Without doubt, one of the “cultural highlights” of my last trip to Sweden was going to a couple of performances by the band, Hallå hela pressen. They’re a covers-band specialising in Swedish pop songs, particularly Swedish Eurovision contenders, from the last twenty or thirty years.
The two guys who front the band obviously really love the songs, as they sing them with large amounts of passion and enthusiasm. And a sense of fun, too, I suspect. The audience really loves the music too, and as they dance and sing along to every single song.
I was introduced to the band by a guy I met last year called, Kim. It was a Monday evening at Torget in Gamla Stan, and he was sitting next to me. After a while, we got chatting about film and music, and then he invited me to come along to Victorias where Hallå hela pressen plays every Monday night. We had the time of our lives, singing and dancing. It was as much fun, if not moreso, seeing Kim and seeing the band play again last night. You know how sometimes you go back for a repeat visit, and it’s never as good? That was most definitely NOT the case. We had great fun.
Speaking of meeting people in bars, I also met a really interesting bloke called Poul. He works in policy for a government department here, and we had a really, lengthy terrific chat about politics, the environmnent, the Oslo bombings and so on. Obviously it was in English as the level of discussion was far more complex than my Swedish allowed.
So yeah, it’s nice getting to combine some “obvious” tourism activities with a more “local” experience.