Per Gessle’s pre-premiere gig at Leif’s or a night to remember

A night to remember! Exactly. Per Gessle fortunately kept the tradition of doing a pre-tour show at Leif’s Lounge. When in the beginning of May I asked him in our interview about it, the only thing he could tell was that there ”could be” a gig like that. In the whole interview context it sounded more like a ”yeah, sure”, but still, the date was unknown. Then at the beginning of June there was a corporate gig at Hotel Tylösand and we kept our fingers crossed that there is still something else at the holy place for us, fans. And tadaaa, on 16th June THE gig was announced to be held on 27th June. Since the place is not too big, all who wanted to attend had to decide very fast and buy the tickets. There were 50 tickets released twice after the show got sold out and in the end 700 lucky and very happy people could get to experience this fabulous event last night.

We wouldn’t be hardcore enough if we didn’t start queueing already in the morning. For a gig that starts at 21:00 and the entrance opens at 19:00… Tough life. Haha. So a handful of fans gathered at the entrance of Leif’s Lounge and spent some time together while we could listen to Roxette, Gessle solo and Gyllene Tider music via the speakers in front of Leif’s. There were hours to kill and the marketing manager of Hotel Tylösand, Andrea Hanné realized quite early that there were fans waiting outside. So she came to us, brought us coffee and asked if we were OK with doing some social media content for Hotel Tylösand. Sure. That’s how we became a boomerang video on Hotel Tylösand’s Facebook page and Instagram account. Later Andrea got back to us and brought Leif postcards and VIP Leif tattoos for us as a present. Very nice of her. We appreciate Hotel Tylösand’s whole staff so much. They are always so nice to us fans.

While waiting we could see the stage being built during the day, BoJo arriving, the crew arriving, then the band. Åsa was also busy around the hotel. After 3 pm we could hear the sound of a Ferrari and ooops, Per came and brought Marie Dimberg. Mr. G waved at us and some seconds later got a little depression treatment from 2-3 people coming out of the hotel. I mean they asked him for a selfie in front of his Ferrari. He looked happy. Then he left and came back only after 5 pm for the rehearsal. From that we couldn’t hear much, but those who walked around could hear that they rehearsed Spegelboll. Spegelboll!!! So cool! We hoped it was to be played at the concert too.

We could see Per leaving again after the rehearsal and we were ready to be let in. By 19:00, not more than 30 people were there in the queue. Some minutes after 19:00 the door opened and we could get in one by one in a line. The space was enough for appr. 15 people in the front row, so those who were waiting there during all day could stand at extremely fine spots. The stage was tiny, the instruments and mics and plecs all set to their places. The crowd was getting bigger and bigger and by appr. 20:30 the place got full. VIP guests had their places at the Chef’s table, the rest were either sitting on the side or standing as close to the stage as they could. The technicians, the good old team came to prepare everything at appr. 20:40. The fun part was with the setlist. Jakob Johnzén and Micke N-S were taping the setlist in front of all band member’s places and we could take photos of those. The stage was so low. When we checked them, we realized that Per got a different setlist. The first song on it was Här kommer alla känslorna and his included It Must Have Been Love, the others’ didn’t. That made us curious, but some minutes later Micke N-S came and cut out and taped Min plats as the first song, what was already on everyone else’s setlist and he cut out Här kommer alla känslorna and taped it to the end. Then we saw MNS counting the songs and he realized that there were 15 songs on Per’s list instead of 14. Then he checked which song was extra and he taped IMHBL not to be visible for Per on the list. It was really funny. Another thing we realized that Micke placed a photo of a guy on the gear holding boxes. Face towards the stage. We were wondering who he might have been and today it turned out he was a technician who died not too long ago. So in the picture and in soul he was there with the guys and girls last night.

We expected a 10 minute delay in the start and the crowd was impatient, clapping and shouting for the band to come up on stage, but we had to wait until 21:22 to see them coming. Per Gessle and the band: Clarence Öfwerman, Christoffer Lundquist, Helena Josefsson, Magnus Börjeson, Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck. 4 good old, beloved members and 3 new, soon to be beloved musicians. They came from the Spa area. The crowd went crazy and couldn’t wait for them to start playing. PG & Co seemed to be on a high, they were all smiles. First I paste the setlist here, then I go into details.

Setlist:

1. Min plats
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Juni, juli, augusti
4. Det hjärta som brinner
5. Första pris
6. Småstadsprat
7. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
8. Spegelboll
9. Gå & fiska!

Band presentation
10. The Look

Encore:
11. Dressed for Success
12. Joyride
13. Sommartider

Encore 2:
14. Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång

So the first song was the opening song from Per’s latest album, En vacker natt. Min plats sounded absolutely awesome in that cozy place, on that tiny little, intimate stage, played for those 700 people in the crowd. After the first song Mr. G talked a few words, greeted the international friends in the front row (fans were there from Germany, Poland, Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Finland, Sweden of course) and mentioned its the debut gig of this great band of 8.

Then they played  På promenad genom stan which also sounded phenomenal, including the crowd’s shalalala sing along. And here I have a personal touch, literally… After the song Per came to me and with a huge smile on his face he shocked me and put the acoustic plectrum he played into my hands. It was an out of the world experience for me, that’s for sure. What a fab thing to happen in a fan’s life. Much appreciated!

After my pulse got high, the band kept it up with Juni, juli, augusti. The crowd was happy to hear a Gyllene Tider song and of course, on a summer tour you can’t leave this one out. And then came another GT song, Det hjärta som brinner. The stage was so tiny for those 8 beautiful people that they (mostly Per, Chris, Ola and Magnus, sometimes Helena and Malin too) bumped into each other while moving on the stage, crossing each other’s ways.

After a short GT section it was time to bring back En vacker natt and the band played Första pris. Wow! What a crowd reaction to that one. I wouldn’t have expected that, but the crowd knew the lyrics and Helena got a heavy applause for this song and after it ended the crowd shouted ”Helena, Helena!”. She was so happy. But actually, after each song she looked very happy to hear the crowd reaction. Such a lovely lady!

Before another En vacker natt song, Småstadsprat, Per talked a bit again and said rumour has it he wrote a lot of songs about Halmstad. The part Lars Winnerbäck sings on the album version was sung by Helena. It sounded fab too. Here I have to mention Malin’s wonderful violin playing and Ola’s fantastic pedal steel guitar playing. They are so talented musicians. And they can play these instruments so softly on the ballads, while they are rocking out on the uptempo songs. Great to have them in the gang!

After this song, Per asked how about a bit more Gyllene Tider and they went on with Ljudet av ett annat hjärta. The crowd was clapping like hell! Here I also highlight Andreas. He is just another fab musician. Playing the drums like nothing can stop him! Not only on this song. Great to have him in the gang too!

The next song… oh yeah!!! Spegelboll! It got on the setlist, so awesome! When the crowd realized what song it was, they went wild. Heavy sing along here too! Woohoo!

Some more  Gyllene Tider? Why not! Gå & fiska! was next and the crowd stayed wild. After the song Per thanked and said to the crowd they were really fantastic. Just like the band up on stage! And here came the band presentation. First Per introduced the one and only Helena, then Malin, Ola, Andreas, Clarence, Magnus (the Swedish sex machine) and ”last, but absolutely least”, Chris. A video of this presentation is coming soon on RoxBlog. 😉 Besides the 3 new faces it was so great to see all the good old musicians, still enjoying playing and giving their 120%.

After being introduced, Chris started playing the intro to The Look. The crowd went wild for that too, hearing the first Roxette hit during the night. Heavy sing along again and HERE in this video you can see how PG surprised Sandra, who was filming the crowd’s nanananana. Such a cool guy!

After The Look, the band left the stage. They didn’t tell a word, they were just waving to the crowd bye-bye. The crowd started clapping heavily and it lasted for a few minutes until the band came back for an encore.

They started the section with Dressed for Success and it hit the crowd again. Sing along and the well-known clapping choreography worked totally fine. Not only during this song, but Per got so close to us we sometimes thought he would bump into us with his guitar. What a nice way it would be to end up in hospital. ”What happened?” ”Per Gessle hit me with his guitar…” Haha. It was incredibly great to see him playing so close to us. The distance between us changed from 1-2 meters to 5 centimeters!

After DFS came Joyride. Oh, Joyride! Balloons!!! Thank God Basia Konarzewska didn’t forget about bringing some, so the front row could start blowing them up. But blowing the balloons up after Dressed for Success…, really??? When it’s hard to breathe even. LOL. Whatever. We succeeded and for the right moment all balloons were ready to be released. There weren’t many, but it fit the tiny place and the crowd was happy to play with them and PG and the band were happy to see the balloons too.

One more uptempo in the encore section, this time GT. We couldn’t have left without hearing Sommartider. Hej hej! We had a blast during this song too and the band enjoyed playing it very much. All of them. We couldn’t believe they leave the stage again. Per thanked and pointed at the front row to thank separately. We love it!

The crowd didn’t want to leave Leif’s Lounge and shouted ”en gång till” all the time and we were clapping hard for 2-3 minutes. Then the gang came back on stage again for the second encore. Mr. G had a used tissue in his hands, probably he wiped the sweat off his face backstage (having no towel there) and he couldn’t do anything else with the tissue, but handing it over to MNS while getting the guitar from him. Haha. Poor guy. I mean MNS. Well, next time you just throw it away, Mr. G. Talking about a tissue, BoJo brought a mug of ginger tea up on stage before the concert started and gave it to Micke N-S. He put it on his counter and PG sipped it every now and then.

OK, back to encore No. 2, Per started playing Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) very slowly, then the band started again faster and it became yet another fab sing along happening. I wouldn’t have thought this song could be a great last song, but hey… first of all, we love mid- or uptempo songs as last songs, and as you know the lyrics, ”Att allting har ett slut / Att allt det vackra är kort” ( =That everything has an end / That all that beautiful is short). So true! Sadly. BUT, it didn’t really end like this, as the song suddenly became Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång. It was an even greater ending. Doobie doobie dum doh and the concert was over.

The crowd was wild, clapping hard, shouting woohoo. The band took a bow, took another bow, Per pointed at the front row again to thank for the cheering. All were happy, satisfied and we all had a blast for 70 minutes.

There were so many other tiny little details which I probably didn’t write about, but it’s impossible to collect them all. The world needs more of such concerts! It was such a fantastic night! Killer Mr. G, the Duracell bunny who never gets old, gives 150% on stage and leaves you breathless, a beautiful band giving all their energy creating wonderful music, a loud, all-the-time cheering crowd, fantastic mood both on and off stage, a great (just too short) setlist. What else could you ask for? Oh well, maybe Tittar på dej när du dansar? We need some Mahi Nana on tour, Per! 😉 We are sure the setlist gets longer and there are more gems to be included. We can live with a 2-3-4-hour long concert too, can’t we?

Next stop: the tour premiere in Helsingborg on 6th July. Can’t wait!!!

 

Setlist evolution (from left to right: Helena’s setlist, Magnus’ setlist, Per’s 1st setlist, Per’s 2nd setlist, Per’s 3rd /final/ setlist):

     

All pics in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

 

Judith’s review:

Not many details to add after Patrícia’s review but still wanted to write down my thoughts and impressions after the gig.

What can I say?? This was an amazing tour warming up evening! If you don’t have tickets for the shows yet… go get them!
I expected maybe a bit more relaxed country and all I remember is jumping and clapping and dancing. Of course, the ‘real’ thing will be different but that was a great sneak preview.
I had a lot of favourite moments and actually loved all songs and arrangements. Some things to mention:
– nice På promenad! It felt great to hear so many people sing along this song. Nice arrangements on this one, it sounded a bit faster and pop-ier.
– the drums!! I have a thing for drums, specially live. And Andreas sounded fab! Very different to what we are used to. He gives a nice touch to songs we are used to hear with other beats. Later a fan told me that he has seen him play with Ulf Lundell and that he saw him break drum sticks at many shows. I did not see any broken one so I look forward to some awesome crazy drums during the tour!
– Första pris!!
– the band had so much fun. We had so much fun. It was great to see Helena again and get to know the new guys and girl. Ola as extra guitar when he is not on pedal makes it all rockier. I have seen him with Eva Dahlgren in 99 and 2013 and you may remember he was on Tack för musiken where Marie performed so I was looking forward to seeing him with Per. I thought he would be mostly on pedal steel but he did grab the guitar many times and ooohhh he is an amazing guitar player and he and Chris together wooow!! Malin and the violin sound incredible (Gå & fiska! Nice touch there.)
– when The Look started I felt weird and I could not help the tears, went on with Dressed. Missed Marie so much! Of course, I know it is a Gessle tour, it was more the feeling and thought of knowing that we probably won’t hear those songs again with Marie. But at the same time it felt good to listen to them again, Helena did a great job taking over some of Marie’s parts. Pure fun!! And we got to surprise them with the balloons (thanks Basia!).
I am sure I will remember more things but the best feeling to take away from yesterday: fun!!

Ps: Per asked on FB how much we can take because they have lots of songs to play. Oooh I can assure you we could do more than 4 hours!! Just try us out 😉

Videos:

Joyride
Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång) / Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
Första pris

Per about the show:

Thanx everyone for an unforgettable evening at Leif’s Lounge. Superb crowd, fab band, lots of laughs, a few tiny mistakes to make you smile. All in all the best night you can dream up when it’s a debut gig with a new band!

This weekend we start working properly on the production (lights, set design etc) and promise to be ready, willing and able next Thursday at Sofiero. Hope to see you there!

Looks like we have too many songs in the setlist. How much can you take? Good to know….. /P.

 

RoXXXette On The Road – the great collection of the Roxers Edition UPDATE

More than a year has passed since the fabulous tour photo book, RoXXXette On The Road was published. As you all know, it has 2 versions. A normal edition and a Roxers limited edition. The limited edition is in a beautiful box and it exists in 300 numbered copies only. It contains 16 pages more than the normal edition and it includes a numbered print-out with the signature of Anders Roos, most talented photographer and publisher of the book. The numbered print-outs exist in 12 different versions, each of them numbered from 1 to 25. On top of all this, each and every single limited edition RoXXXette On The Road is signed by Per Gessle. Some books contain Per’s signature only or the year 2016 written as well, but there are even copies in which you can find a Leif drawing by Mr. G or some most important words (e.g. Badabam!, Nice! or Cheers!) written by the man himself. This makes every single copy even more unique.

We started collecting photos of these limited edition books (see HERE) and the collection is now updated by 17 more photos. In case yours is not in the set yet, please send us an e-mail following the guidelines stated in the collection intro and we include your copy as well.

So far we have 80 books collected, 27% of the total limited edition books. Way to go to have them all, but we have the first (No. 1) and the last (No. 300), so we just need to fill in the gap in between. Haha. So, we’re looking forward to seeing the missing photos! Help us to complete the collection one day. 😉

Book No. 271; pic by Jana Pešková

 

Mikael Bolyos: “Hopefully we can release something more..”

Mikael Bolyos on 30th May 2017. (Foto: Annie Heart)

After Marie surprisingly released a new jazz single on her birthday, we felt the urge to talk to one of the driving forces behind the project: Mikael Bolyos. Luckily enough he found the time to answer some of our questions and we want to thank him very much for doing so. We know he is a busy man.

RXB: Mikael, thanks for stopping a second to take the time to talk to us. It was probably quite busy lately with Marie’s birthday and the release of the new song – and both topics that made us think we desperately need to talk to you. So, first of all: Is your house still a normal house or did it turn into a huge garden on Marie’s birthday? Just kidding, of course, but we are well aware that many fans still send their cards and flowers and presents and we are curious: Did it become more now that Marie has retired from the touring life?
Mikael Bolyos: No, our home still always look like a flowershop  on every Maries birthday.

RXB: And talking about Marie’s birthday: We were very surprised to find out that she or you decided to release a new single (Alone Again) on her birthday. Did you choose this date on purpose or was it a coincidence? This definitely feels like you made yourself a present and you gave a present to us as well.
MB: Yes, the whole idea was to try to give a little something back to all her fans. Call it a little “thank you” for all the support over the years.

RXB: Do you still read the Roxette internet and Facebook fan pages such as Roxetteblog and The Daily Roxette – so are you aware that the fan world went totally crazy after the song was announced on several streaming services such as iTunes, Amazon and Google play?
MB: Yes, we noticed some comments!

RXB: The response so far has been amazing, lots of positive comments everywhere, how do you feel about this?
MB: We, Marie, Magnus, Max & me are so happy about this. Max told me the other day that people are telling him daily on the bus, in the streets, everywhere how much they like the song and production.

RXB: What can you actually tell us about the single? When did you have the idea, when did you record it?
MB: I had an idea back in 2002 to make an instrumental album with my favorite sax and guitar players in Sweden. Magnus Lindgren and Max Schultz. We started the recordings at Vinden studio in January 2003. Soon we asked Marie to add some vocals to one of the songs (on a Sunday). We also made the first recording of Max´s song “Alone again” back then. At that time it was an instrumental song. A couple of years later I wrote the lyrics and in 2009 we recorded the song with Marie. At that time we even had plans of doing some light touring with this trio. But as you know history wanted something else.

RXB: Is there a reason you chose English over Swedish?
MB: No, not really ! Maybe it´s because Magnus’ instrumental song’s name was “On a Sunday” so Marie and me wrote english lyrics to it.

RXB: The song came together with a (surprise) video – what was the idea behind this?
MB: We thought it would be easier to present the song if it contained a video. It’s much more funny to click a link and be able to listen and watch.

RXB: You worked with two musicians with who you already worked with before, why did you choose to work with them? How did this collaboration come up?
MB: Marie and me heard a duo in a hotelbar in London 2002. Two guys playing sax and guitar. It felt as an odd combination, but still so interesting. It felt natural to ask Max & Magnus if they were interested of trying something like this, but playing only original songs.

RXB: Does the single mean that a new album is coming out soon?
MB: I wish I could say yes, but this was meant to be a one-time event, but after the massive positive reaction….. we’ll see…..Hopefully we can release something more in the same category in the future…at least I hope.

RXB: Both musicians are known for their jazz music, if there will be a new album, will it be THE jazz album Marie always wanted to do?
MB: Yes, I think it’s a good guess that in that case, jazz & blues will dominate, but I don’t know about a whole album.

RXB: Have you listened to Per’s solo album? What do you think?
MB: Yes we have and we think it´s great. We like it a lot !

RXB: We read a rumour some weeks ago that you and Marie became grandparents in the meantime. It spread like a bush fire and many people were speculating about this being right. We really don’t want to fuel the rumor mill, but in case it is true…
MB: HA! Not as far as we know.

Predicting unpredictable – what fans would like to hear during En vacker kväll?

Since beginning of the year you, dear Roxette Blog readers, have been voting for your favourite Gessle, Gyllene Tider and Roxette songs. In the late autumn it turned out this would be the first time ever when Per mixes all his three music careers during one concert. Now we all obviously cannot wait untill the first Gessle solo tour in 8 years starts in the majestic city of Helsingborg. Only 19 days till the gig #1, just 10 if you’re attending the pre-premiere concert at Hotel Tylosand.

What we always did before the new tour starts was choosing the best, most-desired songs from the vast music catalogues. Remember the Silver blue-case where we were lucky enough to get a song so many people voted for performed live by Roxette? We absolutely loved that moment and we still feel humbled by your support and the impact we did together. We are hoping some of your suggestions might help Mr G to prepare a setlist of his (and ours) dreams – the band has started rehearsing, so “our prayers are in good hands tonight”.

There have been 10 polls since mid-January, 70 days of voting dedicated to 8 solo albums as we’re convinced they should play pivotal part in the setlist, whereas two latter votings were done around Gyllene Tider and Roxette live catalogues from 2000s. Nearly 1,000 unique users took part in this, so thanks much for your time and dedication, we really appreciate that!

When it comes to the concert setlist, no one should be expecting big suprises, should we? Gessle / Roxette / Gyllene Tider’s latest concerts were always more about pleasing big crowds (is it bad after all?), not fullfiling fans’ desires to hear forgotten pearls. There wasn’t many Gessle’s solo tours in the past, but just by analysing Mazarin 2003 and En händing man 2007 we can make initial assumption where 2017 takes us.

Read more

Interview with Per Gessle in Kupé magazine

In the latest issue of Swedish Kupé magazine there is a short interview with Per Gessle. Actually, Nicolas Jändel, the journalist left Per’s thoughts in a first person narrative form, so it’s more like Mr. G telling his own story of what music means to him, he talks about songwriting, his new albums and the summer tour. HERE you can read the original text in Swedish. From this blog post we can see that the interview was done in April.

Per tells Nicolas that during Roxette times they were standing on stage in front of 50-60,000 people in the crowd. Per says he can’t think of anything that could beat that feeling, but he would still play if there were only 20 people coming. Mr. G says it’s gonna be fun to be on tour again. The tour starts on 6th July and when they will be standing backstage before the premiere in Helsingborg and hear the noise in the crowd, they will feel the energy and will be excited to go up on stage and give their best. Per says he doesn’t know how to describe that moment, but it might be similar to when cows are let out to grass for the first time during the year.

Per says all his Swedish solo albums are holy things and the songs are his babies. Now he wanted to write in Swedish again and record at a new place after spending more than 400 days in Christoffer’s studio during the past years. He decided for Blackbird Studios in Nashville. Per had the basic material ready, but wanted to go to Nashville with an open mind. Mr. G says when you have musicians like Dan Dugmore in the room and he is playing, you have to cry, it feels so great. It’s the same with the duets. Having another artist in the song gives another perspective. Per mentions he has duet songs with Lars Winnerbäck and John Holm. There are similarities between Mr. G and John Holm, e.g. they both have strange voice.

Per tells Nicolas he worked a lot on the lyrics, as usual. The texts are in focus for him and are still about the same big questions as when he was young. Disappointment, love, sorrow and dreams, but from another point of view now, when you can no longer write about the first love.

The meaning of music hasn’t changed for Per, it’s still extremely important for him. He can’t even imagine life without music. Music can make people dance or cry. It brings people closer to each other. He can’t see any other art having the same effect. Per tells the story when he and his friend were troubadours and played at nursing homes for old people. Once they found themselves in a room where only two patients were present. They were both sleeping, but Per and his friend started to play anyway. They played until a nurse rushed in and kicked them out. Right before they left the room, one of the patients woke up. It turned out he was in coma for months. Music can be so great.

Mr. G says Sommartider was the first real summer hit, then came some more. In the ‘80s it was natural to write summer songs and play them in parks. It was about writing major songs that make people sing along. He says it was similar with Roxette’s Joyride, The Look or Listen To Your Heart, the songs which have big choruses.

PG photo in the article was taken by Andreas von Gegerfelt.

 

En vacker kväll poll #10 – Roxette

What’s good always must come to an end. Per Gessle and his majesty band have already started rehearsing to the summer tour, so this poll comes right in time to see which Roxette classics you would love to hear in Mr Gessle’s interpretation. You had already one occassion for during the man from Roxette Party Crasher Tour, but now for the first time he will perform both Swedish and English songs from his whole  career. Dreaming of Per’s “Watercolours in the rain” version? Just vote.

PS. I know Vaulnerable wasn’t performed live, it’s not on that list, but that one would be of a suprise to please a lot of fans!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 12-12-2014 22:45:38
end_date 05-07-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #10 – Roxette
Total Answers 745
Total Votes 206

En vacker kväll poll #9 – Gyllene Tider

It’s less than a month till the EVK tour premiere in Helsinborg (6th of July, baby!). You have already voted for your favourite songs off Per Gessle’s 8 solo albums, but would it be a real Swedish tour of Gessle if there wasn’t any Gyllene Tider song there? You well know the answer. Obviously, voting for each album doesn’t make much sense as of now, so we came up with idea of mixing 2004 and 2013 Gyllene Tider concert playlists to see what songs you love the most.

As there are so many Gyllene Tider songs to choose from – this time you can vote for up to 5 songs. Let us know your choices!

The last poll covering Roxette vast catalogue pops up tomorrow!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 10-06-2017 08:45:38
end_date 06-07-2017 23:59:59
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #9 - Gyllene Tider
Total Answers 915
Total Votes 227

Roxette in ”Filmen om Badrock”

As we already wrote about it in March, a film about Badrock (“Filmen om Badrock”), where Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle performed as Roxette for the first time, premiered in Swedish cinemas on 7th March. From a March TV4 interview with Björn Skifs (who is behind the whole Badrock idea) it turned out that it would be worth watching by Roxers, because besides Badrock concert material from the ’80s in Borgholm and backstage moments where we can see Marie, Per, Roxette, we even get to see Marie looking back at those times and hear her talking about her experiences.

Now the film had its TV broadcast premiere on 3rd June on TV4 (can be watched in Sweden only). Better said, a TV cut of it, because the original movie is 1 hour 55 minutes long, the TV cut is 66 minutes only. So a lot is left out and this way there might be even more Marie and Per and Roxette in it. Let’s hope the movie is out on DVD in the near future and we get to see the whole thing.

The TV cut contains footage from the past 30 years (Badrock history: 1986-1992; 2016), on-stage moments, backstage moments, rehearsals, how the concerts were recorded from the air, the royal family’s visits at the shows, as well as interviews with several artists, Marie among them. Interviews are with Björn Skifs, Anne-Lie Rydé, Marie Fredriksson, Pernilla Skifs, Anders Berglund, Nina Söderquist, Tommy Nilson, Leif Larsson, Lena Philipsson, Lisa Nilsson, Sharon Dyall, Marie Bergman, Peter Milefors, Mats Ronander.

Marie says Badrock was huge and there were a lot of good artists and the weather was incredibly warm. She says she is happy she could work together with Anders Berglund, it was easy to work with him.

Per in a short 1987 Öland Radio interview says Badrock is fun and playing tennis with Peter Milefors is cool. Mr. G says he and Marie created a group called Roxette and they would first perform at Badrock. Then there is a Marie interview cut again and she says, ”Like Lovers Do” at the beginning was a big song for Roxette and she was incredibly nervous to perform it. Everything was so new, but it was an awesome experience.

Sharon Dyall says when she was singing together with Marie and Sanne Salomonsen, it was real girl power. Marie says they had a powerful song (”Girls”) and she always thought that Sanne sang so damn good  and she was wondering how the hell she could join in, but in the end it turned out to be really good and they had so much fun. Those times were really amazing.

It’s great to see Borgholm then and today, so beautiful. It will be a pleasure to see Per playing there this summer, but also sad to think about the fact that Roxette AND all the fans missed the chance to have a concert and see Roxette playing there in 2015. Would have been an out of the world experience both for the band and Roxers for sure. And of course, we still don’t give up hoping for the complete 1989 Roxette gig in Borgholm to be released one day.

Some stills from the TV cut of ”Filmen om Badrock”:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanx for your technical support, Gabriela Demichelli!

Per Gessle gig at Hotel Tylösand

Just having a look at Instagram before going to bed my heart almost stopped when I saw Per Gessle performed at Hotel Tylösand tonight. OMG! He played for the Atea Bootcamp 2017 guests in Solgården, so it was an open-air performance. In the band we can see Helena Josefsson, Christoffer Lundquist, Magnus Börjeson, Clarence Öfwerman and Pelle Alsing.

We don’t know the running order, but these songs were played for sure (as you can see in the instavids and in this summary video):

  • Det hjärta som brinner: 1; 2; 3; 4;
  • Här kommer alla känslorna (på en och samma gång): 1; 2;
  • Tycker om när du tar på mej
  • Dressed For Success: 1; 2; 3;
  • På promenad genom stan: 1; 2;
  • Gå & fiska!: 1; 2; 3;
  • Band introduction
  • Christoffer’s intro to Joyride: Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
  • Joyride: 1;
  • The Look: 1;
  • Sommartider: 1; 2;

Per informs they played 9 songs. These seem to have a big chance to be included in the summer tour setlist as well. Let’s see what happens! Is it July yet???

Some pics from the happening you will find here: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; Per played his guitar picks made for the 2015 Australian tour leg of the Roxette XXX Anniversary Tour.

Still is from this video.

 

Alone Again by Marie Fredriksson out now – a surprise to her fans

(Updated) As we already informed a couple of days ago, Marie is back with one new song, Alone Again, which you can already buy in digital format or stream on usual platforms.

Here are some links for you:

iTunes
Amazon | Amazon.de
Google Play

Spotify
Deezer

Did you buy it already?

Marie’s Facebook page was updated yesterday with new profile pictures and a message from Marie:

I’m so happy and excited to present my new project to you tomorrow, on my birthday… I hope you’ll like it. Thanks so much for your endless love and support – it means so much to me!

I think it is safe to say that we don’t like it… we love it!!!

On the press release sent out today:

Marie Fredriksson is known for most people as one half of the legendary pop duo Roxette and as soloist with great hit songs like “Ännu doftar kärlek” and “Tro”. The solo career and Roxette have been running in parallel throughout Marie’s career, something that always felt completely obvious. Over the years, the band has toured around the world several times and with 75 million sold albums and countless hits on the world’s hitlists, Roxette is one of the world’s most successful bands ever.

In 2013, Marie released the solo album “Nu!” and in 2015 she released the autobiography “Kärleken till livet”, which she co-wrote with the author Helena von Zweigbergk. Early 2016, 1,5 years after Roxette’s massive 30th Anniversary Tour begun, she and her colleague Per Gessle released the message that, on the advice of Marie’s doctors, they had to cancel the rest of the tour.

Since the decision to completely stopping touring, Marie has found her way back to an incredibly dear old friend: jazz music. What many may not know is that it was with jazz and blues that her lifelong love for music began. She started her professional career as a singer singing jazz at various cafes and clubs. The idea of ??picking up jazz again has followed her for many years and for her own birthday on May 30th it’s finally time. Together with two of Sweden’s absolutely most established musicians in the genre, Magnus Lindgren (saxophone) and Max Schultz (guitar), she now releases her first renowned jazz release “Alone Again”.

“This is something I longed for a long time, and it feels right to do it now. The jazz and the blues have always meant a lot to me, and I love this song.”

A video of Marie, Magnus and Max performing the song was also released along with the press release.

New jazz song by Marie Fredriksson

Surprise of the year is that a new jazz song will be released by Marie Fredriksson on her birthday, 30th May. It’s released on Amigo, a division of Cosmos Music under exclusive license from Amelia Music AB. The song is 4 m 31 s long and the title is ”Alone Again”. It’s featuring Max Schultz and Magnus Lindgren. Marie already worked together with these 2 musicians in the past. Max Schultz played guitar on Marie’s recordings and the latest cooperation with Magnus Lindgren was the song ”On A Sunday” on Magnus’s album ”Souls” in 2013.

Marie mentioned it earlier that she would love to make a jazz album. Let’s hope there is more to come! So exciting!

Links to the song (more to come): iTunes; Amazon; Google Play;

 

Spending My Time is the Listen To Your Heart of Joyride

Did you know? 2 extremely important Roxette songs were written on this day 27 years ago. Yeah, Per Gessle, the 8th wonder songwriter wrote Joyride and Spending My Time on the same day. Isn’t he a genius? I mean, look at these 2 songs. Both of them are masterpieces and he could just come up with the power pop song in the morning and the big ballad in the afternoon. He is second to none!

Per says about Joyride:

When I wrote this one Roxette was sitting on top of the world. Three number ones in the US already and more to come. It felt like nothing could go wrong, I was full of self-confidence and every song felt so easy to create.

My wife (then girlfriend) left a note on my piano saying in Swedish: ”Hej din tok, jag älskar dej!”, which means ”Hello you fool, I love you!” It just had to be a chorus.

The writing process went very quickly. So fast I actually wrote ”Spending My Time” together with MP Persson the same afternoon. Hallelujah!

On The Per Gessle Archives you can listen to 2 demos of Joyride: first a less produced, acoustic Joyrider recorded on 22 May 1990 at T&A and a lot more produced Joyride recorded on 23 May 1990 at T&A. Listen to Per and Sven Lindström talking about the demos HERE.

Per about Spending My Time:

The music to ”Spending My Time” was cowritten with my old chap MP Persson. We finished writing it the very same day that I wrote ”Joyride”. Must’ve been May 1990.

I liked the idea of writing a lyric that starts in the morning and ends at night. This was my humble attempt. Great vocal performance by Marie and a super production from Clarence made this one a winner for Roxette.

On The Per Gessle Archives you can listen to the demo to Spending My Time recorded on 24 May 1990 at T&A. Listen to Per and Sven talking about the demo HERE.

Per adds:

I knew we had a great song (MP and I wrote this one together) but the demo always sucked!!! I couldn’t sing it very well, I don’t know why. It was always meant for Marie. She did a tremendous job delivering it. I’m sure it would have become a Top 5 song in the US if EMI wouldn’t have scrapped the entire company and sacked 122 people in the middle of marketing this one. People loved it but radio never got the chance to catch up. The Music Business. You win some, you lose some.

Stills are from the official videos to Joyride and Spending My Time

    

Pics are from ”Songs, Sketches & Reflections”.

Per’s quotes are from his book ”Songs, Sketches & Reflections” and the demo conversations from The Per Gessle Archives, as well as the PG about songs section on RoxBlog.

En vacker kväll poll #8 – En vacker natt

Now there has been enough time for you all to listen to En vacker natt non-stop and know which songs you would like to listen from the album. So it’s time for the last (solo) poll!

The album is so great (and so short) that it would actually be possible to play it in its entirety every night during the tour. A la Bruce Springsteen with his The River tour or U2 with The Joshua Tree tour this year… what do you think? Quoting from our recent interview with Per … so may there is some hope 🙂

 

PP: – You mentioned in an interview and well… we also know that you’re a fan of short concerts. You would keep the show around 100 minutes. Can we expect a varying setlist from night to night?

PG: – Could be….

Have fun voting (you can choose up to 3 songs but it is still hard – they are all so great!):

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 17-05-2017 09:27:26
end_date 24-05-2017 22:30:00
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #8 - En vacker natt (2017)
Total Answers 525
Total Votes 225

 

 

Jan Gradvall’s podcast interview with Per Gessle

Jan Gradvall in his podcast tries to find out what drives Per Gessle, what his secret is and what happens if you analyze Gessle’s songs in depth. Jan is trying to do it via analyzing ”Allt gick så fort”, which is one of Per’s most personal songs he has ever written and can be found on the new album, ”En vacker natt”.

Per says it’s the central song on the album. He tells he read an interview with David Crosby who told he had five guitars in his bedroom and that all of them were tuned differently. Per thought it’s cool. Mr. G experimented a lot with traditional tunings, but then he googled David Crosby’s tunings and found out there are a lot of variants and found one which was very odd. So Per tried some new tricks, playing his old chords in a new way, creating completely new sounds.

”Allt gick så fort” is very text-oriented. It starts with an accident Per witnessed during a visit to France. Per says it’s a song that kind of writes itself. It matures through a whole life and suddenly it feels ready to be written down.

Jan asks Per what he is singing about when it’s in the lyrics that he was 8 years old. Per says the lyrics tell a whole life in a way. The text starts with an unknown person, but then suddenly, you sing about yourself, when you are a child and then it’s about when you are 18 and in love for the first time. In between there is another person seeing the whole thing from another angle, in the middle of his life, in the middle of his career and realizes it all went so fast. Per says the song was written very fast, but the guitar tuning was tricky. Jan asks how exactly that tuning is done. Per says when he wrote the song he went to Halmstad, to MP’s studio to record a demo. It went very well with all that new tuning. Then he went to Nashville to record it properly, but he had no clue how he did that in Halmstad, so they had to use his demo.

The whole Nashville project was different to whatever Per has done before and it’s not like today’s pop music when everything is done on computers. Per wanted to try something new. It became a completely organic album. It’s not an album for everybody. It’s for a certain audience. Per thinks many can identify with it, but many will think it’s too slow or the violin is too whiny. But it doesn’t matter. For him it was important to make this record. He wanted the lyrics and his voice to be in focus. The fantastic musicians in Nashville added a lot to it, Dan Dugmore with his pedal steel playing or Stuart Duncan with his violin playing.

Jan finds the expression ”I sin icke dansande generation” (= in his non-dancing generation) fantastic and he asks Per how he came up with this. Per says when you are sitting and chatting you realize that your generation is a non-dancing one. He finds the rhymes and songwriting exciting.

Jan mentions there are many returning symbols in Per’s lyrics on the new album, like sea, beaches, nature. Per says he has always used symbols like flowers, sea, winds, things you associate with images when you are listening to a song. It somehow makes the listener be part of the song. They recognize the smell, the taste, the feeling.

Jan and Per talk about Per’s family, that he has lost his mom, brother and sister during the past 3 years. When his sister, Gunilla died, her son found a box of 25-30 old diapositives from 1965-66. Even Per appeared on some of them. Mr. G chose a pic of Gunilla, standing and singing probably in Tylösand, to be on the album cover. Per thinks the colour of the diapositive fits the album very well.

Per tells Jan that Anton Corbijn was in New Orleans, shooting Arcade Fire when Per was in Nashville and so Anton came over and took some fantastic pictures of Per. First Per thought one of those should be on the cover, but after her sister’s diapositives were found he changed his mind. This way it is more personal and even more unexpected. The second album ”En vacker dag” will have a 1965 pic of Per’s mom on the cover, with a picnic table just behind the family’s Volvo Amazon.

Jan asks Per if losing his relatives has affected Mr. G in a way that it can be heard on the album. Per says yes and no. It of course has affected him, but none of the songs are directly about this. ”Allt gick så fort” might sound like that a bit, but the rest of the songs were written last spring after Roxette stopped touring. Some of the songs were left-overs and were re-written, but most of them are newly written.

Jan and Per talk about an earlier interview from the Son of a Plumber times and Jan remembers Per told him that his father died when Gyllene Tider broke through and Per wrote ”När alla vännerna gått hem” after his dad died. Per says it’s true and of course what happens in your life has its effects on you. These two albums he has made now he couldn’t have done 10 or 15 years ago. You must have a certain experience, a certain security, a certain courage to be able to do it. You have to find your style, your language, your strength to be able to do it.

Jan tells Per he feels that when Per sings on this new album, he is more ”naked” and asks if it is conscious. Per says he wanted to put the lyrics in focus.

Jan says the album sounds in a way very much Nashville, but also very much Halmstad. Per was travelling around the world, but always came back to Halmstad. Per says the older you get the more you go back to your roots, where you come from. It’s like when sometimes he is sitting and checking songs on Spotify and sees billions of them and he goes back to listen to songs he likes from 1967. And yes, there is a Nashville sound on the album, but at the same time, it’s Per’s stlye.

Mr. G says he wanted an album that is text-oriented and very simple, acoustic. First they just thought they shouldn’t record it in Sweden. They thought about studios in England and France, then Nashville popped up and Per liked the idea of a fusion between Tennesse and Halland. A little country has always been there in Per’s solo music. Neil Young’s “Harvest” stlye. They had no plans at all when they left Sweden for Nashville. First Per played the acoustic guitar and sang a bit, then they asked the studio if they could help to find local musicians. There are two world famous pedal steel players, Dan Dugmore and Paul Franklin. Dan Dugmore is the one who plays the pedal steel on Per’s album. When he listened to Per’s songs he wrote down numbers instead of chords. How Dan played changed the songs. Since they wanted to save time, they recorded 3-4 takes and then edited them later while mixing.

The same day Dan Dugmore came to the studio, Stuart Duncan came too to play the violin. When Per heard him playing he said wow. Everything became better and better, like the intro to ”Småstadsprat”. Then they needed a harmonica player, so Mickey Raphael plays on 3-4 songs.

Jan asks what Per thinks why his melodies are so special that they are attractive even to those who can’t speak Swedish. Per thinks they are beautiful, that’s why the albums are titled “En vacker natt” and “En vacker dag” (“A beatiful night” and “A beautiful day”). At least that was his ambition. Jan asks where Per’s melodies come from. They come from the ‘60s, but also from the Swedish traditional music. Here Per talks about his adventures with his friend, Peter as troubadours who played at nursing homes for old people. Per played the guitar and sang, Peter also played the guitar and the flute. They played everything they could and it included a lot of country as well. As troubadours, once they had to play at an old people’s nursing home in a new place in Halmstad. They entered a big table tennis hall and there were two men lying in there, they were not moving at all. They didn’t know what to do, there was no personnel around, so they just sat in the middle of the hall and started playing some songs, Proud Mary or something. Suddenly a nurse came and asked what the hell they were doing. They said they were just playing songs. A lot of doctors rushed in and then it turned out that one of the men there was in coma and he woke up to the sound of Per and Peter playing music. The day after it turned out that they shouldn’t even have to be there, at that place, but he will never forget that day. One can see that music makes miracles.

Pic from Jan Gradvall’s Instagram.

 

Per Gessle about the bright and dark side of life

On the release day of ”En vacker natt” (28 April), an interview with Per Gessle was published in Hallandsposten.

Jan-Owe Wikström asks Per about those great musicians (David Bowie, Leonard Cohen and Prince) who passed away last year. He asks Per if he ever met them. Mr. G met Bowie before a concert in Lyon, but they just greeted each other, never talked. Cohen he never met and Prince either, even if Roxette played on the same gala when MTV Europe opened in Berlin. But as soon as Prince moved, there were 18 people around him. Per says he was in Prince’s studio though, Paisley Park in Minneapolis shortly after R.E.M. had been there to record. Everything was white and in the middle stood a giant bird cage. They even saw Prince’s private apartment above the studio and it was just as you imagined Prince. A heart-shaped bedroom, much purple and a sliding roof over the whole apartment.

Jan-Owe asks Per if Bowie was his greatest inspiration. Mr. G replies that musically he doesn’t know, but Bowie is definitely the artist who has meant the most to him, because he came into Per’s life when he was the most influenceable, at the age of 13-14. Per says Gunilla was Elvis, Bengt The Beatles and he was Bowie.

Jan-Owe asks Per about how it has affected him, losing his brother Bengt, his mother Elisabeth and his sister Gunilla in a short time. Per says it’s clear that you get a new view of life, to appreciate the moment, to take care of your loved ones. He tells Bengt had lung cancer, but didn’t tell anyone. Per thinks he was on tour when Gunilla visited Bengt in the hospital and after leaving, she got a phone call that Bengt had died. Per says you come to a time in life when you know more people who die than who are born, which obviously makes you think.

To the question if he believes in God and a life after this, Per replied he has not really decided. Sometimes maybe. It would have been nice to have a strong faith and both his mom and Gunilla were very religious. Gunilla even educated herself to be a priest, but started working at hospice instead. Per says he doesn’t belong to anywhere yet, but who knows. He is thinking, maybe when you grow older, you become more religious.

Jan-Owe asks Per, while they are sitting in Per’s house in Halmstad, drinking coffee and eating sandwiches, if he thinks the roots become more important when such serious things, mentioned above, happen in life. Per thinks even if he is a restless soul, that’s probably the case. He travelled around the world, but still always ends up in Halmstad. And that’s nice because everything is so much easier there. It’s closer to nature, it’s calmer…

Jan-Owe asks Per if what’s happened has affected his songwriting. Mr. G tells there are no lyrics that are directly related to it. But one is certainly affected by such happenings. Per says he doesn’t believe it was better before and it doesn’t necessarily have to be negative to get older, in case you are healthy. On the contrary, he is using that experience in his writing artistically and creatively.

Jan-Owe says he saw a survey which showed that those between 60-75 are the most satisfied with life. Per agrees. He says you have your family, have peaked in your career and are hopefully happy with what you’ve done in life. You have nothing left to prove. Per is soon there and could therefore make such a record that builds more on moods than single songs. A blank paper. Acoustic, Swedish, lyrics-oriented and country-influenced without being country.

Per tells Hallandsposten he is the most proud that, after almost 40 years in the music industry, he has done something he has never done before. If people like it, he doesn’t know, therefore he wants to wait before he decides which songs to play on tour.

Song by song comments – En vacker natt

”Min plats”: It was one of two key songs on the album, because when those 2 were ready, I had the pillars. It just felt like having it as the opening song.

”Första pris”: One of the songs which weren’t written for this album but for Roxette, which we never recorded. A little blue tone in the duet together with Helena Josefsson. I almost literally translated the English text.

”Småstadsprat”: It wasn’t meant to be a duet at all. But then we started talking about how rare duets between boys are. If it’s between a girl and a boy, you sing to each other, but boy / boy – then you sing towards a common goal like here with Lasse Winnerbäck.

”Enkel resa”: A fun and odd song. Sometimes I try to encourage MP (Mats Persson) to write songs which he does amazingly well. And he does it every ten years… Here he comes with exciting basslines that I added a melody to.

”Allt gick så fort”: The other central song on the album. I read an interview with David Crosby who told he had five guitars in his bedroom and he tuned them quite oddly. So I started googling and found an odd tone with which the guitar became a completely new instrument. But when we were to record in Nashville, I couldn’t take those grips again so we had to use the demo.

”Tittar på dej när du dansar”: The most poppy song on the album. I tried to avoid having such songs, but at least one is needed for the energy. A little odd, built from two songs in one and one of the few with electric guitar.

”Några glas rosé”: The hardest song to write because it has no chorus and has a narrative text that needs much space. Something like “Billy” without chorus.

”Far Too Close”: Written for Roxette from the beginning and because we had time left, it became the ultimate homage to Nashville, letting a Nashville girl, Savannah Church sing the finale.

Photo from PG’s Nashville archives