No, I’ve not been slacking – I’ve been away for the last fortnight playing some gigs in Scandinavia, more specifically in Finland and Sweden. Note that I say “playing some gigs” rather than “touring” as that implies rock’n’roll excess. I only played four gigs which is much too leisurely to be rock. Still did a hell of a lot of travelling, though.
I only managed to do the shows because Gaz travelled with me as roadie, guitar tech and soundman. He basically did everything strenuous while I swanned around, fainting at the very mention of heavy lifting. Amazingly, even in a whole fortnight we didn’t have a proper argument, although things got slightly heated when I tried to sell him the Carter Leslie Doomsday Argument.
The gigs were all lovely, in different ways and we met some of the most charming people. I know musicians always say that but it’s true. If you’re in a band and you want attentive, caring audiences, go and play in Sweden and Finland.
I played with Goodnight Monsters at Dynamo in Turku, Erik Hallden in Stockholm and Cats On Fire + Agent Simple in Gothenburg. All the bands I played with do pop music so it was a dream set of gigs. No dull experimentalism, no “challenging” chin-rubbing excesses, real songs about real life. Such a breath of fresh air after the moribund British music scene.
Stefan from Agent Simple played on a couple of my songs at the Gothenburg Cosy Den gig and Ville from Cats on Fire was also kind enough to help me out at that gig and the two in Finland. They were worried about learning my songs but when I pointed out they were mostly two / three-chord wonders, they relaxed a lot.
The sheer beauty of the countries was, at times, overpowering. And a little intimidating because, let’s face it, the average Scandinavian is far more gorgeous than the average Brit. That’s no myth. Sadly, I was a bit rubbish at taking pictures as I was concentrating on not putting my back out like I did last year. But if you click some of the pics above, you’ll end up at galleries of the few pics I did capture.
Playing those four gigs was very special for me. If you came to any of them, thank you for being such a good listener and making me a very happy performer!