Sweden Tour: December 2012
I flew to Sweden last Wednesday to play some shows. And much like the last time that I went there, my heart hurt from the second I stepped off the plane from the utter loveliness of it all.
A man called Per volunteered to meet me at the airport in Gothenburg at 11pm and drive me to my host’s house. It was very kind of him to stay up late and battle through cold and snow. We chatted about all kinds of things and he really was very nice indeed. Per deposited me at Hanna’s house. Hanna was organising the Gothenburg show on Thursday night and she was also very kind. I ate some of her mum’s homemade pie and then went to bed.
Sadly I couldn’t go exploring in Gothenburg on Thursday (I’m not a full-time pop star anymore and I work for “the man”) but nevertheless I was able to do my work at the Frälsningsarmén (Salvation Army) where I would be playing that evening. Although I didn’t get to peruse the city, I was surrounded by genuine Swedes, which was nice. My general rule is to hang out with as many Swedes as possible, all the time.
So I did my work and then it was time to play a rock show. It was Santa Lucia Day which meant that in the morning, girls would wear white dresses and put candles in their hair, singing songs to wake people up. This didn’t happen to me (thankfully, because I was pretty tired from the flight) but we did do other traditional things like eating scones and lots of food. I tried to explain the scones/scones pronunciation issue to the Swedes and they seemed baffled. I guess it is baffling.
I was playing in the Salvation Army hall which had been set up like a café. It was a bit of a treat because there was a lovely grand piano to play. There were also some people there who I’d met at Frizon Festival in the summer. I ate so many scones that my stomach hurt, then we cleaned up, then we went back to Hanna’s place and talked about all the important things.
Friday was a bright and early 6.30am start. Lisa kindly escorted me to the bus station, where I caught a bus to the airport. Then I flew to Stockholm. I was met there by Pelle, who interviewed me on his chat show at Frizon Festival in the summer. He is a Good Guy. Our hunger statuses were the same (limited breakfasts) so he introduced me to the wonder that is Max. Max makes the best burgers. We ate them.
Today’s show was in Hudiksvall, the ‘north’ of Sweden. Most people call it the north because it is pretty northern compared to most major cities in Sweden, but it’s geographically in the middle (geography lesson). Pelle’s dad runs a church in Hudiksvall and naturally I leapt at the chance to visit the deep north, see even more snow, and possibly be attacked by a bear. So Pelle drove us capably from Stockholm to Hudiksvall, laughing in the face of snow, ice and boredom, and we finally arrived at Lindvall HQ.
The Lindvalls are the loveliest. You know when you meet people and they are really, really, really lovely? That’s the Lindvalls. We ate homemade buns and Christmas biscuits. We drank coffee. Then we went to soundcheck at the church. The church was a converted dancehall that had been popular in times gone by. The conversion was amazingly beautiful, with a baptismal pool that doubled as a jacuzzi, and yet again I got to play on a beautiful grand piano. It reminded me of this old t-shirt design.
Soundcheck segued into eating lasagne at Lindvall HQ, then we drove to Ljusdall for a bonus show.
During the drive, the temperature dropped to -20. Serious. I played a few songs on an electric grand piano to some teenagers who were there for a Christmas party, then we headed back to Hudiksvall for the main event.
The church was super busy and it was the most fun show I’ve played in ages. We wound down with fika and tea. Then we slept.
Then we got up early to drive to Stockholm. I found out that I was on the front page of Hudiksvall’s newspaper, which was strange but very nice.
Pelle and I were extra tired but we overlived the situation (Swenglish for ‘survived’) and Pelle dumped me in Stockholm, whereupon I caught the train to Jönköping. I slept. I dribbled on myself. And finally I arrived in Jönköping and hugged Marcus.
I played a show for Marcus earlier this year and he was one of the Best Guys. And we were reunited. I dropped my stuff off at his new house, played Lego with his son, Tiago, and then we went and ate food. I consumed my second burger of the day but that’s okay because I was on tour. Marcus sings in a band called I’m from Barcelona and they have a saying about this. It’s something like: “a burger a day keeps…” I can’t remember.
Tonight’s show was in IFB’s practice space, which is called Malaysia. They are very geographically imaginative/confused. There were giant balloons, tiny beers, and huge amounts of bunting. As a general rule, more bunting is better than less bunting. Bunt as much as you can. A guy called Peter Fransson opened the gig. He had an exquisite voice. You know - like a real singer. The kind of voice that makes me feel truly inadequate. But he played and was excellent, and then I played and tried my best. Marcus and I had been drinking beers together and Marcus had logged this on a fancy iPhone app that was made by the Swedish government for Swedes. It tells you when you’re too drunk to drive and refuses to log any drinks after a few beers. By the time I took to the stage, I was officially drunk. It really was a wonderful app.
I played my songs and it was really nice. Then we danced to hits from the eighties. Then I was so very tired and we went home through the snow to sleep. There were no more burgers at this point.
I woke up feeling headachy from the beer, which I don’t think is very fair because I didn’t even drink many beers. We went to the bus station and ate breakfast. I ate granola. Marcus and Anna-Maria ate toasted bagels. Tiago ate nothing. I then got on the bus and felt very sad to be leaving Jönköping. I did some work on my computer (Swedish buses are posh and have wifi that works). The bus arrived at Gothenburg airport. As each minute passed I felt sadder and sadder to be leaving Sweden. I felt the saddest as we were on the runway. I slept, dribbled on myself, and woke up in Berlin and went home.
Tusen tack, Sweden.
P.P.S. If you made it this far, here’s a new song that I played during the tour.
Deutschland Christmas Tour 2012
Hallo! I’m playing some shows in Deutschland in December and there are a few dates left to fill.
I would also be willing to cross nearby borders (Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, etc.)
Can you help to fill a date? If so, email me!
- 1.12 -
- 2.12 -
- 3.12 -
- 4.12 - Brause - Düsseldorf
- 5.12 - Teilchen & Beschleuniger - Münster
- 6.12 - Schokoladen - Berlin
- 7.12 - Hasenschaukel - Hamburg
- 8.12 - Sebastian’s House - Husum
- 9.12 -
European Tour Spring 2012
Big thanks to Nicholas Stevenson for designing this lovely poster for my upcoming tour! The poster will be available as a limited edition A3 screenprint on the tour, which I’m very excited about.
If you can’t quite read the dates on the poster, you can see them here. There are still a few blanks left to fill so if you can help with a house show in Germany, Sweden or the UK, let me know - luke (at) lukeleighfield (dot) com.