I don’t know why but many of my favourite bands are Scandinavian, and Swedish in particular. Kent’s farewell tour was the catalyst that finally sent me to Sweden and Tiger Lou’s resurrection tour was the cherry on top; I spent my last night in Sweden at their show in Gothenburg – it was truly special and I’m so glad I could be there.
Some years back Tiger Lou announced they were splitting up. They then returned from the dead, released a new album and went on tour in 2016. While The Wound Dresser went on to become my favourite album of 2016 I waited to hear the songs live before listening to the album – the effect was amazing and I fell in love with the new tracks instantly.
Pustervik is a cool place. I feel really lucky to have experienced both an arena and a smaller concert show while in Sweden, let alone that I got to see two bands I never dreamed I’d see. The bulk of the shows I shoot at home are in smaller settings so even Pustervik was bigger than comparable venues in Cape Town the vibe was pretty similar. Lighting conditions were pretty awful for photography but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the performance.
Tiger Lou were supported by Rome is not a town, I’d never heard of them and can’t really remember much about their set other than the impression that they were all super young.
I pretty much always go to gigs alone and so am used to standing around by myself in between acts. Still it’s a new kind of isolated feeling doing that in a foreign place. I mostly just concentrated on the background music – Pustervik played a very cool selection of mostly indie during changeover. One of the things I noticed a lot during my time in Sweden was that they played a lot of Nordic artists on the radio, in shops etc (the exception being Kiruna, whose radio stations seemed stuck in the American 80’s whenever I heard them). The vast majority were singing in English but I recognised the artists and really enjoyed it – it gave such a subtle yet profound sense of setting, if that makes sense. I mean when there’s American stuff playing you could be anywhere but when it’s local-orientated you could only be in one place.
When the curtains opened after the long intro I was rather unexpectedly standing at the (bare!) feet of frontman Rasmus Kellerman. Oh delight and fangirlness! He didn’t say much during the show, but a special bonus of seeing your favourite foreign bands in their home countries is hearing them speak their home language – and it was really cool hearing Rasmus speaking Swedish.
They started off with a new one (for me), album opener You Town. The manic smile on my face was cemented soon as the drums came in and remained till the final encores.
It’s funny to me being in a standing crowd that doesn’t dance or move, but I guess it’s not really that type of music. Everyone seemed enraptured. The few times people engaged with me it was because we were both singing along or cheering in recognition to the opening bars of a favourite song. It was a beautiful show, the music was so lovely. I swiped the setlist afterwards (thought there’d be a fight for it but the Swedes proved their politeness once again and I snagged it unopposed) and its proudly up on my wall. It’s just missing the 3 encores: Sam, As In Samantha, Functions, Oh Horatio.