Per Gessle’s Roxette – London, UK – 15th October 2018 – #5

Per & Co. played the 5th gig on tour in London last night. How cool is that to play at a venue, Eventim Apollo (earlier Hammersmith Apllo, even earlier Hammersmith Odeon) that was an important place in one of Per’s biggest idols, David Bowie’s life. On the facade of the building, above the entrance there was written in huge red letters: PER GESSLE’S ROXETTE and there was a tour poster on one of the entrance monitors as well.

It was a seated show, so people didn’t have to rush inside. The doors opened at 7 pm, the support act started at 7.30 pm. Support act was Lee MacDougall again. He was added last minute, on 12th October. Great chance for him to play his first London show in 5 years. The audience liked his music a lot and his anecdotes were fun too. He said the first Roxette record he got in 1993. His sister is a big Roxette fan. His parents would buy them gifts to give them to each other at Christmas. His parents gave him the Joyride album to give it to his sister, but after he put the cassette on and it blew him away, he just couldn’t give it away. He created a plate writing Roxette (spelt wrong) and Joyride on it with glitters and all colorful stuff instead. When he gave it to her sister she was really excited because she thought she knew what’s inside, but then she was plain disappointed, she started to cry. Haha. A story to remember in a fan’s life.

After Lee left the stage, the technicians were setting up for Per and his band. The setlist stayed the same as on the past 2 shows.

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

It was the second seated show on tour. I wouldn’t have been too sure about the London crowd standing up, hearing they are more reserved, closer to Swedes in behavious when it comes to standing up at shows, but actually everyone were up on their feet already from the beginning, when the gang played The Look. So it seems, seated shows are indeed among the best ones and you can use the seats for your jackets and bags, but you won’t use them to sit.

After The Look Per mentioned this is a classic venue, used to be called Hammersmith Odeon and this is the place where David Bowie killed Ziggy Stardust in 1973. He said let’s hope nobody dies here tonight.

When Per said he’s been writing songs for more than 40 years, the audience cheered him. There are tons of Per Gessle, THE SONGWRITER fans in the UK. Speaking English as their mother tongue they just love how differently Mr. G expresses himself in their language.

PG asked the audience if they knew the lyrics to the songs, please sing along. And they did so. People stayed standing also during the ballads and partied to all uptempo songs.

Doesn’t Make Sense ended with Christoffer’s madness in London too, but he was on a high during the whole concert anyway. Actually, the whole band were in top shape. The crowd cheered Helena a lot, they liked her performance very much. The intro to HDYD worked great. DFS was huge too, probably there was an even bigger party than for OppNox here. IMHBL was of course a song Per couldn’t give a miss and even if there were 72 songs on his mind for the first time during the rehearsals, but the list was reduced, IMHBL had to stay. The loud sing-along was guaranteed.

One thing I expected – I’m quite sure I wasn’t alone with it – didn’t happen. Actually, I wished to hear Small Town Talk as a duet with the original artists, I mean Per and Nick Lowe. And since Nick is English, I thought it was possible to see him on stage in London. Well, he didn’t appear there. I saw he had a show in Canada on October 11th, so maybe that’s why he wasn’t there. Still not at home. Fingers crossed we can hear this duet one day live. STT sung by Per and Christoffer worked extremely well in London anyway.

Before both encores after the gang went off stage, the crowd was clapping heavily and were happy to have the ladies and gents back on stage again and then again.

Some thought it was a guilty pleasure gig for them, some went for nostalgia, some to see the talented songwriter on stage. One thing is sure: all of them had much fun in the audience. PG and the band had a blast too.

Mr. G after the show:

LONDON. Oh yeah, such a treat to play the old Hammersmith Odeon. Remember reading about it all the time when I was a kid getting my Melody Maker every Wednesday. And boy, did we have a blast. Super crowd and band in top shape. We’re only five gigs old but are almost grown by now!!! Thanks everyone for showing up and singing along. London, you never disappoint!!! Lots of love from P&Co.

All pics in the article are taken by Niall Corcoran. Thanx for sharing!

 

Roxette to perform in London 2016

After their sold-out O2 gig in London 2015, Roxette is back to perform in the city in 2016 as well. The show will be on 8th July and it’s part of the Greenwich Music time happening, a four day series of concerts, situated outdoor, in the magnificent surroundings of the Old Royal Naval College, over looking the Thames, lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf.

Tickets go on sale 4th December at 9 am at Ticketmaster UK, but presale begins on Wednesday, 2nd December at 9 am local time! Good luck!

 

Rox_in_london_2016

Roxette XXX Tour – London, United Kingdom (The O2) – July 13 – #53

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Photo: Judith Seuma

Roxette played at a sold-out O2 Arena in London. It was the first time Roxette played in this venue, which opened its doors in the mid 2000ies and has become the concert venue in London in the past years. Many major artist have played here since then so it was almost almost about time for Roxette to play here finally. The place is impressive. And so is the sound!

Unfortunately not many people had taken their places during Eskobar, but those who were there did enjoy the tunes of this fab band. And then it hit me. When Daniel mentioned it was their last show with Roxette outside of Sweden. In a way it was also Roxette’s last show outside of Scandinavia or Nordics (if you don’t count the concert in Poland). It’s really just a few more shows to go and then…? Let’s hope there will be more to come. LIVE, that is (we already know there are some releases on the way!). Wherever in the world. This band proved yesterday once more that they are unstoppable and they bring and spread lots of joy and fun and smiles wherever they go. And the world needs more of these memorable moments!

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Photo: Judith Seuma

Before the show we chatted with our seat neighbours. They asked where we come from, if we have seen Roxette live before… and we, not knowing how seated concerts are here, wondered if people would stand up. None of the locals could give an answer. Just a “We hope so! But it very much depends on the music and mood” I thought to myself… if it’s up to that then we will sure have a party! And it was.

People stood up during the intro already, while Marie and Per and the band were taking their places on stage. “So it is standing! It’s gonna be fun!” shouted the guys next to me with a big smile. Security made sure however that nobody was standing in the corridors or  running to the front, not even during The Look. But oh was it fun!!

 

I was totally taken by surprise by all the screaming and the sing along. And this (besides the great magic moments with the band) is what I will remember forever. Wherever I have seen Roxette around the world, it is this proud and happy feeling of hearing and experiencing thousands of people sing along to their songs. Not only the major hits but also other less known songs. Like when people scream and clap at the surprise of Marie singing Paint. The noise when Roxette reappeared after the short break to play LTYH and The Look was just impressive.

What happened in London can probably be summarized in these two videos below.

Marie did improvise a lot at the endings of the songs or during bridges not only with yeahs!, she did add a jazzy soulish touch at some points and her voice was so strong and powerful… that made me drop my mouth open (just check the videos out!). Per was running from one side to the other, looking at the audience very directly and asking us to sing and clap even louder. With his permanent smile on his face. And the band… wow!! They are all so great together. They have their ‘insider jokes’, those funny moments with each other that have now become part of the show… Chris played the British anthem, which ended with everyone singing.. god save the queen!

Per also seemed to be in a chatty mood. I think of all shows I have seen, this had the funniest talks in between songs.

And this time a special mention about lovely Dea. Since I was sitting in row 6 I had a better overview of what was going on on stage and saw some details that just confirmed what an important part of the band Dea is. She does her job amazingly, always cheering everybody up, greeting those she knows, she has found her place in the band, she has her funny insider moments with Chris, Magnus (Dangerous), Marie (Stars, Dangerous, She’s Got Nothing On) and Per (IMHBL), and besides that she always keeps an eye on Marie to help out whenever needed. And also celebrates and looks amazed when Marie delivers like yesterday. Probably because of this (and my guess is much more) Marie introduces her during Watercolours as ‘my very good friend Dea!’

Next stop Sweden. I really hope Sweden welcomes and celebrates Marie and Per and the band as Europe has done so far because they are unstoppable and one should only be proud of them all and they deserve it.

Per after the show: 

LONDON UPDATE: Oh yeah!!! Such a great evening at the O2 Arena tonight!!! What a wonderful crowd! Great band in spite of that Prof von L couldn’t get out of bed early in the morning due to back and neck pains. Check out the vids for more info re this!!!
Nevertheless, a breathtaking experience of positive energy. Thanx London, always a treat to play here! And boy, did you sing!!!! Cheers, P.

 

Setlist

Sleeping In My Car
The Big L.
Stars
Spending My Time
Crash! Boom! Bang!
Crush On You
She’s Got Nothing On (But The Radio)
The Heart Shaped Sea
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: God Save the Queen)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Articles and photos

Iain Dale
The Independent
Mirror
rexfeatures.com
flickr.com – Gavin Dodds (Tigershoot)
flickr.com – David Turnbull

Per Gessle and MP at the BMI Awards

The 2014 BMI London Awards took place at the Dorchester Hotel (Park Lane) tonight. The invitation-only gala recognizes the UK and European songwriters and publishers of the past year’s most-played BMI songs on American radio and television. As Per posted about it earlier today, he and Mats MP Persson were there to receive the Million-Air Awards for Listen To Your Heart and It Must Have Been Love for the songs being played more than 5 million times each. Per has been prepared for this event since at least a year ago, when he posted a pic of him and MP from the 2005 gala. 5 million plays! Sounds fab, doesn’t it! I mean it’s really huge! Just to make it easier (or harder) to imagine, 5 million plays of LTYH means appr. 50 years if it were constantly played and 5 million plays of IMHBL means appr. 41 years. Amazing!

In the meantime, LTYH video is heading for 40 million views on YouTube, while IMHBL is heading for 45 million. Millions here and there and everywhere. Hats off! Before the gala, Per posted both videos (1, 2) on Roxette Official with these words:

OVER five million radioplays in the US. Happy. Proud. Thanx everyone for listening! /P.

BMI_2014
Check the photo on BMI’s website!

Per says in a short BMI interview:

I hope we’re good role models for the new generation.

 

One more short PG interview has been uploaded by BMI on 27th October. Check it out by clicking HERE.

 

BMI Awards
MP, Marie and Per at the BMI Awards gala in 2005. Pic from BMI.

1 million plays earlier, It Must Have Been Love got the BMI Million-Air Award for 4 million plays in 2005. Marie and Per were there at the gala. You’ll find some pics here. You can watch a video with Per from that year about how he started and another about how he writes.

Listen To Your Heart got the award for 4 million plays 3 years later, in 2008. Here you will find a pic and here a video with Per and MP. Per says:

It’s great! I mean this is for 4 million airplays. It’s the second time I’m part of it. This is for Listen To Your Heart, last time it was for It Must Have Been Love. It’s just amazing! Amazing! I have to pinch my arm. It’s just great!

 

Photos from the event:

Photos on Roxette Official and PER GESSLE OFFICIAL: 1, 2, 3, 4,

rexfeatures.com photos

contactmusic.com

entertainment.ie

tipsimages.it: 1, 2, 3

monstersandcritics.com: 1, 2, 3

musikindustrin.se article