For the past three years, a field just outside Kalmar on the Swedish southeast coast has been the centre of attention for all the indiepop fans in this country and beyond! This year, the last festival in this "trilogy", took place on July 30th and 31st and was named 'Mitt Sista Liv', which means 'My Last Life' in English. For two days, we were treated to the very best of what Sweden has to offer by means of indiepop nowadays, and there were also some foreign acts as well to spice it all up.

Actually, I don't think the Swedish indiepop scene has ever been so vital as it is right now. Great bands have formed everywhere, even in the most remote communities in the countryside, and that is made particulary evident when these bands are gathered together like this at festivals such as this one. Bands like All My Brother's Girlfriends, Crime Time, the Tidy Ups, Most Valuable Players and Second-Hand Furniture will surely be very successful within a year or so (Well, the Tidy Ups have already released a sold out 7" single...).

The great thing about these festivals have been, besides the bands of course, that they have been very small and friendly. The first year, back in 2002 ('Mitt Bästa Liv' = 'My Best Life'), there were a couple of hundred visitors, and then last year ('Mitt Nästa Liv' = 'My Next Life'), there were about as many as the first year. Finally this year a total of almost six hundred indiepop fans turned up, and we all felt like one happy family.

So, what about the bands then? Well, the bands I had been most anxious to see were Milky Wimpshake, Popundret, the Frenchmen and the Scarlet's Well, and they were all fabulous. The latter were actually called the (Unreal) Scarlet's Well, and consisted of frontman Bid backed up by group of Swedish musicians that had rehearsed on their own for a while, and then had two rehearsals with Bid in the days before the gig, and it sounded fantastic! As an old Monochrome Set fan, I was especially delighted to hear the classics 'Eine Symphonie Des Grauens', 'The Monochrome Set (In Presume)', 'Jet Set Junta' and 'Jacob's Ladder'.

Popundret was probably the best band of them all, and it was a bliss to finally see them perform live, since I have been waiting for eight long years for this moment! The band released one fantastic album back in 1996,and then disappeared, only to reform last year to play some gigs in their hometown in the north of Sweden. Now they are back, and according to the singer, they have an album on the way.Woo hoo!

Mitt Sista Liv was also the setting for the last ever Free Loan
Investments gig, as the band have decided to call it a day. Actually, they played their last gig at the Strange Fruit festival in London last autumn, but since their Swedish fans wanted to see them play live one last time, they gave in and rehearsed their set again. And I guess no fan was disappointed... The band played all their "hits" and more! Free Loan Investments recorded an EP worth of material last year, and hopefully it will be released sometime in the near future. Keep your eyes open!

Of course, there were some bands that weren't very good, and worst of all was probably the Embassy, a band from Gothenburg that has a lot of fans, which is very strange to me, especially after a concert like this. The band, which consisted of two guys singing to a pre-recorded background,were clearly high on drugs and didn't sing any of the songs from start to finish. Instead they walked around on stage shouting and slurring the words to the songs, threw the microphone stand into the audience and to top it all off, they smashed up the sound equipment, which meant that the festival won't make it financially. I think I hate the Embassy right now...

Despite this embarrassing performance, it was a lovely festival, and it's very sad that it will the last one to be organized in Kalmar. But we keep our fingers crossed that there will be someone else to take over...


The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Tommy Gunnarsson















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Commenting On: Kalmar, Sweden, 30/7/2004...31/7/2004 - Mitt Sista Liv Festival








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