Club Killers at Strand, Stockholm

Having never heard of Swedish band, Club Killers, until being introduced to them by a friend a few days before I arrived in Stockholm, I wasn’t sure what to expect as my knowledge of Swedish bands was limited to Robyn and Abba. Checking out their myspace page, I took in their band members section: 17 names. Admittedly, one of these members is their soundman, but still. SIXTEEN members. They describe themselves as ‘alternative/dub/ska’. A decade has passed since I found a note in my pencil case from a fellow pupil at school asking ‘Do you like ska?’ which prompted a year of listening to [spunge] and Mad Caddies and a lot of skanking. Perhaps more ska/punk, but still, an experience of that genre. 

We arrived at Strand, the waterfront venue, to find a long queue to get in (promising) and entered a huge dark rectangular space with a stage at one end and an overcrowded pingpong table at the other (less promising).

Charged and energetic, the instruments were played with vigour and were complemented by Anna Maria Espinosa’s melodic voice. Rather than my attention being drawn solely to Espinosa, I found myself equally being drawn to the impressive brass section made up of a dozen or so gentlemen smartly turned out in suits. The atmosphere was spot on, but not only musically, as I was nestled amongst the bustling, yet decidedly beautiful crowd – this was Sweden after all. Impressing me even further, the band brought on their earlier support act, Taxi Taxi!, a Swedish sister duo, who added a completely different level to the rest of the set. Taking centre stage and singing what may have been a cover or a Club Killers original, Johanna and Miriam were sweet voiced and fascinating to look at. Their usually soft and slightly tragic sounding vocals – I can’t understand much in the way of Swedish, so for all I know they could have been singing about rainbows and fairies – were transformed. Club Killers have a reputation for picking local acts as their support and have collaborated with a string of Swedish artists who I’ve never heard of but now fully intend on investigating. After the gig there followed an impromptu interview with the one member of the band I was able to corner. I’m sure he told me they took inspiration from the 60s and a variety of citrus fruits but there is a strong possibility we may have got slightly lost in translation. There then followed a short attempt at a pingpong game with my new Swedish pal, reinforcing my belief that the pingpong world is not quite ready for me. Heading home, the impression left was deep. Come to the UK!

www.myspace.com/clubkillers

by Sidonie Warren