Friday July 25th, 2008:
Letting it all hang out at
Helsingborg's Festival, 2008
What I think:
Just about every medium-to-"large" town and city in Sweden has a festival at some point during the summer months. Helsingborgsfestivalen started last night, so the girlfriend and I went to check it out.
During the festival, many streets are closed off, and there are several stages dotted across the city, with all sorts of different music - something for everyone. They're not all brilliant, but depending on what you're into, many are worth checking out. It's really the only time that Helsingborg really comes alive, and has a good sparkly atmosphere. People are relaxed and chilled out; they just let it all hang out.
There were a few bands/artists that my girlfriend specifically wanted to see last night, so off we went. It was a great evening for it; pleasantly warm, and not a nasty cloud in the sky (just a few of those nice white fluffy ones).
The first gig we were to see was Mikael Wiehe and Ebba Forsberg. They're kind of folky. My girlfriend's parents also wanted to see it, so we had arranged to meet them - and a couple of friends who were visiting from Motala - at a monument nearby.
Unfortunately, by the time we made our way to the makeshift "venue", the band was just finishing their last song. But they did a three-or-four-song encore, so that was OK. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was nice anyway.
Because the evening had just begun, there weren't very many people around, as you can see from this photo:When this finished, we decided to get something to eat. One of our visitors, the Pregnant One had a craving for something called Langos. I'd never heard of these before, and I'm always into trying new things, so we walked to a stall that sold them.While my girlfriend, her mum (US/CAN: mom), and the Pregnant One went to get their food, Girlfriend's dad (US/CAN: the same) , the Not-Pregnant Guy and I found some seats at a picnic bench.
But them something caught my eye. Sitting in front of me, to my left, was this guy.Now there's a guy who really knows how to party and let it all hang out. He was sitting there sipping from a can of strong lager without a care in the world, bless him.
When it was our turn to get our food, I couldn't resist snapping a closer shot of this magnificent specimen of bottom-cleavage.I know it's terribly juvenile, but I can't help "cracking" up at the sight of this. I particularly like the little strand of underpant thread on his right cheek. I consider this composition to be a genuine work of art.
Surprisingly, I was not put off my food after having witnessed this public display of grotesquery. I went for the langos deluxe. It tastes much better than it looks:It's basically some kind of flat-but-puffy bread-like stuff, with a similar texture to that of a plain deep-fried doughnut with a choice of toppings. Mine had prawns (US/CAN shrimps), crayfish (US/CAN: crawfish), and what the Swedes call "Kaviar". It is in fact caviar, but I guess it comes from cheaper fish than sturgeon.
Afterwards, we said goodbye to my girlfriend's parents, and headed of to see someone called Tingsek. Technically, the band was pretty good and tight, but we all thought that it sounded like they were trying to sound like Jamiroquai. We were sitting quite a distance from the stage, in an enclosed beer & food area, but I managed to sneak off for a moments and get close enough to take a few good photos. Here's one:After that, the Pregnant One and her Not-Pregnant boyfriend decided to call it a night, so the girlfriend and I went to another gig at a marquee that was constructed on Gröningen, which is sort of a grassy beach area near the water.
There we saw Pelle Ossler and his band. I thought they were brilliant, even though Ossler was born in Bjuv. Very unique, in kind of the same way that The Pixies are unique, if you know what I mean. My girlfriend reckons that his style would go down well in German alternative music clubs. I think that means she thinks it's good.
I spotted another fine example of Swedish fashion, and I know that a number of readers depend on me to bring them the latest trends from Scandinavia, so here you are:I think that this is the best time of the year to be in Helsingborg. I would recommend coming over during Helsingborgsfestivalen to anyone. But I wish there were more carefree people here exposing their hairy bottoms; it would make the Festival complete. The Swedish government should do something about it; maybe promote this way of dressing in a poster campaign, and maybe offer prizes for the most imaginative uses of underpant thread.
That's what I think.