That is exactly what about 3-400 other people also decided to do, which meant that we struggled to get a cab for about 1 1/2 hour. It took about 10 minutes before we reached the Tullinge airport where we were supposed to get backstage/press passes. At the airport they told us to go to the festival parking area. Well there, we noticed two long queues next to a white, unmarked trailer. People waiting in line told us this was the place for those passes, so we placed ourselves in one queue. It didn't move for 10 minutes, and there were about 20 persons in front of us. Suddenly someone said that the queue we were standing in was meant for band people and festival workers, and that we were supposed to go to the other queue (which was growing and growing). So we did. And waited there for an hour, which meant that we missed Souls and Fidget. We started to get worried about the Bob Hund performance now, but fortunately a bus came along and picked us up. Finally!
Now the road to the festival area is not the best one. It is extremely narrow and bumpy. People were walking on it to the area, and cabs and other busses came in the other direction. This caused delays which meant that when we arrived at the festival area, Bob Hund was just about to end.
It is not necessary to continue to explain the transport hassle (back to the city at night, to the area in the morning, and back to the city again the last night), because you probably understand what it was like by now. The arrangers did manage to make things a bit better on the saturday, and they open-heartily apologized for all the trouble, which I felt helped to cope a bit. Maybe they had not expected that it would be such a success - over 43.000 visitors (!) during the two days, but that is something to think about for next year's festival.
The first musical performance had to be Yvonne on stage 2. And what is there to be said about them but that they are simply fantastic! Henric de la Cour struck enough poses to make the girls at front row dizzy in their pop heads. He jumped around, almost screaming, stealing the show and got all the attention from the audience. The rest of the band was pretty anonymous, which I felt was a bit sad. Musically, it was interesting to hear them again after almost a year, though they are definitely still in the synth-pop genre, and are only getting better and better! It makes me sad to think that we all have to wait such a long time for their next album.
Stereolab were supposed to enter the Grand Vegas stage thirty minutes into Yvonne's performance, but luckily enough they were moved to later in the afternoon (though unfortunately pretty close to Andy Bell & Alex Lowe). Stereolab usually creates a lot of raving reviews when they play, though I must confess that I have not really been paying attention to it. Until now. This is what Kent did to me at last year's Lollipop. Now I understand, and now I know. Their music is swirly, dreamy and beautiful. It is not Slowdive, but definitely in that direction. At least live. They made me speechless with their walls of sound, their gorgeous music, and I just stood there and smiled, probably looking as silly as everyone around me.
Andy Bell (Ride) and Alex Lowe do not have a name for their band yet, but that did not stop them from playing at the Stage 3. Amazingly enough, they sound like a whole band, even though they do not have one. The pop poses are there, as well as two acoustic guitars, which makes their music more folk-like than I like it to be. But as this is one of their first performances ever, it is just stupid to judge what their sound will be like with a whole band, or on an album, from it.
Kent switched place with Beck and played at 1am on the biggest stage, Stage 1. I am still a big fan, even though their second, latest album did not leave a big impression on me. Fortunately, they played a lot of songs from their debut album. "Blåjeans" was announced as a proletarian song. Followed by "Ingen Kommer Att Tro Dig". They played their hits from the second album too of course, like "En Timme En Minut", "Halka" and ended with their rock cover of Depeche Mode's "Stripped". Jocke Berg stole the show as usual, but what a show-stealer he is! You can just look at him and understand how, why and from where everything he is saying is coming. Sweden is lucky to have this fantastic band, do you hear me!
To be here, in the sunny afternoon, at a festival, and get to see and hear Eggstone, like a friend of mine said to me just before they went on stage, must be the definite highlight. And so it was. They started out with a new easy-breeze song that had somewhat of a carnival feeling over it, though in the middle of it, a garbage truck drove up next to the stage, making the audience there move, and created a bit of a stir. The band-members just looked at the truck, then at each other, but continued with the song. Most of the audience just laughed at the whole thing though. Well, back to the performance. It was just as light, beautiful and funny as one would expect from Eggstone. Including the small brass section called The Mopeds, that they had brought with them. They played a whole bunch of new songs like "The First Jump From The Bridge" and their latest single "Summer and Looking For a Job", but also oldies like "Sun King". When they went off the stage, some friends said "But they have to play My Trumpets!". And they did - as an extra number! Per Sunding enjoying every second, smiles on every face, people jumping up and down everywhere singing along, and I did smoke a Lucky Strike - a perfect ending to a perfect gig!
The time went fast this afternoon, and when we had found some food, mingled with the in-crowd (ha ha), listened somewhat to Brainpool, Nomads, Tindersticks and Bob Dylan, it was suddenly time for Manic Street Preachers' replacement Teenage Fanclub. Something we had been waiting for both days. "Hi we're Teenage Fanclub from Glasgow in Scotland, we're here to stand in for the Manic Street Preachers who couldn't make it tonight", they greeted us. And no one was sad about that. It was impossible to stand still. Everyone was enjoying the music to the full, even Bobby Gillespie in the middle of the crowd. Great songs like "Starsign", "What You Do To Me" and a new song called "Ain't That Enough" followed. And what a performance! This is a really fantastic band to see and hear live!
When the night closed in on us, The Chemical Brothers, Prodigy and Carl Cox made everyone want to dance, and so we did. We even missed Northern Uproar, though we did manage to go right through the unbelievably large Black Grape audience at the Stage 2. Big Stage! Big Stage! people shouted, and we had to agree.
Overall it was a great festival, creating a lot of happy memories musically, and a great place to meet people, bands and new contacts. Though Fidget, Sobsister, Souls and Bob Hund would all have made it even better. Outstanding performances from Teenage Fanclub, Eggstone, Kent, Underworld, Yvonne, Stereolab and The Chemical Brothers, and the guards behind Stage 3 who were extremely helpful made it all worthwhile. Definitely.
We'd also like to thank Helena Dillén for her fantastic help in bringing Scandinavian Indie to the festival, and sponsoring the Scandinavian Indie @ Lollipop '96 Contest! See you all there again next year!
// Erik Söderström (words) & Anna Elkert (photo)
Want to look at more pictures (more Fidget, Kent, Yvonne, Teenage Fanclub, Stereolab, Andy Bell & Alex Lowe and general festival ones)? Press the button to the right!
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