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One of the many things I love about
our Swedish cousins, is the fact that they’ve
a word in their lexicon which roughly means
“to meet-up with friends and drink some coffee”.
And that word is fika. Some fika. To fika. It’s fika time!
Now strictly speaking, a fika isn’t really a fika without
the accompaniment of something sweet on the side.
A cinnamon roll perhaps. Or a saffron bun.
Or, in tonight’s case at least, a low-key gig
in a church dedicated to the patron saint of outcasts.
Better known by the pseudonym Loney Dear,
Emil Svanängen is a multimember home-recording
one-man-band phenomenon, who appears
very much at ease up on the pulpit this evening.
For whilst other Scandinavians of his age were out
meeting girls, drinking snaps and smoking herring,
Emil was in his parent’s basement in the city of Jönköping,
armed with a minidisk microphone, various instruments and his PC.
In a recent interview, Emil described his albums as being a bit like cakes.
The kind of cake this brings to mind
is a traditional Swedish Prinsesstårta;
multi-layered and dusted with sugar.
A light green falsetto exterior giving way
to a rich swollen centre of whipped
percussion and butterfat handclaps.
If he doesn’t hook you with the spiraling glockenspiel
in ‘I Am John’, he’ll no doubt ensnare you instead with
the whistling refrain that underpins ‘I Was Only Going Out’
or the singalong section which enhances ‘The Meter Marks OK’.
Your sweet-tooth smile widening with each new overdub.
Outside, afterwards, fika-time over for another day,
we lean against the gravestones for a while
and suck on cold beers whilst a steward
sweeps-up cigarette butts at our feet.
Loney Dear has a plane to Boston Massachusetts to catch in the morning
I’ve got a radiator that needs bleeding.

Loney Dear play live on Band Busking Dotcom

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