Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008:
Företagsrock -
Corporate Battle of The Bands
in Helsingborg

What I think:

Every year, The Tivoli, Helsingborg's main music venue, hosts a Battle of The Bands competition, in which employees from different companies compete. It's called Företagsrock (or "Company Rock").

Last year, I had joined a band with some IKEA people, and we decided to enter this year's contest. Because two of the other guys work in a building called Sockerbruket (or "The Sugar Refinery", as it used to be), I half-jokingly suggested that we call ourselves "Suckerbucket".

And so it came to pass that Suckerbucket was created, an application was made to enter the competition, and there was much rejoicing (and some rehearsing).

We were to play in the very first contest of the first round, against two other bands, on January 17th, 2008. Here's the poster:

I would have preferred some kind of photo showing all four of us, but it was decided that this was too cool an image not to use.

On the night...
As it turned out, one of the two other bands cancelled for some reason, so it was just IKEA Retail and TetraPak to play.

(TetraPak: You know those clever milk carton things that we now all take for granted? Did you know that they were a Swedish invention, and come from Lund, a smaller city not even an hour away from Helsingborg? Educational blog, or what?)

The TetraPak band, a four-man Hard Rock/Heavy Metal outfit called Metal 7 (presumably they lost the other three from lead poisoning, or something), were on first, and they did a brilliant job. They were very tight, and did these amazing dualling guitar bits (as in "The Boys Are Back In Town" by Thin Lizzy).

They rocked, and their accents when singing in English were even passable.

They played for about 20 minutes, which is one of the rules of the competition. You can get penalised for playing longer.

Another thing worth mentioning is that two bands can potentially make it through to the next round; there's a jury vote (based on points for different criteria), and an audience vote (based on how many people from work you can convince to come watch you, make a lot of noise, and act like crazy teens with their libidos on steroids).

Then we took to the stage.

The photo below shows Martin Goldberg on drums, Marcus Bällgren on bass, there's me doing the vocal thing, and Sven Larsson on lead guitar on the far-right:

Here are a few other photos, in some of which you can get a glimpse of a couple of our kind and obliging screamers:

In the end, we made it through to the Quarter Finals, which will be held on February 28th.

In case you're wondering, we did:
- Rocking In The Free World by Neil Young,
- Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash,
- Something Else by Sid Vicious/Sex Pistols,
- Sunshine Of Your Love by Cream,
- Rebel Rebel by David Bowie, and
- All Right Now by Free.

Metal 7 won the jury vote (by just two points), and we won by a landslide on the audience votes. There were, admittedly, quite a few IKEA people there.

But I also won an extra award. I was voted by the judges as the "Best In Show" (sort of a performance of the evening award).

Mental note to self: Totally spazzing out on stage can sometimes be advantageous.

Unfortunately, I was out having a smoke when they announced this award, so I missed the heaps of praise that was bestowed upon me in my absence. A photographer guy ran outside to let me know that I was wanted on stage, but when I got there, I was unceremoniously handed two little bits of paper.

I only found out later that I'd won something. When I checked my pocket for the bits of paper I'd received, I found out that they were actually free tickets to see someone called Caroline af Ugglas. Apparently she does Janis Joplin songs in Swedish. Should be interesting.

If you're reading this, and plan to be in Helsingborg on February 28th, be sure to make it to The Tivoli to see Suckerbucket battle on.

I just hope that I happen to be indoors when prizes are announced. I certainly would be if this stupid smoking ban wasn't in place. It's time that the Swedish government did something about it. That's what I think.