant choices anyway.

On the top of that there is a Spotify Roxette playlist recently created by The Man himself which includes – beside obvious – incredible pearls (if you seriously consider theses songs could be performed live): “Paint”, “Jefferson”, “A Thing About You”, “Some other summer” or “Secrets that she keeps”. Unfortunately, we know such teasing on social media rarely leads to anything surprising in the end. In the last year’s poll you voted for She doesn’t live here anymore as the most desired Roxette songs that needs to be performed live. “a safe risk” with most popular Roxette songs? Time will tell, to quote our Guru.

Let’s not forget the fact the previous tour was also partially about solo material which actually received a very positive feedback from the audience back then. 11 songs performed during the Party Crasher Tour were a mix of Son of a plumber classics (Drowning In Wonderful Thoughts About Her / I Have A Party In My Head (I Hope It Never Ends) / Late, Later On / C’mon /  Are You On Old Hippie, Sir? / Hey Mr. Dj (Won’t You Play Another Love Song), highlights from The World According to Gessle (Stupid / Do You Wanna Be My Baby?) and very little off Party Crasher (The Party Pleaser / Doesn’t Make Sense). Yet another time we were said Silly Really doesn’t really translate well into a live song, so let it be. There was also a little surprise at the end – The Monkee’s (I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone cover, also briefly performed by Roxette in 2010.

Looking at various interviews Gessle hopes “Small Town Talk” album (English version of last year’s Swedish solo projects) will get a little bit of exposure during the concert. If so, then the title song (Nick Lowe as a special guest in London?), “The Finest Prize” (Första pris last year was great live) or “There’s a place” (Min plats) could be live options off that album. Let’s face it, anything above 3-4 new songs will be a shocker. I’m hoping Per Gessle’s Roxette tour name anyway gives Per  a little bit of space and freedom to include his favourite English solo songs from the last 21 years. They are worth to be sang, they cannot be forgotten.

Just a quick reminder how you voted for your favourites off English solo albums last year: 1997 The World According to Gessle: Son of a Plumber: 009 – Party Crasher: 

Summing up, my prediction would be a setlist of 24 songs as it always makes a perfect 90-100-minute concert in the Gessle’s world. 16 songs would come out of Roxette and 8 would be solo tracks. But the more, the better.

What songs would you like to hear this year? See you around in Europe!

Bäst när det gäller – Gyllene Tider’s new song is out!

Gyllene Tider together with Linnea Henriksson made the official Swedish Soccer World Cup song. “Bäst när det gäller” (Best when it counts) premiered on Nyhetsmorgon, TV4 today. Per Gessle, Micke Syd Andersson and Linnea Henriksson were on TV to talk about the song and soccer. It was also revealed that a video to the song will be shot this weekend. Cosmos Music made available an official lyrics video until then.

“Bäst när det gäller” is available digitally on the usual platforms. There will be a physical release as well, a 7″ and a 12″ vinyl single on 1st June. The 7″ version is a limited edition single, released in 500 copies. The guys are in blue jerseys on the 7″ sleeve and in yellow on the 12″ sleeve. You can pre-order the singles at Bengans or Ginza or CDON.

Tracklist for the 2-track 7″ single:

  1. Bäst när det gäller
  2. Bäst när det gäller (Instrumental)

Tracklist for the 4-track 12″ single:

  1. Bäst när det gäller
  2. Bäst när det gäller (Bridge & Mountain Remix)
  3. Bäst när det gäller (Galavant Remix)
  4. Bäst när det gäller (Instrumental)

Per says, to write the official song is of course a huge challenge and you can’t say no to that. The guys in GT were extremely proud when they were asked. Mr. G says he already had the title in his mind for a while, but now he had the reason to write the text as well. It became a little story about a couple who are the best when it counts, but also a text filled with soccer references that most recognize.

Bäst när det gäller

När vi träffades i vimlet
Det var ett hat trick att minnas
jag kom från farmarlaget
Du var populär

Du sa du älskade fotboll
Jag såg en sol igenom fönstret
hur kan man låtsas att det regnar
när du ser ut så där?

Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst då när allt står på spel vi är bäst då när allt kan gå fel

Liksom dårar på nätet
Gillar vi ringarna på vattnet
Vi vill att världen ska få veta
Vår karaktär (eller vad säger du, Per?)

Att aldrig tappa kontrollen
Att aldrig ta nåt med en klackspark är aldrig tvåa på bollen
När du ser på mej så där

Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst när det gäller
Vi är bäst då när allt står på spel vi är bäst då när allt kan gå fel

© Per Gessle

 

What would you like to see among the upcoming Per Gessle merchandise?

During the past few years we all attended several tours. Roxette, Gyllene Tider, Marie Fredriksson, Per Gessle. One of the evergreen topics discussed among fans was the merchandise. There is a bunch of useful merch stuff, there are some gadgets which are good only to gather dust on a hardcore collector’s shelf and there are some which would never sell out of stock. Now, 5 months before the Per Gessle’s Roxette tour starts, we thought a poll could be an option to let your voice be heard and tell us what kind of merchandise you would happily buy during the tour. Please, vote for the ones you would definitely buy, because you find it cool, useful, a lovely thing to make you remember the tour anytime you use it or look at it. If you have any other idea to add to the list, please let us know in a comment on Facebook and we might add some more ideas to the list.

Of course, all items would ideally be printed with a PG pic or a tour logo. Regarding the T-shirts there are usually discussions about them including the tour dates or not, so there you will find two options.

Please, choose as many merch stuff as you wish, but don’t forget to choose ONLY those which you would definitely buy. This might be helpful for Mr. G’s team as well, to decide what to include. 😉