This is Mattias Alkberg. He is the frontman of the indie stalwarts we call The Bear Quartet. He’s a talented man, a musician and a poet. This band is full of them, the talented people. The band has been going since the dawn of man. Or at least since 1989. They just released a new album called 89, and the rumour says they want to record soon again. I guess that there was new, new songs being played last night. Not sure though.

Live they’ve always been kind of hit or miss. Yesterday at Babel in Malmö was somewhere in between. Liked part of it, and it seemed to get a whole lot better towards the end. The sound got better as well. Thankfully. Don’t really know why it took the soundman as long as it did to get it right. First date on this four gig tour. Can have something to do with that too.

If you’re a fan you know what to expect from these guys. There’s never going to be a best of set and chirpy attitude. They do what they usually do. Play. Sometimes a bit bad, most of the time good.

Jari Haapalainen is another talanted man from this band. He plays the guitar and produces a lot of bands (see a few of them here). The rest of them are Peter Nuottaniemi, Jejo Perkovic and Calle Olsson. They’ve all meant a lot to Swedish indie. I think. At least they’ve shown that it’s ok to take the path less travelled. They’ve also played in a million other bands.

After the gig last night I asked Calle Olsson (who is also in Paper and Paddington Distortion Combo) what he’s listening to at the moment. He pondered for quite a bit, and then his answer was: Equinoxe by Jean-Michel Jarre.

Mattias Alkberg will release an album called Nerverna soon, and it’s reported to contain heavy doses of rockabilly (a new video here).

89 has been given a lot of good reports from all over. I’m still coming to terms with it. I do think it’s got a lot of good moments. I’ll leave it at that for the time being. Check it out though. You really should.

/ Mike Murgatroyd.


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