Sunday, 24 August 2008

What's next?

With no new live gigs announced, and no prospect of the new album any time soon, it looks as if there will be nothing to report for some time to come.

If you have read a couple of my other posts you will know that Salem has alluded to record company politics in recent interviews, and it hasn't escaped my notice that his record label has experienced difficulties this year, with other acts on that particular label expressing their frustration that their new releases have also been delayed:

As a fan who lives outside Sweden, I'm not only angry at the lack of support from Salem's record label, but I feel particularly frustrated that his record label has done nothing to promote him internationally and effectively organise international distribution of his material. By this stage, he should have been an international star, with "This Is Who I Am" released in as many worldwide territories as possible, capitalising on his Swedish Grammy wins. Instead, we don't know when - or even if - that launch will come. I wonder if things would have been different if he'd been with another record company.

(Remember, anything I've written on this blog does not represent the views of Salem or of anyone connected to his record company, I'm just a devoted fan from the UK who wants the world to know about him!)

The lack of action and information made me wonder where it leaves this little blog. Well, I feel optimistic about continuing. Our visitor figures continue to rise and I've received some very positive feedback over recent months. I want this to be a place for Salem fans to visit and share their love and enthusiasm for the man and his music. This blog exists to publicise and promote Salem Al Fakir to the world, and will continue to do so!

However I would anticipate a period of "hibernation" over the coming months, at least until we know what Salem's doing next. So until then ....bye for now!

Benoît spreads the word in France!

Benoît left these links in a comment on an earlier post, but I thought I'd mention them again here in case you missed these links:

Some great photos from Gröna Lund at

Also an excellent review of the gig (in French) at

Thanks Benoît - keep on spreading the word about Salem!

Friday, 22 August 2008

Another Gothenburg review has a very nice positive review of last Saturday's show at Gotaplatsen, and some equally nice photos too.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

New interview in Expressen

Just found this at

Very interesting interview with Salem, and some intriguing questions. The interviewer Gunilla Brodrej said that she had contacted Salem's record company EMI "who said something cryptic that you do not do anything together right now". Salem replied: "What? Is it true? Did they say that?"

She then asked "When will your big international breakthrough be? The world is waiting for?". Salem replied: "I wonder, too. Haha. But it will, it will only take a little time.".

About the next album: "In a perfect world, I would have released a disc by now. In itself, it is good that it takes a little time. The fact that people will have to wait a bit, said Salem, and laughs." Just don't keep us waiting too long!!!!!

He also revealed that he is a big fan of Humble Pie, and that Steve Marriott is one of his favourite singers. Salem also said that he and his brother Sami had bought an old fishing boat.

The new look...

I saw a few photos of Salem's gigs from this week on various blogs/websites, where he was wearing braces. I immediately wondered if his new look was influenced by Bobby Ball!!!

(If you have never heard of Bobby Ball, he is a British comedian who is half of a comedy double act Cannon and Ball who were very popular in the 1980s)

Judge for yourself:

(photo courtesy of

Now all Salem needs to do is grow a moustache and do a cover version of the duo's theme song "Together We'll Be OK" and then the transformation will be complete!!!

Gothenburg review at

There is a review at of last night's Gothenburg gig played in front of a huge audience. The reviewer, Lennart Rehnman, wasn't too impressed by the number of new songs played, nor it seems by his new musical direction:

"In my ears, it does not sound like Salem Al Fakir, as I understand Salem Al Fakir."

Maybe so, but you have to understand that an incredibly talented and versatile musician like Salem wants to continue developing musically and also in his lyric writing, and you wouldn't expect or want him to release a second album of variations on, say, "It's True" or "Dream Girl". It is also unfair to judge new songs which have only been played live and haven't yet been released on record yet.

Still, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you were in Gothenburg, what did you think? Do you agree with the GT review? Is Salem playing too many new songs live?

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Grona Lund tomorrow, Gothenburg on Saturday.

It's a very busy week for Salem as he's playing Grona Lund, Stockholm tomorrow night and then Gothenburg on Saturday.

If you're going to any of these gigs then why not post your comments on here and tell us what you thought of the gigs, and especially the new songs!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Tuesday 12 August

Salem was kicking off the Stockholm Kulturfestivalen tonight with a special concert presenting three of his favourite bands: Nils Berg 5, Domestic Bumblebees and of course, Tincan.

There is a new interview with Salem today at which describes why he chose the three bands, and when asked what was happening next in his own career he answered the following (which as ever I have run through a translation site!):

"I am as curious as anyone else on what happens in the autumn, but I may well read about it in the newspaper, he laughs. I always want to play more, but if you do not have a new disc, it will be difficult. If I had to decide, I would have released a disc every month but I have had to reassure me a bit and devote myself to politics. Large record companies, small person. But hopefully it is resolved soon".

And indeed we hope so too. In my own humble opinion, I'm already feeling that record company politics have delayed Salem's international breakthrough and it would be a shame if this was also to delay the release of his long awaited second album in Sweden. I can't imagine anything being released until 2009 now, but it will be well worth the wait.

But just imagine how good it would be if Salem was to release a new album every month!! He's so prolific and talented that I wouldn't be surprised! Oh well, we can dream....

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Putte i Parken reviews

Salem appeared on Thursday 31 July at this brand new festival and was on stage just after 7pm.

So far I've checked out a couple of reviews from the gig.

Värmlands Folkblad wasn't too impressed and stated "the overall impression is still somewhat weak" before concluding "it would have been better to step out while there was still hunger among the audience" referring to his last encore song. Find the review at

Although the reviewer from the excellent clearly wasn't a big fan ("he is a difficult and boring artist who absolutely can not be listened to. However, you can not deny that Salem is an excellent liveartist".), they did manage to highlight Salem's efforts to get the crowd going, and referred to his charming smile and huge charisma. This review can be found at where you'll also find a link to some photos from Thursday night. This site also has lots of great photos from his gigs over the past couple of years and I would recommend that you visit.