Review: Vanligt Folk Live in Gothenburg

by Jennifer Last

Vanligt Folk
Gothenburg, Sweden
5 October 2013

It’s Saturday night at Haket, Gothenburg. The Swedish punk/synth band (a very rare combination) Vanligt Folk is having a release party for their latest single, “Härdelsen”. Another chapter in my wildly open book dedicated to music. The book of love. This is going to be wild.

DSC_3285_DJ knows his thing. I’m moving my hips to EBM music. The place is full of interesting people who are waiting for the sold-out gig to start. Men with beards. Girls with cut arms. Most of them dressed in black. I wasn’t expecting anything else. At events like these it’s taboo to wear anything but black. Wear red, green or yellow: People will stare at you like you should be locked up at a mental hospital. Wear white: You’re dead. I’m having a hard time fitting in. I feel misplaced. But I can’t help but love it.

And wild, you said? Wild doesn’t even begin to cover it. There’s no proper stage, and as a result of that Vanligt Folk stand on the floor only millimeters from the crowd. With no shoes on. Why, I ask myself. I don’t know. Apparently it’s their thing. I stand in the front (front row always) with my camera – ready to take some awesome photos. HAH, yeah, good luck with that. I’m losing count of how many times the singer is bumping into me where I stand and so carefully try to drink it all in. Not literally, of course. The only thing I am drinking tonight is water, I promise. I’m amazed. I know they got their inspiration from DAF, and that they want to sound like that but “with the good parts only”, and I think it’s impressive how they manage to mix that combination. And I’m trying to figure out how a person can hit the drums like that. Is he human? I swear, in about a 1000 years from now, he could as easily have been a robot. I mean, I’m getting tired just walking up the stairs. Oh dear.

DSC_3334_They use a huge Swedish flag as a backdrop as usual. Goes well with their critical songs about the society. Feels a bit patriotic but also, knowing what they sing about, both comforting and fair. FINALLY someone is able to see this present age as exactly what it is. I love how they put something so important into music and rhythms that make people dance. Yeah, let’s dance it all away. That’ll be enough for now.

The set is short. Too short. So I was waiting for over an hour for a 30 minute long gig? Really? Well, knowing their baggage of previous released songs, it won’t cover much more than that, but still. Feeling like it’s over before it even began. At the same time: Relieved. I don’t how many more of these punches I can take. My body will be blue and yellow tomorrow, slowly turning into the Swedish flag. Hey, use me as a backdrop next time! Okay, so you didn’t get that joke? It’s alright. You’re better off not knowing anyway.

The video to “Härdelsen” was released via SVT on the 7th of October. Now available on YouTube, as well. Watch and enjoy! Yes, they sing in Swedish but I hear Google Translate is good.

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