Göteborg in January, Friday the 16th 1998: The phone rang.
The caller was a friend of mine - a journalist of The Local Evening Paper. His story: He had previously received a cassette in the mail, presenting a new local "country rock band" for lack of a better label. Cassettes were common as colds - but this one was special. He had played it again and again. Outstanding. Not a trace of "Swedish country" as we know it. And now he had received tickets for their debut gig at Café Krasnapolsky, a popular downstairs place in Storgatan. How about us coming along? Sure: this could be right up our alley.
When our company arrived at the café I was stricken by the multitude of people in the audience - and their youth. True: Krasnapolsky caters for the young, but still... At a country gig?
When Alimony took the nonexistent stage the place was chock full. Periscopes or stilts were necessary to catch a glimpse of them - so we started a worming motion in their direction.
They proved to be six gentlemen: lead vocals/rhythm guitar, lead guitar, pedal steel, keyboards/harp, bass and drums. And yes - they were special. Their kaleidoscope of songs and sounds transported us
from the Texas plains of Townes, Butch and Jimmy Dale to the Western pastures of the psychedelic rangers: Terry & the Pirates, New Riders...
All original material by the vocalist, Fredrik Öster, as far as we understood except for a few well chosen songs by Townes and Jagger/Richards.
I don't know how permanent this lineup is. Very permanent, I hope. Impassioned vocals, ringing chords and short shivering, silvery leads - and Gunnar Frick's sliding, soaring, swooping pedal steel. Plus the exemplary foundation laid down by the three others - lighthanded&footed and still solid. Soundwise one of the best gigs ever. The audience simply couldn't get enough.
Even my leather jacketed "seen-it-all-and-not-so-easily-impressed" compadres stomped and cheered wildly - alongside sweet young things of (I suppose) the regular café crowd.
Yes Robert, it was right up my alley. Thanks again for the tickets!
|Fredrik Öster: vocals/guitar,|
plus song writer/lyricist
Anders Lindström: guitar
Bjarne Karlsson: keyboards
Gunnar Frick: steel guitar/accordion
Tommy Moodigan: bass
Joakim Forsemalm: new drummer
(replacing Paul Sörensson. Earlier drummer Micke Rosén pictured below)
||Another great gig took place at Jazzå Bar, Göteborg
one fine Sunday evening, Febr. 22, '98. Which yours truly missed, down with the 'flu...|
...but the grapevine said it was another solid success.
And Vanja took these photographs that night.