Our focus is set on Wales!

We are happy to be back at Focus Wales – and this time with our very own stage! Let’s make a trip with Telos Vision, Agent Blå and The Bongo Club.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the name “Wales”? A piece of land next to England? Ridiculously over payed football star Gareth Bale? Well, it shouldn’t be. It should be music. It should be Focus Wales. Based in the northern city of Wrexham, it’s basically at a walking distance from both Manchester and Liverpool, and a great place to visit.

This year we are happy to showcase three Swedish acts on our very own stage at Tŷ Pawb! First out is no other than Telos Vision, one of the latest signings of Gothenburg label Welfare Sounds. And for front man, guitarist, singer and visionary Teodor Boogh, Focus Wales is afirst one.

− I have never played a showcase gig before, so I just hope that it’s a festival where you get to meet people like yourself. The people that have seen us earlier likes us, and to spread my music in a new context, without knowing what’s going to happen, is really exciting! Usually a quartet but now, for the first time ever, Telos Vision will be performing as a trio. Meaning that the audience in Wales are in for a special treat!

− It’s going to a be a unique show. Intense, sweaty and with a great deal of guitar solos! It’s always a pleasure playing in front of new people, just to get up on stage and into the eye of the storm. A storm, that’s basically what Focus Wales is to the city of Wrexham. Showdown is between May 16 and 18, filling the city with more than 200 acts on 20 stages. Quite the invasion for a place with just over 60 000 inhabitants.

Accompanying Telos Vision we got our own special agent; Agent Blå. This time on amission in Wales, band member Tobias Bauer walks us through the preparations and expectations.
− It’s time to discover Wales, play some music and pet some sheep!

With their shiny new album Morning Thoughts just being released the timing couldn’t be better for Agent Blå to travel to Focus Wales. And to play on the British islands seems like a match made in heaven.
− We often get compared with British bands, so hopefully they´ll recognize our sound but at same time find something new in it. From there it’s just about meeting new people, establish contacts and play our music for a broader audience.
We got it all. Guitar solos, British sounds and new music. Hook, line and sinker. Catch Telos Vision, Agent Blå and The Bongo Club live at Tŷ Pawb on May 16, at 6 pm.

Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2335025010088000/
Festival: https://www.facebook.com/focuswales/

Have a listen:
Telos Vision:
https://bit.ly/2EdNjN8
Agent Blå: https://bit.ly/2W4Vgy7
The Bongo Club: https://bit.ly/2DIH2GM

Words: Wolfman Jackson

Una bolsa viene cargada de rock!

Time to cross the Atlantic for the land with tequila, sombreros and the most streams in the world – Mexico! Bottlecap from Gothenburg will represent Westside Music Sweden at Festival Marvin, CDMX, May 16-18, our third year proudly part of this event. We had a little talk with singer and guitar player, Gustavo Påhlsson.

So, El Gustavo, tu bailando y loca cucaracha, what’s up?
– Everything’s great, I’m at home waiting for UPS to deliver some of our CD’s, they’ve should have been delivered yesterday, but they couldn’t find my name on the package, so here I am, waiting.

You´re playing both at the Festival Marvin, CDMX and doing five shows outside Mexico City as well. How have you prepared yourself and what is your expectations on the festival and the tour?
– Well, we have rehearsed a lot, mostly very short but extremely intense, that’s how we want it, a hell of an intense show! You always feel a bit insecure when flying with your gear so we hope it will arrive sound and well in Mexico. Our drummer Pontus has built a special case for both the guitar and bass. It looks awesome! Other than that we are looking forward to some nice and (hopefully!) warm summer weather. We’re excited for the festival gig and of course the tour as well, keeping our fingers crossed no one of us will get stomach sick, haha.

It’s Bottlecaps first time in Mexico, some of them have been to South America before, but they all feel this will be a bit different, in a good way. The other bands that will tour with them are Dresden Wolves and 3 Minute Riot and they all seem to be a good bunch of people according to Gustav.
– They have taken care of everything, even printing the shirts for the tour, can you imagine that? And, there is a beer coming out with our name on it! We feel like rockstars and nothing we expected to happen. Really cool.

 

The homemade case made by drummer Pontus.

Bottlecap have had a busy spring with a single coming out, shooting a video and getting an album deal sorted with Zorch Productions.
– It’s funny,we celebrate 11 years as a band and it took us 10,5 year to get a record out through a label, but now it’s finally happening. The label debut will be out in September and one more single will be released this summer.

So why did it take you so long?
– Oh, guess we didn’t have the right connections really, but after we played Viva Sounds last December, we meet Zorch Productions and yeah, here we are. It feels great.

Zorch Productions wasn’t the only ones who had an eye on Bottlecap during Viva Sounds and they got the festival gig trough the show they did at The Abyss as well – as Festival Marvin were invited to spot any talent they liked. The last single “Off Pressure” was put out through Zorch and it’s been well received with a lot of streams on Spotify.
– I think that’s how you measure success nowadays?” Gustav responds.

We like to add that a festival invitation in Mexico might be ok as a measurement on success as well, and you catch them like this if you’re on the other side of the Atlantic, the most beautiful ocean of them all, with some extra stuff, not announced, coming up as well —>

05.18 @ Festival Marvin, Mexico City
05.23 @ Más Sabe El Diablo Cultubra, Queretaro
05.24 @ Ummagumma Pub, Aguascalientes
05.25 @ Anexo Indepencia, Guadalajara

Links:
Bottlecap / https://www.facebook.com/bottlecapband/

NEW VIDEO – Off Pressure / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-l8uCJ87v2U

Festival Marvin – Mexico City / http://festival.marvin.com.mx/
Revista Marvin – https://www.facebook.com/RevistaMarvinOficial/

Violencia River / https://www.facebook.com/ViolenciaRiver
Dresden Wolves / https://www.facebook.com/dresdenwolvesband/
3 Minute Riot / https://www.facebook.com/3minuteriot/

Words: Püssygrinder LaGrange

A greater escape than Brexit

500 emerging artists from all around the globe, more than 30 venues and a festival site on Brighton Beach. The Great Escape is not to be missed by the music lover, and we got Linn Koch-Emmery and The Bongo Club in the middle of it, part of ÅÄÖ Sounds Swedish. 

Over the years The Alternative Escape, the spotlight shows of The Great Escape in Brighton, have been showcasing bands and artists like ALT J, Seinabo Sey, Tom Odell, Royal Blood and many more. The festival, and the opportunity to play it, is something extra to say the least. But Linn Koch-Emmery is something extra as well, and according to many prophets of music 2019 is her year. A statement she is more than happy to acknowledge.
− Everything you read in the paper is true!

It’s been a busy year for Linn so far and the show in Brighton takes the total number up to 20. And although she’s on everyone’s lips and the festival is packed with people from the industry, Linn is down to earth, easy in her way and relaxed.
− Since Brexit is happening, I don’t feel any stress over that at all.

Nothing seems to stop her, all she needs to do is to remember the songs.
− And to tune my guitar! In my head the weather is going to be nice, which is something to look forward to.

We look forward to catch Linn Koch-Emmery and The Bongo Club live at the ÅÄÖ – Sounds Swedish Showcase, Saturday May 11 at Door 77.
The full schedule on the link below;

https://www.facebook.com/events/2159239210857279/

Words: Wolfman Jackson (not apologizing for the heading btw)

Spotting the talent at SPOT!

Spring time is finally here and the festival season is really just around the corner. Let’s turn our eyes and ears just little bit south towards SPOT Festival in Aarhus, Denmark!

Often called The City of Smiles, Aarhus is in top with the best of them. And since they also host the one and only SPOT Festival there really isn’t anything to complain about. This year we got three acts in the line-up, all guitar-driven and energetic. Say hi to Beverly Kills, The Bongo Club and Terra!   

Beverly Kills is on every one’s lips back in their hometown of Gothenburg City. They recently signed a new record deal with Welfare Sounds and it sure is time for them to spread their name on the international scene. SPOT Festival seems to play a perfect part in that mission, at least if you ask singer Alma Westerlund.

− It feels fantastic! Our first goal for 2019 was to play abroad, and by the end of the year we will have done the same amount of shows in Sweden as across the border. The second goal is play in Copenhagen, and Aarhus is definitely on the right track!

Aarhus and SPOT has a lot to offer, something the band really wants to be a part of.
− We look forward to drinking some beers and to put up posters all over town for our show. And of course to meet fun and interesting people!

Joining Beverly Kills on the ferry over to Denmark we have the constantlytouring The Bongo Club. And although their van recently broke down, singer Jesper Jansson assures us that their moods are high about returning to Aarhus and SPOT Festival.   

− This is our second time playing SPOT Festival. Last time was more or less our first proper showcase, so we’re coming back with more confidence and experience this year and look forward to networking with the industry.

Aarhus is all about good vibes and being the biggest showcase festival in the Nordic countries one can expect a great gathering of interesting people at SPOT Festival. A fact Jesper Jansson is aware of.

− You can expect most of the major industry being present, so it really is a great opportunity to connect and get things going. Might also be time for a second round at the karaoke bar we visited last time.

We say best of luck to Beverly Kills, The Bongo Club and Terra! See you in The City of Smiles!

SPOT FB: https://www.facebook.com/spotfestival/
SPOT Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/290051401639180/
Westside – event: https://www.facebook.com/events/361309421400132/

Words: Wolfman Jackson

Tilde to Tjili Pop!

This year will be Copenhagen-included, with stuff happening this spring, this summer and this fall. First out are two stunts with the tiny strawberry-field type place called Tjili Pop on Nørrebro – and first artist to go is Tilde Hjelm. Here’s some words on what she’s about right now, including the trip south.

The new single “I Hate You Jim” has received very nice reviews. Would you like to tell us a little bit about the song?
– Thanks! Feels nice to hear so many sweet words from everyone. The song is shaped by a time in my life when I left something behind, met someone new and had an amazing time recording. Me and Caroline Wickberg, who recorded the song, went in to Svenska Grammofonstudion for two days and played around till it felt right. It´s fun to work with different producers, and especially with a dear friend like Caroline.

You’ve said that the single is a “leap forward, yet a goodbye at the same time”. You can really sense the “goodbye” in the music video since it takes place at a graveyard. Who’s idea was that?
– Yes exactly, a “goodbye” can be mean so many things. Both emotional and physical. The idea of the graveyard was mine and it was a lot of fun. We took a walk with the dogs and the ideas for a video came along a little at a time. I like the simplicity of the video. Sometimes you don’t need all that much to convey a feeling.

The song can interpret being left by someone you love and also that the person has died. Is Jim a fictional person?
– That is something that I will leave unsaid. I want the listener to make his/hers own interpretation on that and maybe “I Hate You Jim” can become important so someone else too.

As a musician it’s not always that easy to get to play abroad, but 24/4 you are playing in Copenhagen. Are you excited to see how a danish audience will perceive you?
– It’s very fun to play outside of Sweden. Last spring I played at SPOT Festival in Århus, DK and my lyrics are in English so it’äs nice that it seems to be working out great. My music is also appreciated in Turkey. That´s probably where I have most of my fans, which feels exciting! I want to go to Istanbul soon.

Do you have any more plans for the future? Didn’t you talk about fleeing the country, leaving everything behind and becoming a sea captain?
– My plan is to release more music. I have a lot of projects coming up and I’m very curious about where it will lead me. But yes, to become a sea captain has always been a dream of mine – to sail great ships on the far open sea of Greece during season, then come back home to write music during the cold winter in the gray nordic scenery would be great. I like the contrast and I need both adventure and ease in my life.

Tilde Hjelm plays Thili Pop on Wednesday 24th of April and Marcus Wilsson will be there Wednesday 29th of May.

https://www.facebook.com/TildeHjelmmusicpage/
https://open.spotify.com/artist/5EtBxMha2vrUFovdLLzTQR
https://www.facebook.com/cafetjilipop/

Words: Sicalita Swinefur
Photo: Angelica Hvass
https://www.facebook.com/angelicahvassphotography

The road to Roadburn with the Exorcist GBG

The Exorcist GBG made a string of shows in Europe, fueled up by steam, moods and all the strange things in between, and finalized their trip at Roadburn Festival – here’s some words on it!

Last time we saw The Exorcist GBG was when they played at the Viva Sounds closing party together with Pale Honey in December 2018 at Pustervik. Now it’s time to enter the Green Room stage at Roadburn, Netherlands. I try to squeeze through the doors into the venue to follow the evening’s hypnotic gig, but the venue is very crowded and it is hard to get a good spot at all.

Tomas ”Tompa” Lindberg from At the Gates has been this year’s curator at Roadburn which he called

The tour started in Malmö going through Berlin and Amsterdam, ending up in Tilburg.

“The Burning Darkness”, and The Exorcist GBG was invited, together with Uran Gbg and Fontän because they all share some members and makes a nice gang.

The band started with a shorter tour in Malmö and went via Berlin and Amsterdam. Westside Music Sweden has supported the tour so that’s why we meet up in the band’s dressing room right after the gig. The band consists of keyboardist Vesslan, bass player Osynlige Mann and drummer Tentakel. I get to share a few minutes with Tentakel and he says that the short tour has been nothing but success. “The audience have liked us and the gigs have gone well, no direct major incidents”

Sometimes the names gets misspelled…

How has the mood been in the tour bus?
“Well, it´s been a fight here and there… Haha, nah, jokes aside but one or two shoes has flown in the air, mixed with bad jokes and some deep conversations along the way, as it easily becomes when you sit too many hours in a van. Then the brakes of the car has been unreliable so we’ll see how it goes on the way home.”

The Exorcist Gbg began as a breakaway group from the Uran GBG collective and they wanted to sound like a mix of ABBA and Kraftwerk, but with a lot of improvised stuff. I notice how the audience really digs the music during their set.

What do you think about the gig?
“It started with a bit of unwanted noise, there was some cord or something that didn’t really want to work but we sorted it out, so it felt alright in the end. And glad to get that vibe and positive response from the crowd, we’re happy. Now it’s just to reload before the Uran gig.” he says and looks a bit tired. “I may have a little powernap or something”

Uran will take the main stage a few hours later and will finish Saturday´s line-up, we hope there will be a little more sleep for Tentakel, before starting the long drive home on Sunday

Facebook: The Exorcist GBG
Video: Hero

Words and Photo: Püssygrinder LaGrange

We Dream Alone to Poland, Czech and Slovakia!

We Dream Alone has been active around us for some time now, and we know them as an ambitious band who wanna go places. Therefore it’s no surprise they’re on their way to do some shows over this week, hitting five cities and three countries, so we asked a bit about it.

The trip starts off in Poland, then moves to Czech and finally to Slovakia, and the band seem up for it.
– Yes, we’re really excited! This is uncharted territory for us but we’ve wanted to visit those countries for a long time and we have only heard good things about the underground music scene and fans in eastern Europe!

Where else in the world have you been?
– We got the privilege to do a western European mini-tour a year ago, also with the help from Westside Music Sweden and visited Spain and Portugal and had a great time! Apart from that we have also visited our neighbours in Norway and Denmark over the years.

You performed at the last Metaltown that took place in Gothenburg (Indoors) in 2016. Do you think the metal scene of Sweden has changed since then?
– Metaltown Indoors was a fantastic show and it was so cool getting to become a part of the Metaltown history. The metal scene is constantly changing, but you tend to notice the changes some years later, looking back at it. We know our style of songwriting has changed, as have other’s and it would be boring otherwise. Whether we have had an impact on how at least the local scene has changed is for others to decide, but we like to think that we bring something new to the table, at least we try to.

Last year you released your third album, ÆTHER. Where are you on new material at the moment?
– Our main focus has been getting ÆTHER out to as many parts of the world we can think of, and there are always new riffs in the making but no releases planned right now. We did a music video for the ÆTHER single “Happiness” this winter – check it out if you haven’t!

What is the best thing about being on tour?
– The best part for us is that we get to shut off all the regular stuff in our lives and just go live inside a bubble, and do what we love for some days straight. We always have fun together, so combined with seeing new places and meeting new people and fans, it’s truly a bubble we like to stay in every now and then.

Facebook: We Dream Alone
Video: Happiness

Words: Sicalita Swinefur
Photo: Anton Midtöy

Viva Talks English!

Viva Talks is a new series of talks, in the shape of a normal after-work. For the first session we’re inviting three British people to sit down in the restaurant at Pustervik for a conversation about music. It’s time for Viva Talks English!

Since it’s nice to meet up and talk about our favorite subject, we’re doing these events from now and up until December and our festival Viva Sounds. Viva Talks is free of charge and we hope to see musicians, promoters, companies and just anybody interested in music for these laid-back meetings – this is for all of us who wants to talk music at our own after-work.

Our guests for April are these cool cats, bringing expertise from a range of angles to the table;

Anika Mottershaw is the A&R and Project Manager at Bella Union where she has worked for the past eight years. Anika started at Bella Union after moving to London, dropping out from university and meeting label founder Simon Raymonde at the gigs she was going to. Not long after this, Anika became Label Assistant, signing her first artist in 2012. She now works as A&R and is the project manager for about half of the roster, working closely with the Bella Union artists. Outside of the label Anika is a huge fan of literature and film, and loves to get involved in creative endeavours as often as possible.

https://bellaunion.com
https://www.facebook.com/bellaunionrecs/

Cai Trefor works as editor at Gigwise. With over 80 writers and 20 photographers on call worldwide, Gigwise covers all major and underground music events as they happen. Working closely with artists, record labels, PR and promoters, Gigwise doesn’t just report on the music scene, but plays an active role. Since its launch in June 2002, Gigwise has consistently been at the cutting edge of music, often breaking exclusive stories on music’s biggest acts. The fresh, uncompromising approach and ability to identify breaking acts has won it a loyal and ever expanding core of users. Cai previously worked as deputy editor and as live sessions editor and he’s also contributed to Drowned IN Sound, The Line Of Best Fit and Clash Magazine in the past.

https://www.gigwise.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Gigwise/

Cristina Greco is the social media marketing manager for Birmingham Promoters, an independent business specialised in music promotion and events organisation, tirelessly operating in the UK and Midlands Indie music scene since 2008 (and now with a predominantly female team, a positive rarity in the industry!). With a background in communication and PR for Italian music festivals and events, and after moving to UK to carry her PhD studies on data analytics, Cristina is now using her digital skills to play an active role in her new city’s music scene, having joined the company as Head of Marketing last year.

https://birminghampromoters.com/
https://www.facebook.com/bhampromoters/

Jesper Jansson is a member of the indie rock band The Bongo Club, where he handles guitar and vocals. With one album released The Bongo Club have toured all over Europe and also been to the UK several times. Jesper will add the perspective of the musician who have played both festivals and club nights in the UK, and with the experience of both successful shows and, also, a number of not so successful shows.

http://www.thebongoclub.se/
https://www.facebook.com/TheBongoClub/

Christian Naumanen is a freelance journalist and music writer from Borås. With his roots in the local music scene, he covers everything from emerging acts to big international festivals like SXSW. He is a culture columnist and critic for Borås Tidning and was the editor of Maktens Musik, a status report of pop music in Swedish cultural policies 2017. When not writing, Christian plays the guitar (with The Stomping Academy & Linda of The Valley), manages his tiny label Ringstone Records and dreams about buying a house with a barn, where he can build his own studio.

http://christiannaumanen.se
https://ringstonerecords.wixsite.com/ringstonerecords

Scandinavian trio on tour

Three acts with one thing in common – an innovative interpretation of the minimalistic.
From Sweden comes Lisa Wanloo, from Norway Vi go Du and from Denmark Marí. Together, the three artists makes a joint tour through their home countries in early March. We are invited to acoustic music inspired by archipelago life, deep forests and the possibilities that lies within the human voice. Stripped, beautiful and undeniably touching.

LISA WANLOO, SE

Lisa Wanloo appeared on the Swedish music scene early 2017 with a clear and honest expression not many debutants have. She’s born and raised on Hönö, an island in the Gothenburg archipelago, and her music shares a similar raw beauty to the landscape she grew up in. With influences from americana and indie folk, her solo singer-songwriter performance is an intimate music experience with a strong backbone of really well crafted songs.
In October 2018 she released a hauntingly and beautiful EP produced by Per Stålberg and Kalle Lilja in Welfare Sounds in Gothenburg and Lisa Wanloo is since continuing to perform while working on new material. If you want to get lost in a unique, upcoming voice, keep an eye out for Lisa Wanloo.
https://www.facebook.com/lisawanloomusic/ https://open.spotify.com/artist/4hxlE5YsAXXBhVfkrytLwA https://www.instagram.com/lisawanloo/

MARÍ, DK
‘Mari’ is the chosen moniker of the Danish singer/songwriter Linda Josefsen. With her haunting voice and minimalist songs in the vein of folk music, Josefsen’s work is reminiscent of a force of nature wherein the tranquil and the feral are entwined.
She will perform live alongside Andreas Westmark (Get Your Gun, Hjalte Ross), in which they will explore the form and expression of Josefsen’s work, seeking out the core of this emerging artist’s sound.
https://www.facebook.com/marimusicdk https://soundcloud.com/emptytape/mari-price-of-love

VI OG DU, NO
Vi og Du writes music based on harmonized vocals in a soundscape that oscillates between beat-based and floating elements. The lyrics are written in Norwegian and the musical distinctiveness places the songs in a genre-crossing tradition. The music can best be described as pop though the duo is also inspired by genres like jazz, soul and the singer-songwriter tradition. The pop-duo consists of Iris Marie Gusfre and Anne Ingrid Tangen Kiær.
The vocalists have different musical backgrounds which are shown in both how the music is written and performed. The interesting encounter between genres is met with openness in the music, where the songs are distinct from each other, but throughout, nevertheless, there is a translucent thread that gives the listener an experience of continuity with crystal clear voices and a strong stage presence.
https://www.facebook.com/viogdu/
https://soundcloud.com/user-155121082

05 mars @ Det Musiske Hus, Frederikshavn, DK
06 mars @ 1000fryd, Aalborg, DK
07 mars @ Sofar, Göteborg, SE
08 mars @ Pumphuset, Borås, SE
09 mars @ Sabla Bar, Kristinasand, NO

Mexico state of mind!

Third year in a row we’re teaming up with Festival Marvin, CDMX, to make our perspective a little bit wider and a little bit more interesting. This time it’s Bottlecap’s turn to cross the Atlantic to see what’s up.

It’s all going down between May 16 and 18. One of the most important music events in Mexico City, now in their ninth edition: Festival Marvin delivers a large number of activities and more than 60 concerts with both national and international acts. This year, Bottlecap is one of them, and we were able to pass over a few questions to festival booker Uili Damage.

Every year you have a lot of bands to choose from. Why Bottlecap?
− Thanks to the Viva Sounds Festival’s 2nd edition we had the chance to place foot in Gothenburg, where Bottlecap was in the line-up. Festival Marvin has been devoted to rescue certain important rock styles that are blatantly leftover by metal fests and indie soft rock fests. Having a powerful non-metal rock band such as Bottlecap crowns the kind of music stamp the
festival is bringing to the Mexican audience.

“It is a celebration of music discovery.”

This is the ninth edition of Festival Marvin. What’s this year’s main focus?
− We’ve always looked for showcasing important emerging talent, with the quality and chops to headline anything, and then we present them along bigger artists that have missed to play Mexico for any reason. It is a celebration of music discovery.

After the festival Bottlecap are hooking up with Mexican locals Dresden Wolves and 3 Minute Riot for a couple of shows on the road. Seems like the perfect first Mexican visit. We called up Jorge de Los Rios on the  independent booking collective Violencia River, to catch up.

What can we expect from the tour?
− A lot of fun but also the chance to play in front of different crowds, the scene in Queretaro is smaller than Mexico City, but people there support foreign bands, also they get super crazy in the moshpit.

Sounds cool! How’s the punk rock scene in Mexico at the moment?
− The punk rock/indie scene in Mexico is thriving, and since 2014 there’s a lot of DIY-promotors, venues and bands making a change. We are very excited to have the Bottlecap guys here. It’s gonna be wild but also very fun to have three bands from the most different cultural background sharing a van and awesome stories, all in the name of rock n roll.

You’re correct, Jorge. All in the name of rock and roll.

LINKS: 
Festival Marvin / Revista MarvinBottlecap /
Dresden Wolves / 3 Minute Riot / Violencia River

Words: Wolfman Jackson
Picture: M.Roth de Fries Lündbergh (open source)