There’s a place in Stockholm called “GoldenHits” and upstairs it has a bar/club area entirely devoted to schlager.
An entire bar devoted to Swedish Schlager music. I discovered this with the eclectic James O’Brien a couple of weeks ago when we were in Sweden. To say we had the night of our lives is an understatement! There was a moment, after a couple of hours of perfect schlager music, drinking latt öl and good company – a moment when they played “Du är så Yeah Yeah Wow Wow” by Martin – that I literally and honestly thought “if I died right now, if I had a heart attack and died right here, right now, it would be okay.”
Never, in all my years on planet Earth did I think that I would have the experience of being in a bar/club (especially a straight one) and hearing Martin being played loud and proud. And witnessing the dance floor light up with a slew of Swedes strutting their stuff and singing along to every single word. It would be a perfect way to go because I can’t imagine there will be any better moment than this in my life. I experienced bliss, joy, emotion, vindication, fulfilment, warmth, love and hysteria all in the one moment. I was in a bar/club, city, country with a people who “got it”, they really, really “got it” – they loved the music we were listening to all night as much as I do. It’s normal for them…for me, living on the other side of the world in Australia, it’s something you can’t even explain to people properly.
James and I had been to the slightly disappointing Stockholm Pride Schlager Night for most of the night and then moved on to GoldenHits. They were having a special schlager night with a live appearance by Magnus Carlsson, ex-Alcazar, ex-Barbados, uber-fab-Swedish-entertainer and prominent Svensk Homo. I’d seen Magnus perform live before, in 2009, and was instantly converted to fandom and worship. I’d even met Magnus and had my pic taken with him. He’s a darling. But James, an uber-uber-Magnus Carlsson fan, had never seen him live, in the flesh. He was almost wetting his pants in anticipation.
Magnus did not disappoint. In about 35 minutes he did just about his entire career. Seriously. This was the best of the best. And the crowd went nuts. As did James. As did I.
I’d recently purchased a new camera – a Panasonic FS-33 (known in Oz as FH-25) – and had been enthusiastically trying it out all week in Stockholm. But with still photos. I decided, on the spur of the moment, to do a test of the camera’s video recording capabilities. I don’t really have much experience of this with any camera so it was definitely an experiment. I filmed a few minutes of Magnus live on stage. I thought I might surprise James with the footage later on.
It hasn’t come out too badly for a first attempt. I got sick of holding the bloody camera still – your arm and hand get tired after a while! But anyway, tonight I uploaded it to Youtube and you can see it below.
Big hugs to Magnus for being so fabtastic. Hugs to GoldenHits for providing me with the night of my life. And a big puss och kram to James for being my partner in crime for a week in Sweden!