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 agai 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 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 crowds 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 what about a bit ore 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 starting 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 on the 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

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.

 

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

 

 

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

 

En vacker RoxBlog interview with Per Gessle

After Per Gessle’s new album, ”En vacker natt” was released, several questions popped up in my mind. I was reading and watching all the interviews with him, but many questions had no answers in any of them. So it was obvious there is a need for a RoxetteBlog interview and so I put all the Qs together and sent them in hope for answers.

We all know that Mr. G is faster than a shot from a gun, but while he is in the middle of a signing session tour, doing a lot of promo stuff and other interviews, you would think it would take much more time than just 2-3 days to have the answers. Not in his case! Yesterday I had the chance to meet him in Malmö and his answers were sent back to me before the signing session started. I was already prepared to ask him not be ”angry” with me because of those many Qs, but this way it was far much better. I could thank him in person! I told him I didn’t expect him to send the answers back so fast. He said it’s incredible that there are many interviews with him, but there are still this many Qs that weren’t asked by others. I told him I thought he might have felt tortured because of this. He said no, no. It’s a long interview, but he had a long flight and at least he had something to do while flying, so all fine. You must love him!

When you will read on, you might get the feeling that the long flight was coming to an end fast towards the last questions, related to the tour. On the other hand, all ”could be”-s sound rather ”yes” or ”partly yes” in my ears. Or… let’s see what happens! 😉

I’d like to thank D&D Management for their cooperation and of course, thanx a million to Mr. G for the answers. Very much appreciated!

So, now to the interview. Besides all the detailed info about the new album and the recording sessions, you will find out what Per thinks about Roxette’s future and you’ll have some hints regarding the upcoming tour as well. You’ll even read about a y.u.m.m.y. surprise release for the first time here! What can I say? Mahi Nana! Enjoy!

Patrícia Peres: – Hej Per! First of all, thank you very much in advance for taking your time to answer all nerdish Qs coming here! In each interview and in your posts it shines through that the ”En vacker…” project is a love project for you. How does it feel that you get so much positive feedback on the first album?

Per Gessle: – Hello Patricia, hope you’re doing fine. As always I’m very flattered that people are connecting in a positive way to my songs. You can never take that for granted. As you know, it’s been ten years since I did a Swedish solo album and so many things have changed. Not only in the ”real world” but also in the music industry. It can be really hard for artists my age to cut through the enormous amount of music and information that surrounds us. It’s pretty competitive out there. But I’ve been lucky this time. Hopefully the album will grow organically, more and more people will hear it and eventually it will be a part of their lives just like Mazarin became in 2003. That would be lovely.  And I’m really proud of the records.

PP: – There were no leaks, everything seemed to be in order regarding the release and there is much promo around the album. It’s a perfectly organized release. Do you think so too?

PG: – Yes, it’s all been handled beautifully by Her Majesty Queen Marie Dimberg together with her sausage dog Harry + Josef Hermansson and Lotta Eriksson at Space Station 12 together with media mastermind Liza Berthelsen together with Sanken, Sebastian and Johanna at BMG together with Bosse-the-radioguru together with the distribution folks at Sony. So many people are involved in this release and they’re all bringing positive energy to the project. I’m a lucky guy.

PP: – The albums are released on Space Station 12 in cooperation with Sony / BMG. What is the role of SS12 and what is that of Sony / BMG?

PG: – SS12 is the home office, BMG is handling marketing and Sony is responsible for physical products, like CDs and LPs.

PP: – The first album’s title is ”En vacker natt”, then there is the summer tour, ”En vacker kväll” and in September comes the second album, ”En vacker dag”. Is it intentional that the timeline is in reverse order (instead of dag -> kväll -> natt)?

PG: – Yes, when we were mixing the records I decided that was the only way to go. Backwards. I have this song ”En vacker dag” which opens the second album and since I wanted it on album nr 2 that dictated the titles of the two records.

PP: – Does the first album contain more ”night” songs and the second more ”day” songs? Or how did you decide which songs to put on which album?

PG: – Well, there are no big differences between the albums. They basically got the same vibe. They’re all from the same sessions. Same coffee machine. As always I’ve tried to make running orders that make each album as strong and vibrant as possible and also ”easy” to get into and listen to. The tempos and keys have to be right etc.

PP: – We know you see songs in colors. Can you tell what color the album has in your mind? Does the ”color coding” in the booklet mean the color of the songs?

PG: – No, the colour coding in the booklets was done by Pär Wickholm. He did an excellent job. He’s really talented. For me the album contains lots of nuances from the 60’s and 70’s, beautiful shades, not too bright. Just like the pictures on the albums. Or like old polaroids. It’s getting pretty sentimental here and there.

PP: – The album is quite melancholic. Could you tell us which song in music history you think is the most melancholic?

PG: – Oh, there are so many songs that mesmerize you and make you slow down a bit. ”Duncan” by Paul Simon. ”Let the wind carry me” by Joni Mitchell. ”Bird on a wire” by Leonard Cohen. ”Sweetheart like you” by Bob Dylan. ”Pancho and Lefty” by Townes van Zandt. Songs that change your life forever. Powerful stuff.

PP: – You listen to the songs uncountable times during the recording, mixing etc. phases. How does it work after everything is done and the album is ready to be released and you have to say a final OK? Do you listen to the album from A to Z? In what circumstances? How did it happen with ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – For these particular records I had the running orders pretty much in place before we began to mix so we decided to start mixing song nr 1 (Min plats) and go from there. But with every mix the big picture altered a bit and in the end you have made quite a lot of changes. Sometimes songs get a different vibe in the mix. You remember it to have a certain attitude or feel but maybe it doesn’t when you’re done with it! Maybe it feels short. Or too long. It’s all about the emotion. Since I still think in terms of ”albums” it’s important for me to find the perfect spot for every track so they ”help” and assist each other. For instance, I didn’t want ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” too early on the first album since I want to give the listener four or five songs before the first classic ”pop song” occurs.

PP: – When we interviewed you after Roxette’s ”Good Karma” release, you said you think 40 minutes is a perfect length for an album. Now we got a 32-minute-long record. What’s the case with this length?

PG: – Well, there were two options. To release one album that was 64-65 minutes long or to split everything in two parts. Personally, I think an hours worth of music at once is much too much so the choice was pretty obvious.

PP: – The opening song, ”Min plats” sets the tone of the album and you say without ”Allt gick så fort” this project wouldn’t have come alive at all. Then it’s surprising a bit that the first single is not one of these 2 songs you seem to find the most important on the album, but a third one. How has ”Småstadsprat” become a single?

PG: – I told my partners-in-crime I’m not really that interested in releasing singles at all. However if they (SS12+BMG) prefer any of the songs as a ”teaser” for the album I’m open to anything. The duet with LW made sense since it was a very media-friendly choice for Sweden and Norway. Everyone got curious. And it’s a good song, I love it. But then again, I love them all!! This is not a project built on hit singles, this needs more attention than that.

PP: – The single was released digitally only and there were some promo singles issued. Why no physical release? It’s not too collector-friendly.

PG: – I know. However, there will most likely be a physical release of ”Småstadsprat” in a couple of weeks. We should have done that to begin with. Our mistake. You live and learn.

PP: – Anyway, collectors are crazy to pay an unbelievable amount of money for this promo single on Tradera. It’s sold for much more than your Peter Pop and the Helicopters single. How about that?

PG: – People are crazy. But you have to love the kings and queens of Nerdom.

PP: – You mentioned in interviews that there is no radio bomb on the album. But Swedish radio seems to play ”Småstadsprat” heavily. How does it feel?

PG: – Well, I’m very happy about this of course. I didn’t expect that at all. Maybe it’s because it stands out. Nothing on commercial radio sounds like ”Småstadsprat”.

PP: – Will there be a 2nd single off the album? If yes, can we get to know which song it is?

PG: – Yes, there will be another one and it will most likely be ”Tittar på dej när du dansar”. It’s got a great summer vibe to it, don’t you think?

PP (& Kiwein): – After listening to the album so many times, it feels that it could easily be used as a soundtrack to a movie. Are there any soundtrack plans in sight?

PG: – No, but I would love that. I would start working on it within the hour! Let’s tune the guitar!

PP: – Which song do you think has the best title on ”En vacker natt”? Which one do you think makes one curious about the album?

PG: – Titles are very important to me. It’s the first impression you get from a song. I like all of them. They make me interested and curious. ”Några glas rosé” was a title I had played around with for a while. I love that one.

PP: – Now in the digital era, in the times of streaming, it’s known that more than one third of the listeners skip a song after 30 seconds on Spotify. From this point of view, which song would you suggest to start listening to, so that the listener gets to know what the album is about and maybe decides not to skip?

PG: – You’re right and it’s totally stupid and silly and mindblowing when you think about it. I don’t want to play that game. This is not music for that type of restless audience. The whole idea with these two albums is that you have to give them time and get into the vibe and let yourself be seduced by this particular musical universe. I think you should start with ”Min plats” where you get eight seconds of waves and seagulls as a bonus!

PP: – When you start singing on ”Enkel resa”, one immediately has the feeling that he/she could sing along, because the lyrics sound familiar. Then we realize it’s a bit of ”Blåa jeans (och röda läppar)”. Haha. I love your recycling habit and the way you do that! How did these lyrics came into sight for this project?

PG: – I re-wrote that lyric from 1982 so it fit MP’s chords that eventually became ”Enkel resa”. I’ve always liked some parts of the words and the quotation-style but not until now have they made sense to me. Something was missing and I finally grabbed it. Probably thanks to MP’s weird chord progression.

PP: – One could sense it and in your ”song by song comments” you confirmed that ”Första pris” and ”Far Too Close” were originally written for Roxette. When did you write them, for which Roxette album?

PG: – Both were written for ”Good Karma” but we never worked on them for several reasons. The ”original” version of ”Första pris” is called ”The Finest Prize”.

PP: – How much did you change the lyrics of ”Första pris” when you decided to do it in Swedish? Have you recorded an English demo to it?

PG: – I tried to capture the same lyrical idea about a woman and a man living in their own universe. Content and strangely unaffected by life’s rewards. Yes, there are several English demos recorded.  Tits & Ass have been on fire with this one!

PP: – Talking about Roxette, we are happy that you mention in interviews that Marie is fine. Good to have some news about her every now and then. In interviews you say that the touring period with Roxette is 100% over, which we have known since April 2016, but you also mention here and there that you don’t think you will record together again. Why do you think it won’t happen in the future?

PG: – I don’t think it will happen because of Marie’s situation. She can’t really be involved in the process of making Roxette records anymore and without her taking a major part it’s no point for me to make those recordings. Roxette is the two of us working together, not me, Chris & Clarence making records with Marie just singing on them.

PP: – Back to the album and the songs, you said it took only 20 minutes to record Savannah Church on ”Far Too Close”, because she was singing so well. Which song took the most time to record and why?

PG: – Everything went really fast. The only song that was a little tricky was ”Några glas rosé” since it doesn’t have any obvious chorus and five verses. There’s always a chance you’ll find it tiresome and long when you have a song structure like that. But we managed to work it out, making a key change for the violin solo and edit the ending section of the song. The original recording was much longer.

PP: – Mahi Nana is the new Sha la la! ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” is probably the most liked ”En vacker natt” song by those who have always been a Per Up-(or at least Mid-)tempo Gessle fan. Sha la la and Na Na Na Na Na are well-known singing phrases, but Mahi Nana is a bit like Inganakee leo yo. One starts wondering, how does such an expression come to your mind?

PG: – On the T&A-demo I’m actually singing ”na na na na…” but in the studio I suggested that Helena-The-Wizard should sing something else so I came up with ”Mahi Nana”. It sounded weird and catchy at the same time. I googled it and I found someone somewhere with that name but I thought that was kind of nice. Glad you like it!

PP: – Which ”En vacker natt” song had the strangest or funniest working title?

PG: – I don’t do working-titles that often. But ”Tittar på dej när du dansar” was called ”Kärlek låter så här” and „Mahi Nana” for a couple of hours…

PP: – You often say you’ve been lucky enough to work together with people who you get on well with and can learn from, even musically. What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned during the Nashville project?

PG: – I was reminded of how much fun it is to play ”real” instruments together. I’ve spent so many years programming in the studio so this was a blessing just to sit down and play together. That’s where I come from and it was really refreshing to experience again.

PP: – What was the biggest compliment you got from the musicians in Nashville?

PG: – Oh, I was really flattered that they liked the songs so much. I wasn’t expecting that at all. I thought they all would come in and ”do their job” like any sessionplayer. But they told me they found my music special and beautiful and that they never played on anything like it before. That made me smile and grab another donut!

PP: – You had the chance to use Roy Orbison’s guitars on the album. It must have felt amazing. What do you think, which song Roy Orbison would like the most on ”En vacker natt”?

PG: – Oh, he could have done a wonderful version of ”Far Too Close”.

PP: – Your mom, sister and brother have passed away during the past 3 years. Does this Nashville project make it easier for you to process the loss?

PG: – Hard to say. Life goes on, doesn’t it? But, of course, you change a bit as a person when your family disappears. I’m sure I’ve changed too. I don’t know in what way but I’m sure it has happened. That’s what life does to you.

PP (& Tomasz): – ”En vacker natt” is dedicated to your sister, ”En vacker dag” to your mother. Knowing your brother introduced you to the music world, it’s a bit surprising he is not mentioned next to your sister maybe. Or are these albums more like ”dedication to women”?

PG: – No, the second album is dedicated to both my mother and my brother.

PP: – In one of the interviews you mentioned that your mother sang a lot. Did she have a nice voice? Did it ever happen that you sang together?

PG: – She had a nice voice but she always sang silly songs. Just like parents do. And no, we never really sang together.

PP: – Which is the song Åsa likes the most on the album?

PG: – Oh, I don’t know. She seems to like all of them, she plays it all the time on her iPhone and in her car.

PP: – Now you are in the middle of a signing session tour, which came a bit as a surprise to us, as you already signed 3600 CDs for those who pre-ordered the album. It’s now harder to buy an unsigned ”En vacker natt” CD than a signed one. Haha. Why did you decide to go on a 1-month-long tour with 14 stops?

PG: – I think it’s quite nice to meet all those people that are interested in what I do. And also, I think it’s a good idea to support the physical format a bit. Here in Sweden Spotify and the streaming services have got 94% of the market so someone like me should wave the flag for the LP and the CD a bit since it’s my preferred choice of presenting music. And yes, I think we’ve shipped around 20.000 physical records and I’ve signed just over 4000 of them. Phew! Could be worse. Could be that nobody was interested!

PP: – When it turned out, many fans decided on meeting you on this little tour. People come to Sweden from several countries to get their signed copies directly from you. How does it feel?

PG: – Lovely. You’ve all spoiled me!

PP: – And after all the signings, how is your hand doing? Can you still play the guitar without any problems?

PG: – Of course, the in-stores are like going to the gym for the hand!

PP: – Will there be a signing session tour in autumn too, when the second album, ”En vacker dag” is out?

PG: – I don’t know. Time will tell. It all depends on how the summer tour feels and the common reaction to the second one.

PP: – Oh and not to forget about the vinyl! Bengans informed the ”En vacker natt” vinyl had been delayed. It almost didn’t make it to the shops until the signing session started. Not the limited edition though. It’s still not on stock. What’s the problem with the vinyl production this time?

PG: – I don’t know. I think nobody expected this kind of interest in my LP. A first batch of vinyl has arrived now but the red vinyl is still a couple of weeks down the road.  It’s a shame but the good thing is that it looks (and feels) FAB!!!

PP: – The tour is getting closer and closer! I have to mention that we are grateful that the complete tour schedule was shared at once (except for the 2 concerts in Finland that were added later, in February). It makes a fan’s life a lot easier, because this way we can start planning early and add as many shows to our to-attend list as we can. So thank you very much for that!

Will you keep the tradition of having a pre-tour show at Leif’s? If yes, is there an exact date set yet?

PG: – Could be….

PP: – Our polls show it won’t be easy for you to put a setlist together. And mixing your 3 careers makes it even tougher. When do you start rehearsing? Will you have a separate session with the new band members?

PG: – We start rehearsing in June. I’m gonna decide what to play in a couple of days. It’s tricky. But lots of fun.

PP: – How Ola Gustafsson, Malin My-Wall and Andreas Dahlbäck came into sight? Did you know them before or someone suggested them to you?

PG: – No, I didn’t know them but had heard of them. I was looking for certain players and these three were my first choices. They’re amazing all of them.

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….

PP: – Can we expect any surprise guests on tour? Besides a maybe obvious Lars Winnerbäck.

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Your support acts will be the amazing Good Harvest and Strandels. Why exactly them? Will both acts play before all your shows or will there be concerts where only one of them will play?

PG: – Both of them are great. I think they will be there every night. Hope so.

PP: – Is Micke N-S working hard on your new guitar picks yet?

PG: – Could be…

PP: – Gyllene Tider is rumored to go on tour next year. We hope it will happen. A 40th anniversary is worth celebrating! So this summer there won’t be many GT songs on tour or …?

PG: – Hmmm….

PP: – Talking about a 40th anniversary, will you see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on their 40th anniversary tour?

PG: – No plans yet.

PP: – Thank you very much for your time and see you on tour! Awesome that you keep us busy all year in 2017!

PG: – My pleasure. And don’t forget that a Mazarin vinyl-LP will be out just in time for the tour. I couldn’t resist…

 

Per Gessle – En vacker signing session in Malmö

Per Gessle is in the middle of his signing session tour and today he had 2 stops on his list. First he signed his new album, En vacker natt in Hässleholm (from 12:30 according to the schedule, but he was there already before 12:00). HERE you can read about that session (Hässleholm) and see a short video of the signing session.

The next stop was Malmö. Per was scheduled to be there from 16:00 to 18:00, but he arrived already at 15:15. He entered Folk å Rock in great mood. Met the organizers and disappeared upstairs. Olle Berggren, the journalist who interviewed Per, came also well before 16:00. They probably discussed how things would be on stage from 16:00. The stage was rearranged in the meantime to have 2 seats for Per and Olle and a table with water and a rose. Lovely. 2 microphones were set, the ones you have to hold in your hands. The whole interview can be watched HERE! Starts blurry, but it gets better after some seconds.

For those who can’t speak Swedish, here is an English summary of what they were talking about. Olle Berggren welcomed the Swedish King of Pop, Son of a Plumber and they started chatting about Nashville. First about the hat that appears on some pictures in the booklet of ”En vacker natt”. Per says it was Anton Corbijn who took the pictures and they went in a hat shop and they just bought it. Hats can be different, like there are the ones Clarence Öfwerman is wearing, but this type of hat fits country more. Olle asks if Per will wear a hat on tour too, probably not.

Olle asks why Per decided to record in Nashville. Per tells the first thing they were thinking about was leaving Skåne (which sounded funny, given that Malmö is also in Skåne) after he spent 420 days in Vallarum in Christoffer’s studio during the past 10 years. It sounded crazy, so they thought they should do the recordings somewhere else this time. They thought about France and England, but then suddenly Nashville came in sight and they thought shit, they have to record there. There is a natural fusion between Halmstad and Nashville.

Per says his old albums contain a certain country sound too. The old Neil Young style or Lee Hazelwood. They talk about Per’s album from 1983 that it already had this American style. Then the discussion goes on about pedal steel that it’s also not a new thing in Per’s life. They even used it on Roxette tours. This time pedal steel came in when they were in Nashville and started working with local musicians. He played the guitar and sang, but then there was the idea that pedal steel could be used e.g. instead of keyboards or so. Olle asks if it was OK for Clarence. Per says yeah, he went to sit in the back and sleep. Haha. Per says Dan Dugmore, who plays the pedal steel, is fantastic. Stuart Duncan plays the violin. Stuart worked together with Alison Krauss and Robert Plant. When Stuart played, they thought they should skip the guitars and use the violin instead. So instead of guitars and keyboards it became pedal steel and violin. It makes a very big difference.

Talking about Alison Krauss, Olle says he heard Per wanted a duet with Alison. Per says he wished. His friend, who has an own record company said he could have Alison in the studio, but she is a bit tricky. So then they signed Savannah Church who sounds exactly like Alison Krauss. Olle says Savannah is very young. Per says yes, a bit younger than him, she is twenty-something. Olle says Savannah has a fantastic voice and they sounds very good together, like Per sounded so good with Marie together. Per says Marie was all the time fantastic. He says Savannah sang so clearly that they finished recording her part in 20 minutes. He asked Savannah if she ever sang false and Savannah couldn’t understand the question. Haha.

Regarding the tour, Per says he already met the band and designers and people ask about the setlist, what they will play on tour. But he has no clue yet. First he wanted the album to be released and now he has a band including a pedal steel player and a violin player. So there might be something like what we could hear on Skavlan, the live version of ”Småstadsprat”. They talk about Lars Winnerbäck. Olle asks who could replace him on tour when he is not there. Per jokes it could be Micke Syd.

Per says the whole album would be easy to play live. It’s very organic. Olle asks if there are any plans after the summer tour, besides releasing the autumn album. If a little club tour is in the plans maybe. Per says nothing is decided yet. He says it happens easily when you are on tour many times, you play your hits all the time and he has a huge hit catalogue. But he also has the need to try new things and that’s the easiest for him in the studio. Olle asks if Per writes songs also out of a project, being just inspired, without any project in sight, but Per says it doesn’t work for him. He likes deadlines.

Olle asks Per about Gyllene Tider’s 40th anniversary tour, if it happens next year. Per says nothing decided yet, but there are plans. Olle asks Per about the future, if he still sees an international career in his life. Per says he doesn’t know. He will go on writing both in Swedish and English. He tells Olle that for his own sake he has been zig-zagging among his 3 careers so far, doing something with Roxette, then with Gyllene Tider, then solo, to keep himself interested and also the crowds interested. Mainly in Sweden, which is a small country. People might get tired of you. As they say, how could we miss you when you won’t go away. So Olle thinks Per has plans to make an English album in the future. Per says could be. Olle says everyone knows when Per says could be, it means it will happen. Per says let’s see what happens, but he is always open to suggestions.

The last thoughts are on Per going back to Halmstad after the session and do another signing session tomorrow (in Ullared). He thanked for all and left the stage.

After the interview, the signing session started upstairs. It wasn’t too fan-friendly, since people had to be queueing on the stairs and had no chance to see Per until they got up to the top of the stairs. Per was standing behind a counter in a corner, which also made it difficult to take pictures with him for example. And the guy who organized the whole thing seemed to be more stressed than fans, as he was grabbing the stuff out of our hands to put them in front of Per, trying to make it faster. Oh well… Haha. I haven’t counted, but I think there were more than 100 people in the queue. Everyone got the autographs on whatever they wanted. En vacker natt CD, vinyl, older PG CDs, vinyls, books and even guitars. A guy from Germany came with 4 or 5 guitars to have them signed by Per. It was fun. Mr. G smiled all the time, he enjoyed the session and didn’t seem to be tired at all. Where does this guy gets the energy from? Haha. After the queue ran out of people, Per went into the office and probably signed some more stuff for the shop. He left the building at appr. 17:30.

It was a lovely session with the interview and the signing part, also a great meeting occasion for fans from Sweden and from abroad (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Italy, Hungary, The Netherlands, Denmark). Besides the fans, there was Sven Lindström at Folk å Rock. We could chat with him a bit too. I asked him about the Swedish Radio podcast, sequel of Gessles nio i topp which was to be out this spring. He said they have recorded everything, it’s under production now and it’s out in summer. And there is even more to come soon! Sounds exciting!

And what’s also exciting is that a RoxBlog interview with Mr. G is on the way! Probably out tomorrow. Stay tuned! 😉

   

Interview and signing session stills by Patrícia Peres.

En vacker kväll poll #7 – Party Crasher

After finally updating the website and moving it to a new server, we can go on with the polls. After this it will only be Per’s new album En Vacker Natt left, plus all the other projects. You can find the results of all polls so far on this special page.

Until then you may want to read all the amazing interviews Per has given the past weeks and that Patrícia has nicely summarised (thanks!!). Search in “Per Gessle” category to find all of them. And of course, keep on buying and listening to the new album!!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 01-05-2017 09:27:26
end_date 08-05-2017 09:30:00
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #7 - Party Crasher (2008)
Total Answers 409
Total Votes 180

Personal Per Gessle in Nashville style

This article contains the translation of the text that was sent out by TT Swedish news agency and was published in most Swedish newspapers yesterday and today. Metro’s article contained the most details and the most photos (fabulous pics by Jonas Ekströmer), so that’s why I chose to include that one here.

Per Gessle is back with new music in Swedish. The album “En vacker natt” is his most personal so far.

I wanted to do something where the lyrics and my voice were in focus, he says.

An announcement was made last year in spring that Roxette would say goodbye to big stages after the doctors advised Marie Fredriksson to stop touring. Suddenly, the pop group’s other half, Per Gessle, had much time left. He decided to record new music in Swedish, for the first time in ten years. Then it went fast.

It’s just the way I love to work. “Now we make a record on Tuesday, write five songs until then”, then I do it. But if you say “it’s going to be finished next spring”, then I’ll do something else until the last week, says Per Gessle.

Ended up in Nashville

“En vacker natt” and its sister album “En vacker dag”, coming in September, were recorded in Nashville. But there was really no deeper thought about it – apart from getting away from his partner in crime, Christoffer Lundquist’s diligently used studio, Aerosol Gray Machine in Skåne.

I saw a documentary about Nick Cave in which he was down in France in a damn cool studio, but I thought that place was a bit big. So we checked some smaller places in England, but then Nashville popped up and I thought, “that’s not that bad”. Even though I’m not a country nerd, there is automatically pretty much country stuff in my music.

The studio we booked in the Blackbird complex still seemed to be too big and offered too many facilities. Gessle and his gang switched to a smaller studio and in the evenings they walked home to a house they rented via Airbnb and shared their bathroom with a bunch of beetles.

“Too fussy”

Small and intimate, just like the music they recorded. Per Gessle sees “En vacker natt” as a cousin of his “Mazarin” album from 2003 – firmly spiced with fiddle and pedal steel.

I tried to make this record as a unit, and of course I had to pay a price for it – there is no radio bomb here. But I didn’t even want it, this will be something else. I’m conceited like everyone else and want everyone to think this is the best there is. But I also know that very many will find it too slow, too brittle or too fussy with the violin.

Per Gessle admits that his feelings before the album release are a little different from how it used to be.

It’s special everytime. But there has been many things happening now. There was an end with Roxette and there were a lot of family things happening around me while the whole Nashville project was a bit of a “happy accident”. It was such a boost, but it could as well have fallen flat.

Sentimental cover

With “family things” he means that he has suffered from several deaths in recent years. Last autumn Per Gessle’s sister, Gunilla passed away and when her son found a box of diapositives from the 1960s, he decided to dismiss the album cover photos already taken by Anton Corbijn.

“En vacker natt” has a picture of Gunilla and “En vacker dag” has a picture of mother Elisabeth, who passed away in 2013. These are Per Gessle’s first solo records where he is not visible on the cover.

Paradoxically, I think these are my most private and personal records. But after these pictures appeared, there was no reason to have me on the cover. These pictures set a feeling.

TT: Why do you think the music became personal and private?

I don’t know. As I said, I want to work fast and then just pour out what comes naturally. Sometimes it feels like the songs come by themselves. And many of these texts have just emerged, it’s nothing I’ve been looking for and thought out, it just fell down. Sometimes it feels like it has taken 58 years for them to arrive.

Photo captions:

Per Gessle releases two new albums this year. The first, “En vacker natt” will be released on April 28th. “It’s an acoustically affected album, recorded in Nashville”, he says.

After this year’s two albums and a tour, Per Gessle has no plans. “We’ll see, I have a partly new band and I feel it’s much fun to play with them, so maybe we have to do something more”, he says.

For Per Gessle, the order of songs and the album covers are still important. “Via the cover, you can reinforce what you want to present and it’s similarly important to present the songs in the right order so that you come right into the idea. It’s like an art exhibition or TV series or anything. If the pilot part is very good so you get curious”, he says.

The opening song on “En vacker natt” is “Min plats” – a song that sets the tone for the entire Nashville project. “There you get it all, the violin and pedal steel stuff, the ease, the summer feeling, the sentimentality and a little black in the middle of it all. If you like it, you want to go on”, says Per Gessle.

Facts: Per Gessle

Born 1959 in Halmstad. After his years in Gyllene Tider and Roxette, he is one of Sweden’s most successful artists and songwriters of all time.

Solo albums: “Per Gessle” (1983), “Scener” (1985), “The World According to Gessle” (1997), “Mazarin” (2003), “Son of a Plumber” (2005), “En händig man” (2007), “Party Crasher” (2008).

Roxette albums: “Pearls of Passion” (1986), “Look Sharp!” (1988), “Joyride” (1991), “Tourism” (1992), “Crash! Boom! Bang!” (1994), “Have a Nice Day” (1999), “Room Service” (2001), “Charm School” (2011), “Travelling” (2012), “Good Karma” (2016).

Gyllene Tider albums: “Gyllene Tider” (1980), “Moderna tider” (1981), “Puls” (1982), “The Heartland Café” (1984), “Finn 5 fel!” (2004), “Dags att tänka på refrängen” (2013).

Current: his new album, “En vacker natt” will be released on April 28th. The album contains duets with, among others, Lars Winnerbäck and Savanna Church. The sister album, “En vacker dag” is released in September and contains duets with Linnea Henriksson and John Holm. Goes on a big tour this summer.

Tour dates: 6/7 Helsingborg, 7/7 Oskarshamn, 8/7 Örebro, 13/7 Rättvik ,14/7 Töreboda, 15/7 Karlskrona, 21/7 Grebbestad, 22/7 Göteborg, 23/7 Fredrikstad, 27/7 Stockholm, 28/7 Östersund, 29/7 Piteå, 1/8 Borgholm, 2/8 Malmö, 3/8 Arvika, 11/8 Halmstad, 12/8 Linköping, 18/8 Uppsala, 19/8 Eskilstuna, 25/8 Vasa, 26/8 Borgå.

Per Gessle about…

… the album covers with his sister’s and mother’s pictures: “Anton Corbijn rang when I was in Nashville. He was in New Orleans and shooted Arcade Fire so he said ‘oh, are you there, can I get over and we’ll do a photo session? ‘. Of course, so I cancelled one day in the studio and then we did a photo session in Nashville milieu, it was perfect. His images were supposed to be on the covers, he shooted many of my other records. But then my sister died and her son found a box of diapositives from 1965-1966 or so. I was in some pictures and that was just before I got glasses. The quality of the pictures is so beautiful, those colors. So I told Anton that ‘sorry, there won’t be any covers this time’.”

… what he will play on the summer tour: “Yes, that’s a good question. I haven’t really decided yet. I have a partly new band with violin and pedal steel so there are endless possibilities to rearrange songs and maybe have some Roxette songs in this form. To arrange my solo songs in this way is not that hard, but it would be exciting to arrange for example “It Must Have Been Love” with a little violin. My ambition is to play songs from my whole song catalogue, if you say so. I’m getting old so there are quite a lot of songs.”

… making 2 short records instead of 1 long: “I had the options either to ‘kill my darlings’, remove four songs and let them become bonus tracks on Spotify, or make a double album – and that doesn’t really makes sense nowadays. Or, to do what I did, two albums with a little ‘space’ between them. If you like the first album, you will like the second. The only negative is that if I play something from the other album this summer, nobody has heard that music. But even conceptually, it’s damn exciting, because for example I can make two cool album covers. I really love that you can extend the idea of the music via the album cover and how it’s presented visually.”

Photo by Jonas Ekströmer / TT

 

En vacker kväll poll #6 – En händig man

We are more or less half-way with the polls. This week it’s “En händig man” – which turns 10 this year.

You can find the results of all polls so far on this special page.

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 04-04-2017 09:31:39
end_date 11-04-2017 09:30:00
Poll Results:
En vacker kväll poll #6 - En händig man (2007)
Total Answers 256
Total Votes 105

There are just two album polls left: Party Crasher and En vacker natt. The rest will be long polls for Gyllene Tider and Roxette material as well as demos and other songs not included in the rest.

In the meantime, one of the tour special guests, Good Harvest, released their debut album last week. Check this out to listen to or buy the album.

 

2 Per Gessle concerts in Finland are added

2 more dates are added to Per Gessle’s summer tour. Both dates are in Finland, at the end of August. This means the tour won’t end in Eskilstuna on 19th August and there will be a total of 21 concerts in the end. At least known at this point.

The 2 extra dates are Vasa 25th August (capacity of the stadium is 4000) and Borgå (Popkalaset festival) 26th August.

Tickets for Vasa go on sale on 9th February.

 

 

New exclusive photo book – RoXXXette On The Road

Roxette’s tour photo book we’ve been looking very much forward to is now already listed at Bokus and Adlibris. It will surely be available at other distributors as well, hopefully worldwide. So eXXXciting! Release date is 16th June.

RoXXXette On The RoadThe title is RoXXXette On The Road. According to Bokus and Adlibris, the book consists of 320 pages and it’s in English. It’s full of wonderful pics taken by master photographer Anders Roos on Roxette’s XXX tour and it also includes 41 reflections by our very own Per Gessle. The cover shows a photo of Marie and Per performing in front of a beautiful crowd on the steps at the Sydney Opera House in February 2015.

This is what Per said about the tour book project back then:

XXX ROXETTE WORLD TOUR BOOK info:

Yep, the plan is to have Anders Roos onboard in the studio, in green rooms, backstage, on stage, on trains, planes and in fast lanes just to document the real vibe around the Dynamic Duo and our fab entourage. Which we consider you to be part of!!!

Anders, as you might know, took the pix in the Gyllene Tider-book 2013. He’s a very nice guy, don’t be shy if you’ll spot him with his camera in the alleyways next to your seat! He might take your picture!

This is what the description of the book says, found on Bokus and Adlibris [translated from Swedish by PP]:

New exclusive photo book

”RoXXXette On The Road”

In the spring of 1986 a small hobby band was formed by two friends who had talked long enough about doing something together alongside their ordinary careers in Sweden.

30 years later, we follow the same band’s anniversary tour in the book “RoXXXette On The Road”, where Roxette’s songwriter engine Per Gessle adds his own reflections, flashbacks and anecdotes while photographer Anders Roos’s snapshots capture a global and apparently indestructible Swedish music phenomenon on tour.

The result is a unique opportunity to follow the group in the front row during their 30th anniversary celebration along with tens of thousands of fans night after night, both in Europe and on the other side of the globe.

The contrast to how it once started could hardly be greater. When Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessle recorded their debut single “Neverending Love” under the name Roxette, they had certainly set their sights on trying to reach out internationally, but in practice, they knew that the chances were slim.

Roxette started at a time when Swedish pop music rarely managed to get outside Scandinavia, with Abba as the biggest exception to the rule. At best, they might reach out to the Scandinavian countries and Germany, but hardly to trendsetting pop countries as England and the United States.

Music without borders

But Roxette became at least as big exception to the rule. With their global breakthrough in 1989, with their unprecedented success, the group registered themselves both in Swedish and international music history, while also paving the way for what in the ‘90s was called “the Swedish music miracle”.

But despite all the talented artists and songwriters who have come from Sweden since then, no one has managed to repeat Roxette’s success, especially considering that the band both on stage and records have managed to touch several generations all over the world with their music. It is simply because Roxette’s greatest songs – and here we are talking about more than 30 hits – know no borders.

Or as Per Gessle writes in the book:

“Roxette has always been a live band. I feel quite safe and psyched in the studio, but Marie is definitely born to be on stage. During our first recordings, I was always surprised when she agreed to do a second or third recording of the song. She preferred to put in all at once, as if she was on stage. Her vocals to “Dressed For Success” were basically recorded directly during one utterly brilliant recording. Like “Soul Deep”. And “Cry.” The list goes on and on.”

Join the trip

With nearly 300 images on as many pages “RoXXXette on the road” takes the reader on a tour to Australia, where Roxette among other places performed with the mighty Sydney Opera House as their background.

We get backstage passes that take us all the way from inside the airplane, into the dressing rooms during the preparations before the concerts and to the very front of the edge of the stage where the musicians are pumping out songs like “The Look”, “Listen To Your Heart”, “It Must Have Been Love” and “Joyride” in front of an ecstatic crowd.

Good Karma

Furthermore, we get unique insights from the recordings of Roxette’s tenth studio album, “Good Karma” in the isolated studio, “Aerosol Grey Machine” in Österlen, Skåne.

In short, “RoXXXette on the road” is the backstage pass you always wanted to have, either you belong to the global gang of dedicated “roxers” who follow the group around the world or just curious about how daily life might look for a band that 30 years ago decided to see how far they could get. Part of the answer is here.

 

Thank you!

roxette_in_drammen_02Roxette just announced that the upcoming summer tour has been cancelled.

Roxetteblog wants to send Marie Fredriksson a huge THANK YOU for all the great shows and many great tour memories.

If you feel up to joining us: We created a page where you can leave your messages for Marie.

The first ones will be delivered to Marie next week.

/ Roxette Blog Team (Kirsten, Patrícia, Sascha, Tomasz and Judith)

Roxette XXX Tour – Cape Town, South Africa (Grand Arena Grand West) – February 8 – #66

After yesterday’s sold out success in Cape Town, Roxette did another show in the city tonight. The difference in the set up was that now there was no standing area with golden circle possibility, but there were seats at the place where yesterday everyone was jumping and dancing without any disturbing chairs around. We hoped the crowd wouldn’t be distracted by the seats and do their best at the second Cape Town gig as well. Well, let’s say the energy ratio wasn’t equal on and off the stage. How can you sit still during How Do You Do!? Seats and security team are to blame again. With Joyride everyone was allowed to stand up and go closer to the stage and then the party was on, but the clapping and sing-alongs at least were loud and constant during the whole concert.

roxette_in_cape_town_2nd_night_pic_by_Marie_Sidorova
Pic by Marie Sidorova

In Cape Town one could see what a difference seats can make. One night party, one night relax. Not on stage though. The Rox gang was full of energy even if there was no day off after last night’s show. Marie was in top form, shining all night, rocking the audience with all the power in her voice. Per did his adorable circles, fab guitar fights with Chris and his trademark left leg stomping.

Mr. G after the show:

XXX GIG #68 CAPE TOWN DAY TWO. Oh yeah! Wonderful evening and a crowd that got going like nothing else after How Do You Do! Thanx everyone for making this South African tour a splendid memory for all of us. We love to perform here and hope to come back. You know that! Cheers! /P.
PS. Vids tomorrow.

With this the South African tour leg came to an end. 5 great concerts of which 2 were sold out. Not bad, huh? Next stop is Stars of Sounds festival in Murten, Switzerland on 3rd June. Or maybe not. Who knows how many dates will still be added to the 2016 European leg. Our May is completely empty, you know…

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17;

Videos
Instavids:
The Big L.
How Do You Do! teaser
How Do You Do!: 1; 2;
The Look
The bow and waving goodbye

Setlist

roxette_in_cape_town_2nd_night_pic_by_Johan_Breytenbach
Pic by Johan Breytenbach

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)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Roxette XXX Tour – Cape Town, South Africa (Grand Arena Grand West) – February 7 – #65

Cape Town. The city that was lucky enough one world tour earlier to welcome the band with 3 sold out shows in 2011 and a year later yet another gig was organized there. The first Cape Town show during the XXX tour got sold out already in October 2015, so an extra date had to be added as the last concert of the South African tour leg.

The venue had a standing area with a cozy golden circle, so after seeing what effect no seats had in Port Elizabeth, we expected at least the standing part of the crowd to party. And they did, already during the opening song! Then other uptempo songs made those who had tickets for the seated area stand up too and join the joyride. The sound of the arena wasn’t the best, it was too low at some parts of the venue. The crowd was loud and the sing-alongs turned out to be fantastic. People loved to hear the greatest Rox hits.

Marie’s performance was full of passion, Per’s energy was undescribable, the band was rocking, so all in all, Roxette put on yet another ass-kicking show.

Per after the Cape Town party:

XXX GIG #67 CAPE TOWN. Voila! Very nice indeed. Super crowd and a still going strong band having a field day at the Grand Arena in CT. Thanx everyone for showing up and making this yet another sold out + unbelievable Sunday evening for this humble band. Gig #2 in CT tomorrow. Cheers, P.

Roxette stays in the city for a Monday gig (8th February). The show will happen at the same venue.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 17; 18; 19;
Big Concerts (Desmond Louw’s photos): 1; 2; 3; 4;
Channel24 – Nardus Engelbrecht photos

Videos
Instavids:
Sleeping In My Car
Spending My Time
How Do You Do!: 1; 2;
It Must Have Been Love
Listen To Your Heart

Setlist

roxette_in_CapeTown_0207
Pic by marizavdw

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)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Roxette XXX Tour – Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium) – February 5 – #64

Port Elizabeth fans had to wait 21 years to see Roxette live again. It was an open air gig and the weather was predicted to be very windy, but it’s usual in PE, so even the stadium admins posted before the show ”come rain or shine the concert will go on”. There was nothing to worry about.

People brought their blankets and while waiting for the show to start they were sitting on the grass in the sun eating and drinking. By the time Watershed hit the stage it was already dark and it got colder.

Being cold, it was surprising that Marie didn’t have the heaters set up in front of her. She was wearing a warmer jacket, so hopefully, she wasn’t freezing that much. At least you wouldn’t tell by her performance, which was nothing else but brilliant again. Per’s wind blown hair was rocking just as much as he himself was. The band was on a high as well.

The crowd was far much better than at the last 2 shows. Blame it on the fact that there were no seats at all! Woohoo! People of course knew all the lyrics and were singing along during the whole concert. They were clapping hard and also swaying their hips and jumping frequently. Such a crowd gives even more energy to the band and they appreciate it.

Per’s long comment after the superb show:

XXX GIG #66 PORT ELIZABETH. Wow! Outdoors! A standing crowd, no chairs in sight! And soooooo many people (10.000? I don’t know…)! We haven’t played P.E. for 21 years and get a reception like this! What can we say? WOW!
Super enthusiastic crowd and a band in fine form made this something very special to remember! Thanx everyone for showing up and making us feel like the biggest band in the world! Once again! Love! /P.

Next stop is Cape Town on Sunday (7th February). The show is so sold out that another date had to be added for the day after at the same venue.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11;
Mark Andrews photos

Videos

It Must Have Been Love crowd sing-along

Instavids:
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride: 1; 2;
Listen To Your Heart

Setlist

roxette_in_port_elizabeth
Pic by Tiina Pitkänen

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)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

 

Roxette XXX Tour – Durban, South Africa (ICC Arena) – February 2 – #63

Yep, #63. You might be wondering why our numbers differ from what Mr. G gives the shows. It’s not that we have problems with Maths. It’s that we give numbers only to real XXX concerts, while Per also counts corporate gigs. There were 2 of them last year, so that’s why Johannesburg was #64 and Durban #65 for him. In the Tele2 corporate gig article we wrote more in details about it, so check it out, if you want to understand our point of view. We stick to our numbering system, so sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.

Now about the show in Durban, regardless the number it got. The arena wasn’t completely full, but it was quite packed with people representing all generations. It was again a seated event with some better looking chairs than those in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, the system was almost the same in Durban. The audience got stuck to their seats being hesitant about standing up. No, standing up at a Roxette gig is not dumb. Not at all! At least the magic uptempo hits got many people on their feet. Also, it can never go wrong with the clapping choreography in Dressed For Success. The crowd was in for fun this time as well and from Joyride on they didn’t sit down, but people were even more reserved than in Joburg. Hey guys and girls, after Joyride there are only 2 songs left… Next time start the party already at the first chord in Sleeping In My Car!

The show had its effect on the audience anyway. They loved the great sound, the fab lighting and what Roxette is about live: 100% live music + 120% energy (on stage). The whole band was rocking, Marie inspired the crowd with her voice, strength and presence and Per was bouncing around much, hitting the right strings, playing the correct chords. People lost their voices by the end of the concert and The Look was definitely a highlight. It’s still the best closing song, I would say.

Mr. Griesel’s thoughts after the show:

DURBAN UPDATE: Oh yea, a great evening with loads of ppl in a very hot and sweaty Durban. Lovely crowd and a very focused band made this night one to remember. We had a blast. Thanx everyone for showing up and singing along. Vids by Åsa coming up tomorrow. /P.

Next stop is Port Elizabeth on Friday (5th February). Let’s see what happens at a show-with-no-seats-around in South Africa! C’mon people, time to start partying! It’s only 3 gigs left in your country.

 

Articles and photos

Instagram: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;
Big Concerts photos: 1; 2; 3; 4; 5; 6;
Julian Carelsen Photography
Underground Press review
Jed Kenny Photography

Videos
Instavids:
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
Listen To Your Heart
The Look

Setlist

roxette_in_durban_pics_by_Big_Concerts
Pics (1, 2) by BIG Concerts

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)
Watercolours In The Rain / Paint
The Heart Shaped Sea
Fading Like A Flower
How Do You Do!
It Must Have Been Love
Dressed For Success
Dangerous
Joyride (intro: Suikerbossie)

Extra
Listen To Your Heart
The Look