Review and CONTEST – Win an “Akustiska kvällar” book signed by Per Gessle!

The Per Gessle Unplugged photo book, Akustiska kvällar is published today, 17th October. I’ve just had the chance to hold the book in my hands and I must say I’m in love with it. It’s a quite big, 22 x 29 cm size book with that contagious smile on the front cover shining on my book shelf now.

The paper quality is perfect for such a photo book. It’s non-glossy, so you don’t need to wear gloves whenever you want to flick through it. Haha.

The book starts with Per’s foreword, telling the story of how the whole acoustic joyride began and became a 10-gig session at Hotel Tylösand and later a concert hall tour. There is a tremendous amount of beautiful photos taken by Anders Roos, who – to quote Mr. G – „was a fly on the wall during the tour and boy did he fly!” Anders’s shots show us PERfectly how it is to be on tour with Gessle.

The pics are divided into three parts: Hotel Tylösand in 2021, the autumn tour leg in 2021 and the spring tour leg in 2022. You also get the complete list of songs played on those concerts and of course, the whole band and crew are listed.

Getting down to the photos, my personal favourites are the ones taken backstage and during the rehearsals, because those are the no-access areas for us fans. When the band is on stage, but not yet dressed in their stage outfits, but everyday clothes are special too. Besides that, there are tiny little details, such as instruments, setlists, gadgets (capo, in-ear system, etc.), wifi password of one of the theatres and hey, you can even have a glimpse of THE ginger tea from above. Gosh, so many ginger pieces during so many shows! Haha.

There are of course tons of on-stage pics from the concerts taken in different venues from various angles and distances. Close-ups and photos where you can see the whole stage set. All the most memorable moments on stage are caught, e.g. Helena singing next to Per, PG hi-five with Clarence after Ljudet av ett annat hjärta, Magnus doing his thing during Tuffa tider, Christoffer playing barefoot, PG left leg stomping while playing the ukulele and the list is neverending.

The only disadvantage of the book is that there are photos in the size of two pages where the PERson in the middle doesn’t appear the way you want to see him, hiding between those two pages. Haha. Anyway, there is still a huge amount of pictures you can enjoy, e.g. pics where Per is sitting on stage alone with his guitar, in front of an empty concert hall and the photo is taken from behind or doing exercises before getting on stage or having his make-up done or … really, many-many shots.

Each of the 1000 books is signed and includes a print of one of the pics from the book in size 18 x 24 cm. There are 30 different prints circulating.

Read more about the book and where to buy it HERE.

C-O-N-T-E-S-T!

And now… let’s get down to the contest! Here is your chance to win one of the 2 books we have received! Both books are signed by Per and include a surprise print (18 x 24 cm)!

In order to participate, answer the following questions correctly:

  1. How many Per Gessle Unplugged concerts were there between July 2021 and May 2022, including the Hotel Tylösand sessions? 31
  2. How many cities had more than 1 concert during the tour? Name all of them! 3: Halmstad, Örebro, Göteborg; (4 if Tylösand is also counted -> both answers were accepted)
  3. Which was the opening song on each setlist on the PG Unplugged tour? Kung av sand
  4. How many band members stayed on stage for Ljudet av ett annat hjärta and who were they? 2: Per Gessle and Clarence Öfwerman

You can find the answers to all questions on RoxBlog.

Send an e-mail with your name, address and the correct answers to the questions to roxblog.contest@gmail.com until 23:59 CET, 24th October 2022. The 2 lucky winners will be announced on 25th October 2022. Good luck!

UPDATE on 25th October: the two winners have been picked and informed via email about their winning. Thanx, everyone, for taking part! The winners are Marcello Fioravanti from Italy and Dawn Campbell from Canada! Congrats!

Contest terms and conditions:
– In order to participate, you have to send an e-mail to roxblog.contest@gmail.com with name, address and correct answers to the 4 questions. We will consider all e-mails we receive until 23:59 CET on 24th October 2022.
– 2 winners will be picked randomly among those who have participated and sent the correct answers.
– You can only participate once. Any attempt to participate twice or more times will lead to your disqualification.
– Prizes won’t be paid out in cash. Prizes will be sent by registered mail only once.
– The winners will be announced on this website, on our Facebook page and will also be notified per e-mail. You’ll be required to answer the e-mail confirming your address.
– RoxetteBlog will not enter into any correspondence regarding the result of the contest and is not liable for any damages, loss or expenses that may result in connection to the prizes.
– By taking part in the contest, personal data (first name, surname, e-mail address and address) will be collected. These data are needed in order to run the contest, particularly in order to match participation applications to their entries as well as to identify and notify the winners. This method of processing data is therefore required pursuant to Article 6 Paragraph 1 lit b of the GDPR to fulfil contractual obligations. The personal data collected will be processed and used by RoxetteBlog only to the extent that is required in order to run the contest. The personal data will be stored for the duration of the contest and – in order to process any claims relating to winnings and damages – for a maximum of 6 months afterwards and they will then be deleted. By participating, you agree to all above mentioned and your name being published on this website, as well as on our social media channels in case you win.

Thanks a lot for the beautiful pics & book & support, Anders Roos!

Stills are from Tres Hombres Art’s instavideo.

Gyllene Tider – GT40 LIVE! is out!

Gyllene Tider’s farewell tour is now out on all streaming platforms! Listen to it on Spotify, iTunes or Deezer! After a week delay vs. the originally planned date, GT40 LIVE! is released digitally and on CD on 1st November. We still have to wait a bit for the double LP (out on 22nd November), but we can already enjoy all 28 songs played live during the tour. Amazing to have them all on the digital sites! HERE you can check the tracklists.

The songs on the album are mostly from Gothenburg. The whole Ullevi gig is on the record with its 23 songs and there are 5 additional tracks. 2 songs from the last GT album recorded at the 2nd Halmstad show, 1 song recorded in Linköping, 1 song in windy Malmö and the last track is from the soundcheck of the very last tour stop in Halmstad.

It’s fantastic to relive the complete Ullevi show and feel the energy of 7 amazing musicians on stage and 54340 people in the crowd. While listening, I’m in the mood to sing along and clap and dance. I close my eyes and the ”movie” plays. I suddenly remember the choreography during the songs, the looks, the crowd reactions, the laughs – you can even hear Per laughing here and there while singing –, all.

At some parts I have the feeling that the crowd’s sound could be louder on the album, because I remember how harmonious it was at the venue when the band and the audience became one. I could sometimes hear the crowd being louder than Per’s voice, but not in a disturbing way. Anyway, the mixing is nicely done and the crowd can still be heard on all songs. Singing and clapping along.

One of my personal favourites is Det kändes inte som maj. It rocked live and it’s awesome to have it recorded. Inside the song these 2 lines, Per’s tone of voice still makes me smile: ”jag bor i huset intill”, ”jag spelar bara musik”. Haha. But all the other rocking party songs and wonderful ballads sound fab.

There is not much talking recorded between the songs. Some thank you’s from Per and a tiny little part of Micke Syd’s speech before Låt denna trumslagarpojke sjunga! Just the parts that are also adding to the live feeling.

When I first saw the tracklists and realized När alla vännerna gått hem is not the last song on any of them I was wondering how it would sound, a few more tracks after the real closing song. Hey, it’s cool to have a bit more party after that beautiful ballad. Regarding the last song, Vill ha ett svar, why the soundcheck version and not the show opening version was included, no clue. But this way I can at least also relive the moments of the soundcheck that we watched from the top of the small hill outside Brottet in Halmstad.

Lovely memories!

So if you have a spare 2 hours, go ahead and party with the Golden Guys and Girls! Relive last summer! The last GT summer… Hopefully, on DVD soon too.

Order your physical copies HERE if you haven’t done so yet!

RoXXXette On The Road – review

We knew it since the beginning of 2015 that a tour photo book project was going on in the RoXXX World and in May this year we got even more eXXXcited, when it turned out the release date is as soon as June. 16th June 2016.

SPOILER ALERT!

The book is already out and what an amazing photo book it is! A real celebration of our beloved band’s 30th anniversary! The book already looks wonderful on the outside. The size, the cover picture showing Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015, the design of how the title is written with the 3 Xs with stars inside them and the name of the authors how it appears and tells you what the book is all about. It’s about a tremendous amount of fantastic photos taken by a most talented photographer, Anders Roos and it’s about the reflections of a most talented songwriter, Per Gessle and they 2 together show you how it really is to be on the road, to be on the 30th anniversary tour, the XXX tour of a most awesome band, Roxette.

RoXXXette On The RoadYou open the book and the first wow on the inside comes by seeing a series of bird view shots of the stage from the very beginning of building it up through the concert till the very end of tearing it down after the show. It’s just fabulous!

After the impressum and Anders’ nice words you see the list of people, teams and companies involved in the touring life of Roxette and then the contents show you which concerts were photographed and the titles of Per’s reflections. Then you bump into Mr. G’s preface, written in May 2016 to make it clear that the reflections were written before they gave up touring. When you read Per’s words ”they [the reflections] were created when Roxette was still a touring band”, you can’t help feeling the same way you felt on 18th April when you got to know they had to stop touring. Tears in the eyes and you hear in PG’s words how hard it is also for him. But we all respect Marie’s decision of course and she has full support of all in the band and among the fans as well. No question about it.

Knowing Per’s sense of humour you can be sure that there won’t be too many tears on further pages of the book, but with his #1 reflection he still won’t let your tears dry up. You’ll experience it when you hold the book in your hands and read it.

The book continues with the list of gigs on the XXX tour. All shows from the tour start in October 2014 in Russia until the last Roxette show ever, 8th February 2016, Cape Town, South Africa. Suddenly, the cancelled show in Mainz, Germany is not on the list anymore, no matter how many T-shirts were produced, haha, but the corporate gig in September 2015, Warsaw, Poland is there. Strange to include it.

The first photos are from the band’s rehearsal in January 2015, before the New Zealand – Australia tour leg started and the last shots are from July 2015, Sweden, from the last Swedish show in Rättvik. It’s no exaggeration that you really get an all access pass with this book. You see places you have never seen before and become part of moments you would have never dreamed about being part of. Anders got access literally to everywhere. To the backstage, dressing rooms, gyms, buses, airports, hotels, ceilings, front rows, pool sides, stages, e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e.! Being the fantastic photographer he is, he managed to capture the essence of Roxette very well with his camera. Anders has great eyes to see the band how we, Roxers see them. His shots show Marie and Per and the whole gang how they are. The photos truly reflect the down-to-earth band we love. All pictures show you the groovy mood related to the shows, but also the tiredness of travelling and waiting in between. The pictures are so dynamic that you would love to sing-along to Marie’s, Dea’s and Christoffer’s get together backstage and you would start dancing seeing the band on stage, playing 100% live, or you would even join the crew in building up the stage before the concerts. It’s absolutely awesome!

Besides all the above mentioned, you have some more tiny details in the photos, like Marie does have socks and even Pelle runs around barefoot. Haha. You see pics from different camera angles, close-ups and distance shots, tons of photos of Marie and Per (yeah, you get some bad hair day pics, too 😉 ), the band, the crew, the fans, venues, stages, studios, hotels and other strange places. Laundry, anyone? You flick through the book and over one page you start laughing, over another one you start aaaahing and then comes the aaaawing. Incredible!

What about the reflections? Per wrote 41 of them and each and every one of them is just adorable. You read a lot about him over the years and heard him talking about his thoughts in uncountable interviews. You would think he can’t tell anything new. Oh, yes he can! There are still some hidden thoughts and some of them are being shared in this beautiful book. As I mentioned before, he makes you ”cry” at the very beginning of the book, but then his sense of humour really shows up, as we got used to it. I won’t quote more from him, because I do think you should get the book and read all his reflections yourself to get to know more about his childhood and teenage years, how he step by step became who he is now, his paving the way to Planet Pop, his make-up, guitar and plectrum fetish, as well as what he wants to be in his next life. Haha. You will even get to know what Per’s biggest regret is. I tell you, this guy is hilarious! Besides all this, of course you get to know more about Roxette’s touring life, how the band works and worked before, Marie’s virtues at the studio and live and no, you can’t have any longer texts from Per without lyrics references. We like that!

How Per talks about Marie, the band, BoJo, the crew and the fans is always so heart-warming. I actually burst out laughing at his Roxette band bucket list and how he describes BoJo’s tasks. You’ll find some great words about everyone and you feel how much he appreciates the people around him. Let me quote him about the fans:

We’re used to having ”The Roxers” close to the stage all the time. I guess we’re spoiled by our adorable fans. … Roxette has got some of the most active, kind and generous fans imaginable. So many people all around the world have followed us through thick and thin over the years and it’s impossible to exaggerate the value of their love and support. What would we do without you? Let’s take a bow.

You must love him!

The book’s 41st reflection is a conclusion. Per makes it sound so simple. To get to know what he makes sound so simple, you have to get the book for yourself. But not only because of that. It’s really a must have book in a Roxer’s collection. You will all love each and every photo in it and all the reflections as well. If you attended any of the concerts Anders took photos at, you will probably find yourself in the book. Either in the crowd in front of Marie and Per or on a separate picture. The book makes you feel we are indeed a big Rox family. Marie, Per, their families, the band, the crew and we, Roxers. And we all love being part of this family, don’t we?

In case you want to have the standard book, get your copy at one of these sites: Ginza, Adlibris, Bokus, Amazon. There might be more selling points in the future. If you are interested in the limited edition book (300 copies), wait for some more info about where to get it. So far Bokus listed it.

ROTR_1  ROTR_2

All pics by Anders Roos.

 

It just happens – a review

Roxette just released a new siIt Just Happensngle, “It Just Happens”, and we felt we had to write some words about the song. The release was very much anticipated by fans all over. To celebrate the release many fans decided to change their profile picture to a butterfly, sweet, isn’t it? Another surprise of the day: It Just Happens was #1 on iTunes Argentina today! All very exciting, it all just puts a big smile on your face.

And now let’s get to the single:

Judith: Some people say it happened with some Roxette songs in the past, that they had to listen to them a few times to really appreciate them and kinda fall in love with them. It happened to me this time around.

It wasn’t until I listened to the song totally focused, meaning with my high-quality ear phones, and concentrated on all the details and the lyrics that it went boom! It was the part with “It just happens / you don’t know what’s going on / if it’s new or if it’s been there since long / if it’s right or wrong / you fall in love” that gave me goose bumps and brought me back to some very special events in my life. For example, when I fell in love with my big love, or even back to the time when I listened to “The Look” for the first time in 1989. It just happens.

I hadn’t thought about the fact that sometimes it takes a few listenings to appreciate a song. I then started to think and realised it wasn’t the first time that I needed a few listenings to realise the depth and awesomeness of a song. I remembered it was the same with “Sleeping In My Car”. It was quite a different sound to Joyride or Tourism and I had to listen to it a few times till it captured me. Or “A Thing About You” to mention another example. And then I just realised this is one of the things that fascinates me about Roxette. Even though they stay true to their Roxette sound, there is always some new component in their music. And there is always the attention to perfection and those (what I call) playful sounds and details here and there that you only hear when you mindfully listen to the song a few times. And it is always the combination of music, lyrics, voices and those playful details that makes it magical.

Have you noticed that in choruses Per usually slightly changes the lyrics? (“Don’t underestimate, your heart is never late vs your heart can never wait) Or the way they pronounce/sing certain words? (the first “it just happens”, “just yesterday”) Or those little hidden sounds or clappings or drum beats that just happen once but that you know perfectly when they are in the song and are anticipating them? (one keyboard sound after the second “don’t undererstimate” in the chorus is not there in the first chorus, it sounds only again after “your heart can never wait”)…This is Roxette!! And Marie’s voice is amazing on this one!

Of course, the song reminds me of many other songs, and the more I listen to it, the more connections I find to other songs. That is the essence of Roxette. Typical Roxette with a touch of new.

A great appetiser for the upcoming album “Good Karma” on June 3rd!

Kirsten: Before I had heard the song for the first time, a friend already had sent me a message via WhatsApp telling me what she thinks about it – and I think it’s a bad way to be introduced to a song/film/album whatever by another one’s opinion. Especially when it isn’t the best.

I must add that I am really trying hard not to expect anything anymore Roxette-wise. The Travelling album has its gems, same goes for Charm School, but they aren’t my favourite Roxette albums. On the other hand I want Per and Marie of course to do and record what they want, what they feel up to – it’s what I am curious about. How do they sound, what do they want to tell me?

Another not so good thing was that I had read on The Daily Roxette that Per rated the song as a “power ballad” which was sung by Marie. So, when I listened to “It just happens” for the first time, I was of course disappointed twice, because his words had made expect me something – which I really tried to prevent hard. 1.) This isn’t a power ballad (to me), 2.) It is not sung by Marie. When I hear power ballad and “sung by Marie” I have songs like LTYH, IMHBL or SMT in my head – immediately. I can’t help it; it’s what I grew up with.

So, my first listening didn’t make me feel like 12 again. It was an “ok” song with “ok” lyrics. But nothing that blew my mind.

When I posted my opinion on my Facebook page, some other fans and I started to discuss the song very intensely (that’s what I love about this fandom, btw) and came to a funny conclusion. Somehow, “It just happens” sounded like a Coldplay song to us, “Paradise”, in this case. But since “Paradise” totally reminded me of “Wish I could fly” all I could write was: “Roxette sound like Coldplay who sound like Roxette” which basically means that Roxette sounds like Roxette. That’s the way it should be, right?

And the comparison to WICF isn’t the worst. But after three listenings, I thought that it sounds more like LTYH. So, when Marie starts to sing “It just happens… you fall in love” you could also easily sing “Listen to your heart… when he’s calling for you”.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind artists stealing from themselves. Every singer/songwriter does it often. I don’t care. I just noticed it. And in the end I want them to sound like themselves, this only works when they stay true to themselves.

About the song: I love the sound, it is powerful, it is full, I love the instruments, the arrangements, it sounds very modern and updated. Thanks for finally turning away from the 60’s George Harrison sound. I loved it for the time being, but we really had enough of it!

What confused me from the very first time I heard it was the structure. I couldn’t get my head around it and I still don’t. It seems that the highlight of the song isn’t at the end, but in the first third. There is no build-up. Have I ever heard something like this before? I don’t know. The middle 8 isn’t the introduction to a great outro with even more instruments or another strong chorus. It actually gets quieter towards the end and this surprises me every time I hear it.

I like the lyrics and we all know why they are kept “easy”. I love both vocals, even though I had not expected Per to sing at all. I would have loved it even more if we had gotten a bit more from Marie in the verses (but that’s just me, because I think that both voices fit together like paper and glue, fire and wood.. you get the idea..).

I don’t know anything about the music business or the reception of a new song, but I always find that it’s hard to sell a song that doesn’t work from the first second at the first listening on. Something must set free in the listeners’ brain or soul.. if it doesn’t happen, they will never buy the song. I don’t know about “It just happens”. Maybe it’s a classical radio song that needs a lot of airplay to climb the charts. “She’s got nothing on (but the radio)” did it and this was a song I really only loved when I heard it live for the first time. Man, live this was a killer!

And I really would love to hear “It just happens” live, too. Just because Roxette are one of the best live bands at the moment. They simply rock and some of this rock couldn’t hurt their songs either.

So, long text… all in all I think it’s a good song with a catchy melody. For me, the last single that really flashed me was “Wish I could fly” and “It just happens” doesn’t change it. (But I didn’t expect that anyway. Just keep on singing together, Per and Marie!).

Roxette Diaries – a review!

roxette_diaries
Photo: Nico Radoi

Today was the day – time to watch the Roxette diaries. Yes, the film is out for a while now, but I didn’t bother to watch it any earlier since I had ordered the wrong version without English subtitles and I really didn’t want to watch it without them. Waking up today I decided to give it a try. My Swedish is not the best, but I learned enough from Per, Marie and Kent that I can at least read it very good. So I switched on the Swedish subtitles and the fun began.

It took me two and a half minutes to get into tour mood again. There are two simple reasons for me: There’s a very special energy between Per and Marie in the beginning and it lasts until 1993, I think. It feels very special to watch both of them interact. You can feel in every scene how much fun they had in the 80’s and in the early 90’s. They just did what they know best: music. And they had fun together, all of them. And this is maybe what most fans search or long for the most: They want to be sure that their favourite band is nothing but a big family, having fun together, on and off stage, create great music and conquer the world. Yes – this movie transports this feeling very well. At least the first hour. The whole band is just easygoing, lighthearted, happy, untroubled. My heart leapt watching this! And I remembered how much I love them – and we have a silver wedding this year. It’s been 25 years of unconditional love of my part this year. Can this be called the love of my life then?

The second reason why I suddenly can’t wait for June to roll on: I suddenly remembered that they still have an awful lot to give. They are not finished yet. Seven years have been stolen off them. Seven years of nothingness and yet seven years time to heal a strained friendship. I need to see more of this healed relationship between them. It has never been nicer to watch them on stage together.

And what I implied here I honestly mean: While in the beginning Marie and Per seem to be a unit, they certainly are no longer from 1993 on. Of course, this can be due to the cutting of the film, but did anyone else notice that Marie is almost not to be seen in the last 30 minutes of the film?

There’s one scene at the end where someone asks (is it Per?): “Where is Marie?” right before a performance. Yes, folks, I wondered the same. Where was she? And someone else in the film replies: “Ingen aning.” No idea. I had no clue either.

What we all knew to be true suddenly becomes real – yes, their friendship turned from friendship to business somewhen between 1992 and 1993. There’s no way to deny it. There’s no more fun around. And this is the shocking part of the diaries: Interviews, travelling, TV shows, promotion, concerts – there’s a 90 minute development of wearout to witness. It almost broke my heart to watch this. Smiles got less, fun got less, friendship almost not detectable.

But thinking about the recent years they gave to us, I can only say: We are the luckiest fans in the world. I don’t know how they did it, maybe it’s just the happiness, the gratefulness to have survived this bad illness Marie had, but they certainly overcame their problems and enjoy their time together again. And it’s something different now, when Marie isn’t doing interviews or doing all the other promo crap stuff that comes with being a pop star. We all do understand it and maybe we even understand it more when we know now what it did to them in the early 90’s.

Yet, this is a brilliant movie and my only criticism would be that there were too many concert parts at the end. I would have loved to see more of the Tourism and Crash!Boom!Bang! recordings. Maybe we get to see the rest of it soon. Per’s “soon” would suffice here, though. And I would also love to see the 2009-2016 footage. You know why – just to get me in the tour mood again and again and make me fall in love with them again and again. Nothing and nobody compares to Marie and Per.