Those of you attending the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm for the two full weeks may be feeling the need to get out of the Globen area and recalibrate with some different kinds of sounds once in a while. So here’s some tips for the best otherworldy nights out in town, should you be getting bored of all those ladies who sound like Sia in the big round hall.
Wednesday 4 May
There’s loads on in town to keep you busy and refreshed on the first Wednesday of the fortnight. Thousand-year-old gristly rocker Iggy Pop will be wriggling about like an empty snakeskin over the water at Cirkus tonight, but word reaches us that it’s sold out already, sadly. And if you don’t fancy straying too far away from Globen, Sweden’s Got Talent’s Balkan blasters Süperstar Orkestar will be tooting their horns at En Arena. But out choice for the evening would be the cheeky boy indie rockers Royal Republic.
Imagine a considerably less fugly Franz Ferdinand, with more rock and roll and a rakishly handsome lead singer. Add some near-the-knuckle lyrics and some crushing wit to the mix and it’s looking like a pretty decent night out at Debaser Strand, down the west end of Södermalm, just a two-minute trot from from the Hornstull T Bana.
Thursday 5 May
Thursday offers some varied delights, too. Those of a more traditional leaning might care to spend the night in the company of the delightful Josh Groban at the Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre. He’ll be charming, warm and hilariously funny, but if you fancy something a bit more challenging, go see Yasiin Bey at Debaser Medis, right next door to Medborgarplatsen T-Bana.
“Who?” I hear you ask. Well, the artist formerly known as hip hop megalith Mos Def has had a bit of a musical reawakening of late, and these days delivers more edgy, earthy sounds. Genuinely, anything could happen, but it’ll almost certainly be exciting, if not a smudge challenging.
Friday 6 May
You could go to a dozen decent shows on first Friday night, from pretty much any musical genre you fancy. But for those who like a bit of bluesy old school rock, Australian cults Wolfmother will be wigging out at Gröna Lund all evening, while off-kilter MelFest fave Caroline af Ugglas will be playing an intimate show at the Faschling jazz bar round the back of the Central Station – which promised to be a real treat.
But our pick of the night are the legendary German thrash metal outfit Tankard, who are bring the noise down at Göta Källare, just up the way from Debaser Medis on Södermalm. Still boozed up and chugging it out after more than 30 years, they’ll offer a funtime, horns-in-the-air night out for those of a more noisy persuasion. And even better, they’ll be ably supported by the excellent local horror noise merchants F.K.Ü, who we suggested you go see back in Malmö.
Saturday 7 May
Saturday offers many varied delights, none-less than the start of the two-day Stockholm Rocks festival at Debaser Medis, where you can look forward to locally-produced metallic treats from the likes of Grand Magus, Avatarium and Allegiance Of Rock.
But the more laid back among you will probably prefer to spend the evening in the smooth company of Bryan Ferry, who’ll be gliding through all the classics from his Roxy Music and solo eras at the Waterfront Congress Centre in the city centre. My other half’s old mum has seen him play recently and reckons the old fella has still got it.
Sunday 8 May
The nearer we get to the big Eurovision flavours, the more sparse the outside events become. But we’d still recommend a Sunday night in the company of The Lumineers if you couldn’t blag an invite to the opening bash. Remember all those jingly jangly Eurovision acts from a couple of years ago who all sounded like they wanted to be Mumford & Sons? Well, if you liked those, you’ll have a wail of a time and this banjo-flinging popstrell hootenanny at Berns club, just a hop and a skip from Euroclub.
However, if you fancy something a little more worldsy then you might fancy a look at Natacha Atlas. Imagine a much older Ofra Haza who still has a penchant for exotic Eastern dance beats, the Belgio-Moroccan fused the musics of the West and the Arab word into something all her own. I stage managed her once and she was a right stroppy moo, but she sounded great! You’ll find her at Fasching, on Kungsgaten in the city centre.
Wednesday 11 May
Now we’ll mostly have out minds on bigger shows by this point of the fortnight, but there’s one show that you might not want to miss on Wednesday. Katrina Leskanich of this parish is playing a little show on Kungsträdgården right in the city centre. We’re not sure at this point whether it’s an open air affair, or in one of the many bars that surround it, but we’ll keep you posted as to developments, as we’re sure that you wouldn’t want to miss this little splendour. Unless you’re saving yourself for the former Wolfsbane and Iron Maiden singer Blaze Bayley at the Harry B James club the following night, that is…