Neneh Cherry

Neneh Cherry at Sydney Opera House

“For her first time in Australia, it would have been good to have some more of her older songs”, my friend said, as we made our way out of the Sydney Opera House tonight. I agree with that assessment. As much as I really do like her new material, it was classics like “Buffalo Stance” and (my personal favourite) “Manchild” that really got the audience excited. I read with jealousy, Youssou N’Dour had joined her on stage at Womadelaide the other the day, performing their wonderful duet “7 Seconds”, and […]

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Melodifestivalen 2015 #4

JTR

As the opening beats from “Don’t Say No” by Midnight Boy came from the speakers of my television, for just a brief moment, I was transported back to the 80s and to Brisbane’s (in)famous nightclub, The Beat. Back in those days, Joh Bjelke-Peterson was still the Premier of Queensland, and I was a young man about town who would often head out on Sunday nights with friends to dance to tracks like “You Spin Me Round” (by Dead or Alive), “Relax” (by Frankie Goes To Hollywood) and others. Both the […]

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Melodifestivalen 2015 #2

Magnus Carlsson

I’m quite a fan of the Swedish pop singer, Magnus Carlsson. To be precise, Magnus who was in Swedish pop bands Barbados and Alcazar, not Magnus Carlson (one “s”) who was in Swedish indie band, “Weeping Willows”. I even met him once, briefly, at a bar in Stockholm (see photo below). Although his obsession with recording Christmas albums is something I still don’t understand (beyond the fact they sell well), he can be relied upon for really great pop tunes. His self-titled solo album remains a firm favourite. Along the […]

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Who needs an Australian entry in Eurovision, when we might already have one?

JTR

Who needs an Australian entry in Eurovision, when we might already have one? There’s a lot of excitement today in Australia about our confirmed “wild card” entry in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. I actually seriously think much of Europe would vote for Australia out of “sympathy”/”admiration”/”a sense of fun”, and with the large number of expats in Europe (about 1-million), I genuinely think next year’s contest could be held at the Sydney Opera House. But of course Australia already has an entry (of sorts), participating in Eurovision in the […]

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Melodifestivalen 2015 #1

melfest2015-1

The “car crash” that was last year’s Melodifestivalen (the Swedish competition which chooses an entrant for Eurovision) hasn’t, so far, been repeated this year. Although the songs last year were reasonably okay, the hosts were terrible. The biggest problem with last year is the hosts seemed to have been under the impression (or were told) they were more important or interesting than the songs. Their seriously un-funny humour (especially the guy) meant I stopped watching the entire broadcast. This year they’ve tagged a comedian, Robin Paulsson with a singer, last […]

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Song Of The Year – Tove Lo Habits

Of all the new music I saw/heard in 2014, this was the one that stood out. Yeah, of course it’s from a Swedish artist, and I love the fact she doesn’t try to hide that in her video clip (unlike a lot of other Swedish artists these days who are doing their best to hide their Swedishness by filming their clips in the US). I love the song musically, as it has a good melody and lyrics. But I really love the video clip, as it captures both the elements of “the selfie” and the self-destructiveness of youth culture. I also really love the vulnerability she shows in the clip. Hopefully honest. Can’t go home alone again Need someone to numb the pain PS… Here’s another song from her with lots of Sthlm scenery.

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My Swedish is better when I’ve been drinking

Swedish beer

Once again I’ve decided my Swedish is better when I’ve had a drink or two, or three or four. I first discovered this a few years ago at a bar in Stockholm. I was chatting in English with a couple of Swedish guys, and when the topic got around to learning the Swedish language, I discovered my Swedish was far better after a few drinks. We enjoyed a reasonably fluent discussion after the third or fourth beer, as I recall. The notion was further re-inforced when, after a boozy night […]

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