Contributor David Stavrou lays out some of the highlights awaiting Stockholm music lovers in October.
Stockholm's music scene in October will feature a combination of well-known and lesser-known artists. It will also be a truly international month with a wide selection of musical shows from all over the world.
Robert Plant, one of the world’s most successful and influential rock singers, is this month's heavyweight visit. During the late 60s and 70s he was Led Zeppelin's lead singer and since the band's break-up in 1980 he has led a successful solo career. His last visit to Stockholm was with American country singer Alison Krauss. This time he will be accompanied by his new group, Band of Joy, which is also the backup group on his latest album released just a couple of weeks ago.
The album was recorded in Nashville and it takes Plant back to his roots. A Rolling Stone critic said about it: "it's pretty damn good, and what it lacks in coherence it makes up for in magnified rock & roll mojo". Plant's concert will take place in Globen's Annexet on October 14th.
Other big names to play at Globen this month are American rock veterans ZZ Top (Annexet, October 24th) and one of the world's most renowned rock guitarist Carlos Santana (October 27th). But it’s not only the old guard of American popular music that’s coming to Stockholm this month.
R&B singer Kelis will play at Berns on October 12th, New-York pop group Scissor Sisters will play at Cirkus on the 27th, Southern rock band Needtobreath will play at Göta Källare on the 14th and followers of the American Idol TV show will be glad to know that 2006 finalist Chris Daughtry and his band will play at Debaser on October 7th.
From the more alternative and experimental side of current American music, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti is a California group described by their record label as "sublime as they are surreal with a sound loaded with hazy nostalgia and a fiercely experimental pop palette". Anyone who finds this description even slightly appealing should definitely check them out at Debaser on October 22nd. Debaser will also host punk band The Gaslight Anthem on the 31st, post-rock instrumental LA-based Red Sparrows on the 4th and experimental metal band A Storm of Light on the 24th.
From the other side of the Atlantic, a number of British acts will be visiting Stockholm this month. The Magic Numbers who have released their third studio album this summer will play at Göta Källare on October 21st for the benefit of their many Swedish fans, especially those who missed their August Popaganda festival gig.
Hurts, the synthpop duo from Manchester, will play at Debaser on the 16th, Scottish rock band Biffy Clyro will also play at Debaser on the 21st, Dan Treacy's Television Personalities will play at Strand on the 9th and chamber pop band The Devine Comedy from Northern Ireland, known for its classical arrangements and literary references, will play at Södra Teatern on the 21st.
Perhaps not as big on musical nuance or subtle irony in the lyrics, a couple of heavy metal bands will be visiting Stockholm this month too. German band Primal Fear will play at Göta Källare on October 5th and Canadian band Annihilator performs at Fryshuset's Klubben on the 19th.
Södra Teatren is probably the city's most important centre for those international performances which don't usually get a chance in established mainstream settings. This autumn it's focusing on India and will present music, film, lectures and literature from the sub-continent mainly in English. The musical part of the program will include both club acts and popular music like the Scotland-based Bhangra group Tigerstyle, singer-song writer Raghu Dixit and classical north Indian flute and tabla virtuosos.
Nadia Izzat, manager of Södra Teatern, says: "My dream is to build an artistic house that is a global epicenter for creative meetings, where courage, solidarity and the highest quality stage performances will inspire visitors beyond the expected".
And the program does indeed include many interesting international shows. Some examples are Portuguese Fado singer Cristina Branco, Mexican electronic composer Murcof with visual label AntiVJ and an Eastern Western Night featuring Jazz improvisation, Klezmer and Celtic folk music.
Mark Kozelek who will play at Södra Teatren on October 25th is an American singer-songwriter and the man behind Sun Kil Moon, a musical project from San-Francisco which released its fourth album a couple of months ago. Kozelek writes personal, melancholic sounding songs and he plays the guitar beautifully so the Stockholm show in which he'll accompany himself by just a nylon string guitar should be ideal for those who appreciate this unique artist.
October will also see some of Sweden's internationally acclaimed artists appearing on local stages. Country-pop singer Jill Johnson will play at Cirkus on October 31st, Moneybrother, Anders Wendin's solo project, will play at Södra Teatren on the same day and pop singer Erik Hassle will play at Debaser on the 29th. Other notable Swedish gigs this month are Erik Gadd who plays Strand on the 28th and Pernilla Andersson who plays Nalen on October 1st.