Lille Vega, Copenhagen
13 February 2009
The other day a friend of mine came by and flicked through my records and asked “Don’t you have any music that is not depressing?”. I replied “I do! Detektivbyrån”. Few bands can put smile on my face like Detektivbyrån. So it was with great expectation I ventured to Copenhagen to see the lads clad in black and white and butterfly patterns.
A couple of weeks earlier the band had announced that Jon Ekström was no longer a member of the band. It is not clear what caused the split between Jon and the rest of the band but judging from the band’s performance at Lille Vega (with replacement drummer Markus) the group is going nowhere but forward.
The band opened with the lusty, dreamy “E18”, a track off the Hemvägen EP. Atop a semi-professional stage, which included big pillows and pillars, Martin and Anders jumped between keyboards, glockenspiel and accordion.
Detektivbyrån’s debut album Wermland was released last September and continues the tradition of musical storytelling like Hemvägen but the new weight of keyboards gives it a somewhat different ambience. While Hemvägen felt like old folk stories given a romantic touch, their full length album is more a combination of tales about goblins, love and aliens. “Honkey Tonk of Wermland”, which followed “E18”, evoked the image of a couple dancing in a park, before the Tardis and the Doctor arrive. “Life/Universe” and “Om Du Möter Varg” which followed also have touch of a folk/sci-fi feeling. Half way through the set the band returns to Hemvägen with “Nattöppet” and “Dansbanan” and the audience in the back get a glimpse of Markus, who’s been on the floor in between the pillars and pillows, when he gets up to play kitchen scissors.
In between songs the band is posed with the classic dilemma that happens whenever Danes and Swedes meet. To pretend to understand one another and speak in your native tongues is somewhat silly, so to at least comprehend each other the language of choice is English. The boys go for something in-between and while some in the audience might not understand every word, there can be no mistaking how much the band enjoys being in the Danish capital and playing to an appreciative audience.
After about an hour Detektivbyrån’s first concert in Copenhagen has ended. It’s all over much too soon but they seem to have amassed some loyal followers, particular young girls with lots of eyeliner and black wigs, and it would therefore be no surprise if we were to see the band and its accordion-disco pop back in town in the not too distant future.