He is Halmstad! – Per Gessle is awarded the cultural prize of Halmstad municipality

Halmstad municipality’s cultural prize 2023 goes to Per Gessle. This was decided by the cultural committee at its meeting on 30th November. A grateful Per Gessle says that he is especially happy to have inspired others to create music.

Halmstad Municipality’s cultural prize has been awarded since 1967. This year the prize sum is SEK 30,000 and 55 cultural actors were nominated by the public.

This time, the cultural committee chose to praise a super-famous songwriter and artist who has been of enormous importance to the municipality for more than half a century and is still relevant.

Per Gessle says:

Many thanks for this great prize. It has been a long journey for me in the wonderful world of music. In the ’60s in front of the gramophone. In the ’70s in front of the microphone and in the rehearsal studio. Then it got rolling. Extra lovely if I and all my collaborators have succeeded in inspiring and engaging other people to fantasize, create and be creative. Nice. Thank you so much.

The cultural committee’s justification:

Per Gessle is the recipient of the Cultural Prize 2023. The Culture Committee considers this musician to be equal to Halmstad. He started his career by entertaining and playing at nursing homes and hospitals in the municipality and has since contributed to making Halmstad a music metropolis. We don’t think there is anyone in the municipality or in the country who can’t hum at least one of Per Gessle’s songs. He is a cultural personality who created an incredible song catalogue, and lyrics that have the ability to evoke all emotions at once.

Per Gessle is one of Sweden’s most successful artists and songwriters. He started writing songs as a child, breaking through with Gyllene Tider from 1978 and continued the successes with the duo Roxette, formed in 1986.

At the moment, among other things, he is involved with a newly written book about Gyllene Tider, a film about the same band with a premiere in the summer of 2024, and a newly written musical based on Roxette’s songs that will be staged at Malmö Opera with a premiere in the fall of 2024.

Per Gessle has always been loyal to his home municipality and he has received a number of awards. Among other things, he became an honorary citizen of Halmstad Municipality in 2007.

Facts regarding Halmstad municipality’s cultural award:

  • The prize sum this year is SEK 30,000.
  • This year, 55 different cultural actors were nominated by the public.
  • The prize is awarded in December each year to a person, group or organization that is recognized for particularly valuable contributions in the field of culture. The prize winner must be active in the municipality of Halmstad or, through their activities, have or had a close connection to the municipality.
  • The culture award is one of three different awards and scholarships awarded by the cultural committee in Halmstad municipality.

Photo by Anders Roos

Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Halmstad – 8th July 2023 – #2

Last night the Golden Guys tried to top their Halmstad premiere with another Halmstad gig and my Gosh… they succeeded! If Halmstad 1 was amazing, Halmstad 2 was pure awesomeness! Premiere concerts tend to be fantastic, but there is the tension of that being the first show and then for the second gig, the tension is gone, they are all more relaxed and this makes the show even more enjoyable on and off stage.

As far as I know, Halmstad 2 wasn’t sold out, but it did feel that there were more people in the crowd than at the first gig, which was announced as sold-out. The Saturday crowd was even more active than the Friday audience. Loud sing-alongs all through!

Regarding the setlist, in a small group we were discussing if there would be any changes for the 2nd Halmstad show, since a tiny part of the crowd was the same as for the 1st show. Our guess was that the guys would change Chrissie, hur mår du? to Vandrar i ett sommarregn. We should play the lottery. Haha.

Support act Uno Svenningsson started his session at 8 pm. It was a great half an hour!

The GT show started with the cartoon on the LED wall, again at 21:15. This time we had the chance to watch it from beginning to start. Better this way. It’s a cool little cartoon!

As mentioned above, there was only one change in the setlist, so Gyllene Tider igen stayed as the show opener. They rocked it and the audience loved it!

This time Per left that white Hux Flux jacket behind, he appeared in the black Hux Flux outfit. Göran changed shirt vs. the premiere and Micke Syd also had a different T-shirt on and a denim jacket.

PG said hi to the audience and welcomed us at GT’s 8th summer tour and their 5th comeback tour. He asked if we had a good day, maybe at the beach. PG said they had a fantastic premiere the day before, but they try to top it. They opened the big jukebox with a lot of hits everyone knows.

Juni, juli, augusti was the first real sing-along song and the clapping along stayed for Det hjärta som brinner as well.

Per said they wanted to play a tribute to their favourite Dutch band. When they grew up, all music came from the US and England, but they managed to find a Dutch band they liked. Focus was not their cup of tea. For Ekseption Per showed thumbs down, but he said Anders liked them. Anders said they were damn good. Micke Syd joined in „two against one, we won”. Per: „says the one who came up with the George Baker Selection”. Micke Syd started playing and singing „una paloma blanca”. The crowd was clapping along. Then PG said there is another band they all liked and it’s Shocking Blue. He asked if the crowd remembers them. The answer was a louder „no” from the audience. Haha. Per continued that they had a mega hit called Venus. MP started to play it. This wasn’t the song Mr. G meant though. He translated Send Me A Postcard and it became Skicka ett vykort, älskling.

Fortunately, Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig from the new album stayed in the set. Amazing song!

Before Flickorna på TV2 came, Per said there was a time before Internet and Netflix, when there were only two TV channels and that went very far for a 19-year-old from Furet.

The black & blue checkered guitar was brought to Per. He said he bought a 12-string Rickenbacker in the ’80s. George Harrison in The Beatles had one like that and Roger McGuinn in The Byrds and Tom Petty. A similar one that MP holds in his hands now. He wrote a song on that one and it’s Vandrar i ett sommarregn.

It was time for more uptempo songs again. Puls and En sten vid en sjö i en skog were next.

Per picked up his mug of ginger tea and said this is his secret brew. No one knows what it is, even he doesn’t know. It’s Micke who prepares it for him before the shows. Micke Syd said he calls it „the surprise of the evening”.

Before they played Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång, PG told the story that when he moved away from home, he ended up in a tenement on Torsgatan in the beginning of the ’80s. It was at the time when he started hanging out a lot with Marie. Here the audience was cheering for Marie for long seconds. Mr. G said he played this song to Marie and she thought it was terribly cheesy.

The ukulele is the world’s most interesting instrument, Per said before Tuffa tider. He added that it’s an instrument Micke Syd takes with himself into the bathtub to cheer up his family. That’s what he read in Hemmets Journal. While Micke Syd came to the front, he nodded and started singing When I’m Cleaning Windows [an ukulele song].

Then came the best band presentation. Each and every artist on stage got a long long long cheering from the audience. It was so lovely. Introducing MP, Per said he is Harplinge’s one and only real car mechanic. Göran is the youngest and Anders needs no introduction. Micke Syd enjoyed the cheering for him so much, he asked the audience to give it more and he thought most of them were from Harplinge. His parents were also there at the show. PG and Micke hi fived and Micke introduced Per as the guy who swam 2500 metres last night, because he promised he would if it was a good premiere. Micke Syd said Per also promised if he wears this colorful T-shirt he was wearing and plays nice, he can drive one of Per’s old Ferraris next week. Haha. PG just laughed.

Micke Syd said it’s a completely different world in the front of stage. He came forward to sing Min tjej och jag. He said he is lucky that the audience knows which song it is. He said the day before they had a bride and groom and he dedicated the song to them, but today it’s even better. He said he has been very blessed in his life. He had a fantastic first girlfriend, she is here and he has a fantastic wife, who is also here. So today he dedicates this song to them. He invited Dea and Malin-My to the front and started animating the crowd. Everyone was waving their hands in the air the way Micke showed them. Much fun it was! Impossible to top, Per said.

Kung av sand was the next song they played and then came Ljudet av ett annat hjärta, a song they released as a single to Parkliv!, the 1981 GT movie directed by Lasse Hallström. They got no Oscar for that, haha.

The uptempo session started with Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly and then came the medley of (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet / (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän / Tylö Sun. Still a bit strange to call it a medley when almost the complete songs are played, but that’s the way it is. The transition into Sjömän is a bit dreamy, I first thought at the premiere gig that something went wrong with the sound, but suddenly realized Leva livet turned into another song. Haha.

The gang went off stage and just like at the premiere gig, the audience started singing Sommartider, clapping and screaming. The band came back and they played Billy. When the song ended, Micke Syd started playing Det är över nu without a break and Göran joined in immediately, but suddenly they realized it was too early, so they stopped. Haha. Per said this is how they do it in Halmstad. Micke said: in Harplinge. Everyone was laughing. Per asked the audience if they were ready for Det är över nu. Of course, we were!

Before they went off stage again, they played Gå & fiska!

Coming back for the second encore, Per asked the crowd if they wanted more. Yes! They played När vi två blir en and then came the Sommartider party.

Before playing the last song, Per thanked the audience for coming. He said he hopes everyone will have a fantastic summer. Here one of the mics got too close to the speaker, so we got a weird sound. Per’s reaction to that was fun. He also said if we read it anywhere that they said they quit, we shouldn’t believe it. The crowd was cheering.

När alla vännerna gått hem closed the concert with Micke Syd and Dea in the front.

I forgot to mention in my previous review that Per was of course throwing lots of guitar picks during the gig and Micke threw some drumsticks at the end of the show. Same thing happened at the second concert. Good luck with catching them at the upcoming shows!

Next stop is Helsingborg on Monday.

Setlist

1. Gyllene Tider igen
2. Juni, juli, augusti
3. Det hjärta som brinner
4. Skicka ett vykort, älskling
5. Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig
6. Flickorna på TV2
7. Vandrar i ett sommarregn
8. (Hon vill ha) Puls
9. En sten vid en sjö i en skog
10. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Tuffa tider

Band presentation

12. Min tjej och jag
13. Kung av sand
14. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
15. Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly
16. (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet / (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän / Tylö Sun medley

Encore 1

17. Billy
18. Det är över nu
19. Gå & fiska!

Encore 2

20. När vi två blir en
21. Sommartider
22. När alla vännerna gått hem

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos in the article by Patrícia Peres

PG after the show:

Thanx for yet another amazing evening in Halmstad!!! We’re blessed playing for crowds like you tonight!!!! Stay safe and sound everyone!

Gyllene Tider – Hux Flux – Halmstad – 7th July 2023 – #1

Never say never. In 2019, Gyllene Tider went on their farewell tour. BUT… already in the interviews on their live DVD the same year you could sense that it just couldn’t be over. If there is one thing the pandemic was good for, it’s that the guys changed their minds, especially Micke Syd, and decided to do yet another comeback. I think no one is against it. Haha. They can come back as many times as they want to.

For the sold-out premiere, the weather was amazing. The sun was shining all day and despite the forecast a day before, there was no rain at all.

The guys did a soundcheck in the afternoon, so we could hear a couple of songs and could be sure those would be on the setlist.

There were many fans waiting for the doors to open at 18:00. Fans from quite some countries besides Sweden: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Spain, Hungary, the UK, Switzerland, etc. Once we got in, we could check out the merchandise. A lot of people started queueing for T-shirts and stuff.

The support act on this tour is Uno Svenningsson. Great choice! Swedes know him very well, he has songs they could sing and dance along to. One of the songs on his setlist was Bara få höra din röst, the one that he wrote together with Per. This time it wasn’t performed as a duet (with PG), Uno sang it alone.

After Uno and his band left the stage, their instruments were brought off stage as well and the crew finished preparing the set for GT. While Uno was performing, he had his own backdrop and when it was removed, we could see there was a huge LED wall in the background. What the LED wall had as a design turned out right at 21:15.

The whole show started with a cool intro, where the guys appeared as cartoon characters – what we could already see in an earlier teaser –, driving that car from the tour poster. They appeared on the screen one by one and while Göran was on, the band walked up on stage. Then it was Per’s character’s turn on the screen, but then the real Per also appeared on stage and so we couldn’t finish watching the little cartoon. It was probably planned like this, but I think it would be nice if we could watch it until the end and the band would come up on stage at that point.

Just like in 2019, Dea Norberg and Malin-My Wall joined the Golden Guys for the tour. When all seven of them were there in front of us, I had the thought in my mind that hey, these guys don’t look like they are not sixty anymore. They were all shining, full of energy and enthusiasm, happy to be on stage again. We need no more farewell tours! Haha.

Since it was an obvious show opener, I wasn’t too surprised that the first song they played was Gyllene Tider igen. I still think that this should have been their lead single from the album. An amazing hit that got us into GT uptempo mood immediately.

Per was wearing a very cool, white Hux Flux jacket, but already after the first song he took it off and gave it to Micke N-S. PG welcomed the audience at GT’s 8th summer tour and their 5th comeback tour. He said they are super happy to begin the tour on home turf in Halmstad and it’s nice to see so many people. Many well-known faces as well.

Juni, juli, augusti was the second on the setlist and it was followed by Det hjärta som brinner. Both songs sounded fab and the crowd loved them.

Per mentioned that they wanted to play a tribute to their favourite Dutch band. When they grew up, all music came from the US and England, but they found a band in the Netherlands. He asked which band it could be and he said someone was shouting Focus. Ekseption was another band. PG said he saw them at Folketspark in Halmstad in 1973. It wasn’t his cup of tea. Per told Anders that he knows he liked Golden Earring. Micke Syd once shocked the band by coming to the rehearsal with a George Baker Selection record. Micke Syd asked for cheering from behind the drums. Haha. The guys started singing „una paloma blanca”. Then Per said there is another band they all liked and it’s Shocking Blue. They had a mega hit called Venus. MP started to play a little Venus, Micke Syd joined in with the drums and Per was dancing a bit. Then he said there was another song, he translated it and it became the first track on their first LP. Skicka ett vykort, älskling.

Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig, a song from the new album was next. Amazing on the album and awesome to hear it live. Such a powerful song and performance!

Introducing the next song, Per said there was a time before Internet and Netflix, when there were only two TV channels. Everyone knew which song was coming. Flickorna på TV2 is still such a hit!

We had been wondering for which songs the checkered guitars would be used. Now it turned out. Chrissie, hur mår du? is a song that MP and Per wrote in their rehearsal studio in 1980.

The guys got back to the faster songs and they played Puls and En sten vid en sjö i en skog.

The black and blue checkered guitar was brought back for Per for Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång, which he wrote when he moved to Torsgatan in Halmstad. It was at the time when he was hanging out a lot with Marie and he showed this track to her too.

When we saw the ukulele, we knew it’s Tuffa tider’s turn. Micke Syd came to the front for that and Göran as well, to play the melodika a bit.

Per said the crowd is amazing. He picked up his ginger tea mug and said he is drinking some of this secret stuff. He said everyone is wondering what’s in the mug, he is wondering too. Haha.

Here came the band presentation. First Per introduced the ladies, Dea and Malin-My. He said they joined the rehearsals on the 5th day, when the boys already slept in. Then the girls brought everything to life again. PG introduced MP and Göran, then Anders and last, but not least, the band’s own Greta Thunberg, Micke Syd. Haha. Then Micke introduced Per and said that in a weak moment PG promised to swim 1000 meters in the pool if the first gig would be a good one. Haha.

Per got the black and red checkered guitar and Micke Syd asked the audience if it’s OK for him to spend 3 more minutes in the front. He got a lot of questions on social media if he would sing on tour. So they thought they go ahead with this 1981 song, Min tjej och jag. Dea and Malin-My came to the front to sing with Micke. Micke said he is so old he needs two girls. Haha. He dedicated this song to a couple who got engaged yesterday. When he finished the song he said he goes back to his seat. When Per came back to his mic, he said it’s hard to top Micke.

Kung av sand was next, so we could see Mr. G playing the harmonica again.

PG said a GT movie is coming, but in 1981 they already made a movie, Parkliv! He said it’s available on a satellite channel, because it’s so cheap. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta was released as a single to that film and Per wote it on the tour bus. They rehearsed it at some soundchecks and then released it.

Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly came right after and it didn’t get any slower when a medley of 3 songs came: (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet / (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän / Tylö Sun. It was a medley, but almost the complete songs were played and the transition from one song into the other was very fast.

Here they all went off stage and the audience started singing Sommartider. We were clapping and screaming. The band came back after a short while. Per changed his outfit to complete white and Anders got rid of his cool red jacket. The first song in the first encore was Billy. Then it got uptempo again with Det är över nu and Gå & fiska!

The guys and girls went off stage and Per was still carrying his guitar. Micke N-S rushed after him and PG gave him the guitar back.

Of course, they all came back for a second encore. Per said it’s an amazing night and thanked the audience. He said premieres are always special and this one is quite good. The audience cheered and agreed.

They played När vi två blir en and then Sommartider. Both songs sounded awesome!

Before playing the goodbye hit, Per thanked the audience once again and said it was an absolutely wonderful night. He added he hopes everyone will have a fantastic summer and that we see each other again soon. Haha. We were joking that tomorrow is quite soon. He also said if we read it somewhere that they quit, we shouldn’t trust the media. Haha.

Micke Syd came to the front again and sat down on the edge of the stage on the left side, while Dea came to the front and sat down on stage in front of Anders. They performed a touching version of När alla vännerna gått hem.

At the end of the show they all took a bow together and waved goodbye, then left the stage.

It was simply amazing to see them live again! It was a perfect night with a tight band full of energy. Everyone was in top shape already at the first show. It was a completely different feeling than in 2019. Maybe back then there was this stress on them by announcing it as the last tour. Now they don’t need to prove anything, just enjoy being on stage and see all the happy faces in the crowd. Everyone is happy and it will stay like this for this whole summer.

Next stop is Halmstad, a second show at Brottet.

Setlist

1. Gyllene Tider igen
2. Juni, juli, augusti
3. Det hjärta som brinner
4. Skicka ett vykort, älskling
5. Gammal kärlek rostar aldrig
6. Flickorna på TV2
7. Chrissie, hur mår du?
8. (Hon vill ha) Puls
9. En sten vid en sjö i en skog
10. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
11. Tuffa tider

Band presentation

12. Min tjej och jag
13. Kung av sand
14. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
15. Ska vi älska, så ska vi älska till Buddy Holly
16. (Kom så ska vi) Leva livet / (Dansar inte lika bra som) Sjömän / Tylö Sun medley

Encore 1

17. Billy
18. Det är över nu
19. Gå & fiska!

Encore 2

20. När vi två blir en
21. Sommartider
22. När alla vännerna gått hem

All photos in the article by Patrícia Peres

PG after the show:

Yeehaa! What a night! Opening show of the mighty Hux Flux tour and, my God, this one blew our minds! Thanx a million for singing along and making this 7-piece combo feel so proud and totally speechless. Love + positive energy everywhere. New dice tomorrow. Hard to beat this one but we’ll have a go! Cheers, P&Co

Per Gessle at the Tommie Haglund Festival – panel discussion

As we already informed you about it, there was a panel discussion between Tommie Haglund and Per Gessle at the Tommie Haglund Festival, at culture house Najaden in Halmstad on 24th April. I promised to write an English summary, but because of the PG unplugged tour now it took a bit more time for me to share this.

The discussion started at 15:00. The two music giants got a loud applause when they entered the concert hall. They sat on a couch and the moderator, Anelia Kadieva Jonsson sat in an armchair next to them.

Anelia asked how the guys met. Per let Tommie explain it. Tommie said they met at Regnbågen (confectionery in Halmstad). There was a Gyllene Tider tour going on and Tommie had a festival in Stockholm and asked PG if he wanted to come and see. Per says the festival concert was on a weekend and he probably picked the worst day. That was an experience, he laughed. He thought it was exciting though and he is fascinated by Tommie’s music. He added that for Making Something Out Of Nothing he only wrote the lyrics, the music was written by Tommie and it’s cool to be a part of it. Tommie asked Per if he had any text to send over to him, so he could get inspiration from it. Per sent Tommie several texts, but Tommie didn’t really like them. Then there was one that stuck.

Anelia asked Tommie what the text of the song means to him. For him it’s about things that you maybe regret, things you might have done differently. Then she turned to Per to ask the same, but Mr. G told that lyrics have the power of having different meanings for different people. He understands Tommie’s interpretation and it’s good. Per doesn’t like to analyze his own texts. The lyric is about what you think it is about. So Tommie interpreted it this way and got inspiration from it to write the music he wrote to it.

Anelia was curious if the guys were nervous before they started working together. PG’s simple answer was „no”. Haha. Tommie talked about how he wrote the music to the song and realized he talked so much. Per laughed and said „it’s your festival”. The song (Making Something Out Of Nothing without text) became part of Tommie’s symphony.

Per told he worked together with several composers before. He gave them his texts and they made music to them. He was fascinated the most by Tommie’s style, his competence. Per is coming from a totally different music world. It’s a new and very exciting journey for him.

Anelia wanted to know what the guys thought about the result after the song was recorded. Per said it was absolutely amazing and incomparable. Tommie also liked it a lot. He said it was cool to see that the orchestra liked it too and conductor Joachim Gustafsson was phenomenal and Emmi Christensson sang beautifully. Tommie thinks the text made the magic with the music.

The moderator asked Per what his relation to classical music is. Mr. G said it’s quite limited. Classical music for him is from Für Elise on the piano when he was a kid, via Ekseption playing in parks, to his teenage years when he really loved Erik Satie. So it’s rather popular classical music that he listened to. What surprised Per is that Tommie has a wide knowledge about pop music. Tommie said he likes guitars, so he likes Roxette’s music. He thinks all types of music have the same base, but they go different ways. Per thinks that if you have a musical knowledge like Tommie has, then you have a wide space of what sound, what instruments, what arrangement to use. Per said he can’t do that, because he has only a limited amount of colours on his pallette.

Anelia thinks that the song is like a symphony, until the vocal comes in when it becomes sort of a musical. So it might be a new genre, a symphonic musical. She told that already as a child, she was listening to classical music, but there were two exceptions, ABBA and Roxette. She thinks that their music is so melodic that it becomes timeless. She remembers Per told in an interview that pop music should reflect the present, but it’s interesting that what he wrote 30 years ago still feels fresh. Anelia was curious about how someone can write songs this way. Per said he doesn’t know. Anelia said she thought she could get a recipe. The timeless music is the result of what Per is. He grew up with music from the 60’s and 70’s. Everything he wrote is melodic. He needs help with everything else, e.g. the arrangement, the band. Today’s pop music is made most often on laptops and that needs another type of thinking, it’s less about melodies. If there was a recipe, he would have had more hits. To write a song that becomes No. 1 has to have many factors besides the melody. There has to be marketing, timing, trends, luck etc. You can’t just sit next to the piano in the studio and say „yeah, I have written a No. 1 song now”. But you can feel that a song you wrote is maybe better than the one you wrote before. It feels special.

Anelia asked the guys how the songs and music are born. Per explained he is not the one who is sitting all day and works, he works as little as possible. Most often he needs a project, a project that is a Gyllene Tider album or a solo album or the Nashville project. Then his thoughts are around that and ideas are coming to him. To have 10 good songs, maybe you have to write 20. Sometimes one song is like the other, so one kicks out the other. For Roxette there are a lot of ballads – Marie was an amazing ballad singer –, but there can’t be only ballads on an album. Ideas can come from anywhere. Per told he sits in front of TV with the acoustic guitar in his hands, plays something and when he thinks it’s good, he records it with his iPhone. His iPhone is full of ideas.

For Tommie it doesn’t work like this. He can relate to working as least as possible and he also needs a project to be able to work, being it orchestral works. He has a focus and in his mind he collects ideas. He has the „iPhone” in the back of his head, he said. Haha. He realized it very early that if he hears music he can remember it. He is collecting and collecting for even two years and when it’s ready, it’s written down. It’s a long process.

Anelia asked Per whether it’s music or text that comes first. PG replied that there is no rule for that. He most often tries to write the music and lyrics at the same time, so they express the same thing. The text is so much different vs. music. For him texts take more time to write than music. His music is built on melodies. When he now looks at the texts he wrote many years ago they now mean totally different things than back then. Also, if a text is sung by a woman, it makes it different when it’s sung by a man. Regarding how it has changed to write songs over the years, e.g. vs. when he was 20, Per said the most difficult for him nowadays is to write effective 3-chord pop music. At the age of 20 there was this youthful energy and curiosity. „It’s very hard to find it now when I’m… 25”, Per said. Haha. Now he easily feels like he is repeating himself. Or it happens that he is writing and realizes that shit, he already wrote this 5 or 25 years ago. He is not sure that over the years he became a better composer. He is maybe more focused now as a songwriter. But now it’s definitely not like when he was writing e.g. The Look, and a ballad he writes now is paler than Listen To Your Heart.

Anelia asked if Per thinks the target group has become different over the years.  Mr. G informed that the audience gets older too, but if he looks at Spotify and sees who is listening to Roxette, 75-85% of the people are under 45. It’s fun for him as a 63-year-old. At the same time, the old Gyllene Tider songs always find a new generation.

For success there have to be so many factors. Per said success helps you to express yourself the way you want to musically, as a songwriter, as an artist. It’s like when he is now on his unplugged tour. He never told any stories in between the songs he performs, but now it’s much fun.

The moderator said Making Something Out Of Nothing is so magically beautiful that you just want to hear more. She asked if maybe the guys plan to work together on a symphonic musical. Tommie said there are plans. He talked about Borges, Argentinean poet, who wrote La rosa profunda and Tommie composed a song cycle. He wants to frame La rosa profunda with 2 songs Per wrote the text to. The first one would be Voices In The Snow and the other Making Something Out Of Nothing. Anelia asked if Per is writing the text now or maybe he found one in a drawer. PG found one in his archives that would fit and Tommie also thought it would. Tommie said it’s a damn good lyric and if one thinks how a pop text connects with Borges, they have the same values. It’s pure poetry. Tommie already has it all in the back of his head, however, he is now working on his piano concerto.

Anelia asked Per what he is up to these days. Mr. G said he is in the middle of his unplugged tour, they have just released a remix of Fading Like A Flower together with Galantis. Also, he recorded a new album under PG Roxette and in May comes a new single under this project.

Anelia said Per has several ongoing projects and is trying out new things, like now this collabortion with Tommie. She was curious about what Per’s driving force is. „Not to be bored”, Per said. The curiosity is there in his personality and it’s fun to try different things. It’s fun to work together with Tommie. Sometimes you think it’s difficult to work with new people, who you don’t know, because there might be compromises.

Anelia asked the guys which song or music they think is the best one ever written. Tommie replied Making Something Out Of Nothing. Haha. In the end Tommie chose Beethoven’s late quartets, which are very much ahead of their time and Per picked God Only Knows from The Beach Boys, which he thinks is a fantastic song.

The moderator wished good luck to the guys with all what they are doing and the panel discussion ended with a loud applause from the audience.

Those who came to the event were the first ones to hear the song live during the concert that lasted from 16:00 to 19:45 including 2 breaks. Per – instead of watching the F1 race, haha – stayed for the concert as well, sitting in the second row together with Åsa and Lars Nordin, as well as Tommie.

Repertoire

  1. Fredric Delius – North Country Sketches
  2. Tommie Haglund / Per Gessle – Making Something Out Of Nothing (sung by Emmi Christensson)
  3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Piano Concerto No. 21 (with Marcos Madrigal on piano)
  4. Tommie Haglund – Symphony No. 1

The whole concert was beautiful and it was fantastic to hear Making Something Out Of Nothing live, sung by Emmi Christensson. The Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Joachim Gustafsson was also amazing.

Photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Per Gessle Unplugged Tour – #9 – 29th November 2021 – Halmstad

When a week ago I was on my way back home from Göteborg it was the day when there was the second Göteborg show. It felt very weird that I was flying away while PG was on stage, so after getting back home I quickly rescheduled my tour plan – not to feel too depressed again, haha –, because Halmstad #2 wasn’t in my original plans to attend. But what a good decision it was to go and see this concert too! It absolutely topped the first Halmstad gig! Both the band and the crowd were in top shape and worked very well together.

The crowd reactions were cool, last night you could also feel that all Halmstad people are proud to have such an artist as Per, born here. Everyone enjoyed themselves both on and off stage, the audience was singing and clapping along the songs. The anecdotes were also appreciated with laughter and applause.

Before Det hjärta som brinner Per told the anecdote about Gyllene Tider playing on this stage in 1979 when they were invited by Ulf Lundell on his Ripp rapp tour. Just like yesterday, Mr. G remembered the small mugs on stage which he thought contained water, but after drinking from them it turned out it was vodka.

After Micke N-S brought Per his ukulele on stage, PG told the story of how he got hold of his first ukulele. He read in a magazine that George Harrison from The Beatles had tons of ukuleles. Per thought it’s a good idea and he also bought an ukulele. He joked that they sold 3 pieces for 300 SEK, it was in a basket at the checkout, just like Dumle (chocolate-covered toffee) usually is. The same day he wrote a song, the only song he wrote on an ukulele so far. He said he has no ambition to write another one. Haha. Tuffa Tider is always fun to hear live. When the band finished the song, Per stood up and took a round around his chair to sit back. He said they had seated gigs in summer and 4 of 5 in the band had problems with their back after that. Christoffer added they had prostate problems too, so now they have to sit. Everyone laughed.

Before It Must Have Been Love, Per asked the audience what they think about the fact that it’s soon Christmas. The reaction wasn’t too positive from the crowd’s side. However, whole Halmstad is covered with Christmas trees all around the streets, on the main square, there is Christmas music playing all day in town, the Christmas lights are also up and beautiful.

Before Min hälsning Per told he thought to finish with the next song. He said it’s Monday after all. The audience wasn’t happy about the idea, of course. Haha. After telling he wrote this song originally for Gyllene Tider, he introduced MP, responsible for the sound at the show. The crowd was cheering him loudly. Christoffer started playing a different song though, so Per stopped and told him it’s not that song. Chris said there are so many from the past 43 years. Haha.

When Per & Co. went off stage for the first time, the crowd gave a standing ovation and didn’t stop clapping their hands until the band was back on stage.

After Listen To Your Heart – dedicated to Marie and Pelle –, the crowd didn’t stop clapping for a longer while. Per put his hand on his heart and thanked the audience for their response.

After the first encore it was standing ovation again and all in the crowd wanted more. Obviously, the gang wanted more too, so they came back for the second encore.

Before Sommartider Per stood up again and he didn’t even have to suggest the audience to stand up too, we all were up on our feet by the time he would have finished the sentence. At last, a crowd that stayed standing for the very last song too. Before När alla vännerna gått hem, Per said he hopes to meet the audience again. Someone shouted „in Kalmar”, haha. Mr. G appreciated it.

After PG & Co. took a bow and waved goodbye to the audience, they were also applauding the crowd and then Per stopped at longtime fan Sandra Knospe and asked her (not loudly, but writing the number in the air with his finger) if it was already her 300th show. Not much left until then, but her 300th will happen in Malmö.

Next stop is Karlstad on 8th December!

Setlist

1. Kung av sand
2. På promenad genom stan
3. Flickan i en Cole Porter-sång
4. Småstadsprat
5. Min plats
6. Tycker om när du tar på mej
7. Det hjärta som brinner
8. Ljudet av ett annat hjärta
9. Varmt igen
10. Tuffa tider
11. Juni, juli, augusti
12. It Must Have Been Love
13. Vilket håll du än går

Band introduction

14. Här kommer alla känslorna
15. Min hälsning

Encore 1
16. Födelsedag
17. Listen To Your Heart (dedicated to Marie Fredriksson & Pelle Alsing)
18. När vi två blir en

Encore 2
19. Vid hennes sida
20. Sommartider
21. När alla vännerna gått hem

Photos in the article are taken by Patrícia Peres.

Per after the show:

Thank you Halmstad for a truly amazing Monday night. So proud to be part of this band. So blessed to get this feedback from you guys and gals. Wow!!! Speechless! /PG.