Saturday, 11 April 2009

A couple of reviews of last night's Gävle concert...

Gefle Dagblad's Stefan Andersson was at Salem's concert at Gävle last night and posted one of the best reviews I've read in a long time. Find it at

He had some good things to say about support act Jonna Lee, comparing her to Nina Persson (high praise indeed!)

So here, as ever, is a brief translation of what the reviewer thought of Salem last night:

"Energetic Salem was a hybrid of the old Gilbert O'Sullivan and Moneybrother. Wow! Did I see the best concert of the spring last night? Yes, I think so. Must admit that I have not previously been a devout fan of Salem Al Fakir, as he called himself. But now, with only Salem as artist name, it sounds as he took another step. It is crucial. After a grand intro he went in and completely took over the stage. Strange that some seats were empty, but still, it was busy and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We want to really hear more of Jonna Lee - she and her side kicks, guitarist and bassist, gave extra spice. "The Light", first single, is a gem among many others.

Salem stands up for us, especially in the song "Twelve Fingers" where he could afford to head bang in the best hard rock fashion. He mixed the critically acclaimed album "This Is Who I Am" and new "Astronaut" and it was, excuse the language, damn good. The sound was perfect, both in the pop songs, occasionally reggae inspired, as in the ballads. Prolific songwriter Salem sang "Brooklyn Sun" and I have certainly heard a new hit....He seems to love what he is doing and it's infectious and now (after a small measure of apology), I will follow his career with particular interest".

In Arbetarbladet, reviewer Kristian Ekenberg gave the concert a three-star review - find it at

A brief translation..."This thing with the hair may seem trivial, and it is funny how the articles on his new album have been as much about his new hairdo, but the change seems to be in the music. When I saw him last, a couple of summers ago, I was not impressed, to say the least. Salem will never be an artist who I listen to on my own but now I understand the score better with him. He is energetic live, although I will not be as enthusiastic as the clapping, foot-stamping audience."

The reviewer liked Jonna Lee and said he would have liked her to be on stage for longer. Meanwhile back to Salem...

"And I should ideally have a minimum of Salem's old material, because the new material is more in the right direction. "Astronaut" is a fine pop song. Even he sings better. My main objection remains: what does he want with his music? For me, Salem is still a chef, whose only goal, only artistic task is to get the food to taste good. Beyond this, no more dimension, not anything more to tell about life. The music never leaves the plate".

Everyone to their own opinion of course....!

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