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Another St. Laurent Saturday (Part I): Svenska Flickor Invasion

Posted by Goran / May 12, 2008


A Saturday night in Montreal can be tough to manage. This is especially true when the weather is fine and there’s more shows going on than one has the time or the money to see. It is that much harder when just one of the many shows features more sexy Swedish voices than one can fall in love with in a lifetime. Last Saturday was one such night. Fortunately, with the support of a few friends, I have been capable of superficially summing up the evening in a two-part piece.

After chasing a ball around Parc Lafontaine (exercise is important) and enjoying a savory international student BBQ (as is nutrition), I was perfectly prepared (and excited) to check out three Swedish ladies with beautifully angelic voices: Anna Ternheim, Lykke Li, and El Perro Del Mar. I was not shocked to find Club Lambi less than half full of zombies who seemed to have checked their bodies at the door. I’m not sure what it is about Montreal concert goers that makes it so hard for them show their appreciation for a great performance through even the slightest body motion.


I was, however, surprised to see that Sweden’s most well known female solo vocalist was opening up for a couple of up-and-comers. My Swedish correspondent, and filtration system, had some strong feelings about Ms. Ternheim's performance:

“Yesterday night I felt more patriotic than ever. Not because of our social security system, the clean environment or Volvo. I am talking about ‘svenska flickor’: the three female Swedish voices that really whipped Montreal’s ass! My special favourite without a doubt is Anna. Her delicate voice, her unpretentious presence and her charm filled my (Swedish) heart with warmth and affection. She is so fragile and so strong at the same time. Her music too is both soft and powerful. The result of that combination is pure magic. Her music is so rich that even when performed in its purest form (solo), it requires no additional support (a band).”

I begged to differ. The awesomest performance by far was that of the shy, yet sensual, Lykke Li. In fact, she’s my favourite new artist out there and I strongly recommend that you hear anything of hers that you can get your hands on. She claims that “her hips they lie ‘cause in reality [she’s] shy, shy, shy.” But the phat beats and beautiful vocals that accompanied tracks like the hit single “Little Bit”, the bouncy “Breaking It Up” and my favourite “Dance, Dance, Dance” showed no signs of insecurity or apprehension. In the words of "Dance, Dance, Dance" she describes herself better than I ever could: “when I’m shaking my hips, look for the swing, the words are written in the air.” It may very well have been the first time that I witnessed the crowd demand an encore from an opener.

It seems that headliner, El Perro Del Mar, has grown accustomed to being mildly upstaged, but this had little effect on her performance. She had another one of those beautiful Swedish voices and her style was somewhat reminiscent of Nina Persson in some of the early Cardigans Emmerdale era tracks. The kids today would call it Feist-y. She had a solid band to back her and put on a great show herself. As I enjoyed her music, I looked down at my watch and realized, “S#*$! I have to get my @$$ down to the Cabaret Juste Pour Rire.” Melbourne’s Cut Copy had already hit the stage. Rock’n’roll waits for nobody. So I jumped on my bike and…

[To be continued…]

Photos from Flickr user mariliscardinal



kim / May 12, 2008 at 08:05 pm
Thanks for posting this - I went to those Lykke Li youtube links, and I think I just heard my newest favourite artist. Great stuff!
Jer / May 12, 2008 at 08:52 pm
I like that you had a Swedish correspondent...just to make the whole review more authentic.

Looking forward to part two.
O / May 13, 2008 at 12:33 am
Are you ever going to show up at a concert on time?
G / May 13, 2008 at 12:58 am
I was pretty close to being on time for the Svenska Flickor, but I had BBQ party to attend. You know how it goes...
fv / May 15, 2008 at 12:40 pm
oh! you left before the end... you missed the cover of this amazing song.

similar performance @ Bowery, nyc :
original :

G / May 16, 2008 at 12:08 pm
Thanks for the links. That was a sick song. I actually did make it back to Lambi for that. Losers Cut Copy finished super early. That was a really cool way for the ladies to end the show.
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