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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

And the winner is....



The results are in: your favourite Salem Al Fakir song of all time is..."It's True". Voting was really close all through the competition, particularly between "Astronaut" and "It's True" so it was inevitable that one of them would be the winner in the end.

Thanks to all 211 people who took part. 742 votes were cast and here in your order of preference are your top 20 Salem songs...

1. It's True - 55 votes (26%)
2. Astronaut - 53 votes (25%)
3. It's Only You (Part II) - 48 votes (22%)
4. Keep On Walking - 46 votes (21%)
5. 4 O'Clock - 45 votes (21%)
6. Good Song - 44 votes (20%)
7. Backseat - 43 votes (20%)
8. One of the Others - 38 votes (18%)
=9. This Is Who I Am - 37 votes (17%)
=9. Brooklyn Sun - 37 votes (17%)
=9. Roxy - 37 votes (17%)
12. Virgin Mary - 36 votes (17%)
=13. Dream Girl - 35 votes (16%)
=13. Split My Personality - 35 votes (16%)
15. I'm So Happy - 31 votes (14%)
16. All Day Love - 29 votes (13%)
17. Cold Shower - 28 votes (13%)
18. Devil Look - 27 votes (12%)
19. Mirror - 23 votes (10%)
20. It's Only You (original version) - 15 votes (7%)

So what about my own top 25 favourite Salem songs of all time? Here's my chart, which is very different :

1. Good Song
2. One of the Others
3. Twelve Fingers
4. Dream Girl
5. Keep On Walking
6. Brooklyn Sun
7. It’s Only You (Part II)
8. Astronaut
9. Count Me Out
10. All Day Love
11. 4 O’Clock
12. This Is Who I Am
13. Cold Shower
14. Devil Look
15. Virgin Mary
16. It’s True
17. Bloody Breakfast
18. Tell Me
19. Backseat
20. I'm So Happy
21. Purple Lady
22. Black Sun Black Moon
23. This Is For
24. Red Rock
25. Roxy

Thanks again to all of you....It's been great fun doing this poll, and I'd like to do some more in the future so if you have any ideas for polls which I could run on the blog, please let me know. All ideas welcome :)

Metro interview from 25.08.2010

I'm not sure if any of you have already seen this, but there was a short interview with Salem in last Wednesday's Skåne edition of the Metro newspaper.

Here's the link to the PDF-version: http://www.metro.se/se/misc/pdf/2010-08-25/SEMMA_2010-08-25.pdf. The interview, by Johan Allgoth, is on page 32.

It's great to hear that Salem will be writing some new music over the autumn and according to this interview, he'll be following up both the musical style of his last album and also that of "All Day Love" which - of course - can only be a good thing.

Poll closes tonight!

You may be wondering why I'm posting at this time...well I'm not at work this morning :))) so I thought I'd post a little reminder that today is your last chance to vote in my "favourite Salem song" poll. Voting will close at around 19:00 (Swedish time) and I will then reveal your top 20 in order of preference, as voted for by you, the Planet Salem readers. The result is very close at the moment and everything could change within the next few hours!

And after I publish your top 20, I will then publish my own list, which started off as a top 20 but it's now a top 25, and it is a little bit different :)

Monday, 30 August 2010

Salem Al Fakir/Gävle Symfoniorkester, Dalhalla 21.08.2010 : Review by Eva Jonson

Last night I promised you all a very special review of a very special show....written by a very special person - my very good friend Eva.

This has been well worth waiting for - and you are all going to enjoy reading it!


Prior to the concert, some of us had not yet taken our seats as we were expecting the concert to be opened by a supporting act, as told on the tickets. From standing at the small "plaza" above the auditorium, we heard the orchestra play the famous intro of Richard Strauss’s "Also sprach Zarathustra" and maybe we should have realised something was going on, but we were just chattering on ...

However, suddenly we heard a familiar drum beat – Red Rock! – and got running down the quite steep stairs to get our seats close to the stage! You could say we were late, I’d say we made a "Grande Entrée" ... At the meet and greet just before the show, Salem had encouraged us to get places close to the stage and to sit together if we wanted to, and in the end most of us did. I had a ticket for a seat at the tenth row, but got to sit in the second. OK, so now for the list of songs:

Red Rock
I have to admit I was a bit whimsy at first, so I can’t really say much of Red Rock, other than that it sounded really good. It’s well suited to be played in this kind of setting, as it has that "symphony" sound to it already on the studio version.

It’s Only You (pt II)
No matter how much I enjoy seeing Salem jumping up and down behind his keyboards, it’s lovely to see him seated behind the grand piano, like a true concert pianist. Lots of "ding-a-ling"-ing sounds from the orchestra in this one, such as triangles and the like, acting as both melody and percussion ingredients.

Roxy
The seated crowd now started to loosen up, clapping and standing (we did our best to lead them on from the front rows!). The blend between this 80’s soft-rock pastiche and the sound of a symphony orchestra certainly makes for a fun and easy-going quality that puts a smile on your face.

I have to highlight especially the beautiful instrumental "interlude" / bridge, which suddenly tips the sound over clearly to the classical side. All in all, a nice arrangement with lots of horns and strings.

Cowboys and Dinosaurs
Salem introduces the song in his own, inimitable way: "Imagine two cowboys lying on a hill ... in a valley below them, big Brontosaurus are walking by".

A very delicate arrangement where the band has left the stage. Salem on guitar playing the "splitted chords", backed up by lovely staccato strings while the melody is being played by the orchestra – at first more prominently by light-tuned wind instruments, and at the end more by the string section. Someone shakes a tin sheet to make "windy sounds". Sami backs up the vocal part ("aaaa...") towards the end of the song. Very beautiful indeed!

Purple Lady
Salem back at the piano. The band comes back in on stage and takes part in the still very fine-tuned atmosphere. Again, light wind instruments and strings lead the way. Tremendously sensitive and anticipating vocals by Salem, which enhances the curious and mysterious qualities of this lovely song. A children’s song for grown-ups?

After this song, Salem presents the band members, conductor Hans Ek and the Gävle Symphony Orchestra. Then, he presents a song that he thinks many will recognise ...

Good Song
This wonderful, melodic song goes extremely well with the symphonic setting; the intro is to die for with those goopy strings in the background... (I mean that in a good way!) Now, we’re suddenly in a jazz club – or perhaps, for a few seconds, in a gospel church? Salem sure knows how to blend out the boundaries of music.

4 O’Clock
This might seem like the odd bird at a concert hall such as Dalhalla, but no need to worry – Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is clapping along at Salem’s instructions! The live solo at the end of the song, which is normally played on the synth, here gets more the character of rhythm piano. At the very last moments though, the orchestra is quiet and Salem plays the last few notes solo. Nice!

INTERMISSION (20 min)

In late August, the summer nights are not as light anymore and now it’s starting to get darker – something that only enhances the spectacular atmosphere of Dalhalla. The stage and the green lake around it are slowly embedded in a purple light, shimmering on the steep cliffs around the arena. Around 9.05 pm the orchestra start tuning their instruments. After a while, the band and Salem enter the stage.

Astronaut
Starts off quietly with piano and soft percussion and grows into the lovely, rhythmic ballad which has become one of Salem’s most popular songs. Beautiful vocals by Salem, as well as beautiful guitar playing by Adam, who emphasises the "climbing notes" between the verses.

This Is Who I Am
A long intro, which at first actually reminded me of another song ... but I couldn’t pinpoint which one. My closest guess was that the intro had picked up something from "Count me out" ...(?) but I’m probably wrong, so if anyone has a more accurate explanation of the intro we heard at Dalhalla, feel free to comment!

Funky strings, guitar and horns on the backing "fanfares" toward the end.

Twelve Fingers
What can I say? Great! A personal favourite, and totally suited to be played with a symphony orchestra. The energetic and powerful character of the song quickly gets us all dancing and singing along, and the lyrics: "As long as you’ll be there I’ll stand up, stand up, stand up for you", further incites us to do so ... The adrenaline rush of the evening! Seems it was quite exciting for Salem too, since his piano stool breaks and has to be replaced after the song ... (Good thing they had a spare!)

Brooklyn Sun
Introduced by Adam’s guitar and Salem at the piano. They are accompanied by some delicate wind instruments, percussion, Nisse playing brushes on the cymbal ... and, of course, the most beautiful string arrangements you can imagine. This must be the best version ever heard of this already heart-rending song. More horns, more strings as the song increases towards the lovely, melancholic end... shivers down my spine! I don’t have words to describe it, other than DIVINE.

I’m So Happy
As on other concerts I’ve seen this summer, Salem introduces the song by sharing the story of a girl who asked for the sheet music of the song, as she wanted it to be played at her wedding ... "This is NOT a song to be played at weddings!" concludes Salem, and tells us all it’s important to listen not just to the beginning, but also to the end of a sentence. (although he then finishes by saying: "however, in my case it’s just as confusing anyway, so I’ll stop talking now").
Cheerful performance, the audience waves and sings along. Lalalalalalalalaa...

Dream Girl
This diverse song starts off with just Salem singing and playing the grand piano, in the style of the "melancholic piano player in the hotel bar at the riviera"... very Barry Manilow, if you ask me (and I say that in a good way!! Barry is underestimated). Then the song goes full throttle, with powerful piano and strings including a very high-pitched upper part in the finale. Very, very good indeed!

Manfreds Dans
THE MOMENT OF THE EVENING!
So far, I have only seen Sami providing backing vocals during the concert, but now he moves his chair to the front of the stage and brings his tuba. Salem lovingly introduces his brother in a typical Salem-esque way: "He got it all ... just like me", and then introduces a song that they wrote together. "The first time I’ve written a solo for tuba" says Salem and continues to tell the audience, "I threw in a violin solo for myself as well".

I think the whole audience is as spellbound as myself when the orchestra start playing this immensely beautiful waltz. You can really hear that this music is written for a classic orchestra. Sami’s tuba solo is exquisite; sad and hopeful at the same time. And then ... the limelight lands on Salem standing to the left with his violin, and it’s just ... amazing to see and hear the notes flowing out. He’s in total control and you get the feeling he can get any sound, feeling, timbre and nuance he wants out of that violin. (And of ME!) *melts*

After this song the applause never seems to stop, I think all of us were completely mesmerized by these two very talented brothers and it was soooo nice to hear Salem play the violin. Really hope I’ll get to hear that again!

Hans Ek thanks Salem for his cooperation and says he is honoured to work with him.

One Of The Others
Back to the more poppy part of the show with this energetic and melodic song! This one is also perfectly suited for the bigger format, especially the magnificent orchestral interlude, that actually sounds like something right out of the Bach era! Once again, Salem shows us that there are no boundaries in music.

It’s True
The orchestra starts this one, in a very soft and sweet way. As with many of the songs, it builds up gradually as all instruments fall into place. Salem performs a mind-blowing falsetto towards the end of the song ... he has done that on other concerts too this summer, but you always get carried away by his ability to evoke feelings. Tonight is definitely no exception.

Keep on Walking
Wonderful version with energy, drive and lovely strings. On hearing the first notes, we all know the concert is going to an end ... As always, it feels way too early for it all to stop, but maybe it’s for the best as one is both exhilarated and exhausted ... and I can only imagine how energy-draining it must be for Salem and everyone on stage. Still, it feels like we are all on a natural high, a boost that we’ve shared all the way through the concert. This was really OUR concert, we were all there together!

The band leaves the stage and of course they get standing ovations. After a while, they appear again on stage to do the encore ... we have no idea but of course there is a hope ... could it be ...? Salem talks about how this next song has only been performed once before, for a couple who got married this summer .......

All Day Love
YES!!! We had been told it would never be performed live again after the Crown Princess wedding in June, but of course this song is way too amazing to be left in a locker ... We’re going bananas (at least the hardcore fans) when we understand which song we are about to hear. It’s a truly fantastic song, as well as a fantastic arrangement. This is not just a song written for a wedding, it is also the ultimate "marriage" between soulful pop and classical music!
Everyone on stage give it their all and make it the perfect ending to a wonderful evening.

Wow! Salem, the band, Hans Ek and the orchestra gets called in and takes a bow 4-5 times before the applause slowly fades into the starlit night. A night that will be remembered for a very long time!

Come, come, come back soon!!
Eva Jonson

© Copyright http://planetsalem.blogspot.com/ August 2010

Thanks again Eva, for a review which perfectly sums up the Salem Al Fakir live experience (it was the next best thing to being there)...and a perfect description of what it feels like to be a Salem fan!

Norrköping tickets now available!

Exciting news!! You can now book tickets for the Norrköping show on 5th March 2011. This will be another orchestral collaboration, this time with the Norrköpings Symfoniorkester, under the direction of Hans Ek.

More information at http://www.ticnet.se/checkout/event.php?eventId=DEE0305

Monday night on Planet Salem...

....you can look forward to reading a very special review of a very special show!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Catch-Up: Eksjö

If you go to http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=16768 you'll find a nice selection of pictures taken by Anton Sundling at Friday night's show at Eksjö Stadsfest.

Of course, a little fashion note here: as at the Malmö show, Salem was dressed in an outfit of shirt, tie, black casual jacket and jeans :)

Haven't been able to find any press reviews of the show yet, so if any of you find anything please let me know and I'll post the link here.

Kjell's review of Salem in Malmö, 26.08.2010

Thanks to my very good friend Kjell for the setlist and review of Salem and the band at Malmöfestivalen:

Salem played with his usual band (Nisse, Adam and Jakob). There was also some pre-recorded music, but not much...

The deep bass tones were too strong and distorted, and sometimes "buried" the music, but it improved later on. Apart from that, the sound was good.

1. Red Rock. Rather short, it soon turned into...
2. Cold Shower.
3. It's Only You (Part II). A favourite...
4. Roxy. What a great song! The audience really got going here...
5. 4 O'Clock. The audience did the hand clapping and the "Here we go again" chorus. This song just gets better and better...
6. Brooklyn Sun. Lovely...
7. Astronaut.
8. Good Song. A very bluesy guitar in the beginning made Salem laugh, and he couldn't stop... He had to restart, and now he succeeded. This will become a classic, it's a great song.
9. Virgin Mary. Salem got the audience (me too) dancing here...
10. Dream Girl.
11. Backseat, labeled by Salem as a cover. This was a different version, blended with the "cyber-space" part of "Don't wanna talk about it". Very groovy...
12. It's True.
13. Keep on Walking. Another classic song!?

The audience wanted more, so:
Encore: I'm So Happy. Salem told the story about the woman that wanted this song at a wedding... Bad idea! At the end of the song, Salem wouldn't finish until everyone got their hands in the air... I think almost all did!

As a "post" encore, we could listen to "Cowboys and Dinosaurs".

In the beginning of the show, Salem said that this audience was the largest one during the summer tour. I suppose we were a few thousand...(15,000 according to Expressen's review!)

As usual, Salem got the crowd going with his energy during the songs and his talk in between. The audience definitely enjoyed the show, although the spirit was not at 100% all the time, as it rarely is when there are so many people... I enjoyed it too, with some magical moments in some of the songs. The weather was good too (last year it was raining). I would rate the concert to a strong 4 on a scale to 5.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Catch-Up: Malmö

OK, firstly....special thanks to Maria for passing on the links to the following reviews:

http://www.expressen.se/noje/musik/1.2112312/flinkfingrad-feelgoodpop : it's a four-star review by Linus Sandell for Expressen: "Salem Al Fakir, this classically trained piano-pop virtuoso....for one hour fills every corner of the square with nimble-fingered piano melody and everything from the feel-good tones of "Good Song" to the catchy "Keep on Walking".

"Sometimes the whole idea is similar to a children's programme.....but Salem Al Fakir is on the right side of the border all the time and it's very entertaining". The reviewer goes on to say "During "4 o'clock" the whole town square is transformed into a dance floor where everyone applauds to Salem's instructions". He also comments that "...When the singer simply stands up, he is not quite as comfortable, his hands frantically searching for something to tinker at. Good thing he has his hair - it comes in handy"

The reviewer concludes that "'Keep on Walking' is still his strongest card for the audience".

Meanwhile at Skanska Dagbladet, http://www.skanskan.se/article/20100827/NOJE/100829716/1002/NOJE/*/charmigt-med-potential reviewer Peter Eliasson observes: "With his participation in this year's Melodifestivalen, Salem Al Fakir has become much loved. And it is not difficult to understand why. The guy is, of course, charming and likeable. Then he obviously provides positive, playful, pop music which the older audience can appreciate. The latter clearly showed in Stora Torget on Thursday."

The reviewer also comments: "Yet Al Fakir is, in his own way, a rather odd bird. At least to be someone in the mainstream. As a whole there is a lot of ideas and unusual features/twists in the songs. The singer is not difficult to absorb...especially in a live performance. Thursday's appearance consisted of a lively musical bouquet with all kinds of variants on the theme of happy pop."

The reviewer goes on to say: "Three and a half years ago I saw him for the first time, so it need hardly be observed that he has evolved a lot since then....he has more focus without losing the curiosity and spontaneity" and finally concludes: "Al Fakir has thus passed the stage of a promising artist by now. All that remains is to tighten up the show and raise the tempo a little for the next tour. The potential is there to be a real big act after all".

You can also check out some pictures from Malmöfestivalen by Malin Valtonen at http://www.festivalphoto.net/index.php?page=2&concertID=16750

Västerås tonight!

Remember that Salem will be appearing at Summer in the City in Västerås today. He'll be onstage at 21:00 so don't miss it! Also appearing on the bill today: the great Eric Gadd, as well as Mikael Wiehe and Pugh Rogefeldt. Much more info at http://www.sigurdsgatan25.se/program/?e=3303

OK that's it for today, I'm going out now but will be back later tonight with a catch-up from the past couple of days.

Vi ses!!

Friday, 27 August 2010

HD's review of last night's show

There's a review by Magnus Ransheim of last night's gig at http://hd.se/noje/konsert/2010/08/27/salem-al-fakir-hittar-ratt-pa/

Lots of comparisons mentioned....but in the end he's still, uniquely, Salem :)

Swedish charts update

"Ignore This" has fallen from no. 22 to no. 27 in this week's Sverige Topplistan album chart.

Rockfoto's Malmö pictures

If you go to http://www.rockfoto.net/artists/Salem%20Al%20Fakir/gig/20100826/13714/photos you'll find some pictures from last night's gig in Malmo. Pictures are by Max Adolfsson. Nice! :)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Örebro, 3rd September?

I found this tonight: http://gigguide.se/event/43905/ although when I went to the Ritz Nightclub's official site there is a photo of Salem and it says "Salem soon at the Ritz" so I guess they've still to confirm this date.

Oslo concert cancelled :(

Bad news, as Salem's concert at Rockefeller in Oslo on 17th September has been cancelled. More information at http://www.rockefeller.no/rf170910.html

I don't know if/when this gig will be rescheduled, but I'll bring you any news when I get it.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Eksjö this Friday!


You will know that Salem is appearing at Stora Scenen this Friday night as part of this year's Eksjö Stadsfest. Check out the full line-up/programme at http://www.eksjostadsfest.se/ - Salem will be on stage between 18:45 - 19:45.

As usual - if you're going, enjoy the show and remember to tell us all about it.

You can also catch Salem on Håkan Eng's SR P4 Jönköping talk show at 15:00 this Friday afternoon which will be broadcast live from Eksjö. http://sverigesradio.se/sida/tabla.aspx?programid=203

Today's your last chance to vote for Salem in the Rockbjörnen!

Voting closes at midnight tonight so keep on voting at http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2010/article7198677.ab until then!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Malmöfestivalen this Thursday

If you are in or around Malmö this Thursday night then remember to get along to Stora Scenen at Stortorget, where Salem and the band will be performing between 21:30 and 23:00. It's gonna be a great show - if you're going, remember to tell us all about it.

More info at http://www.malmofestivalen.se/musik/dans-elektroniskt/salem-al-fakir/

Rockbjörnen reminder - Vote for Salem!

Remember to keep voting for Salem in this year's Rockbjörnen - http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2010/article7198677.ab

Salem is of course nominated in the categories Årets svenska låt and Årets manliga liveartist.

The voting is now in its final phase and the winners will be announced next week at the Rockbjörnen gala.

Does anyone know if this show will be broadcast live on the internet?

Monday, 23 August 2010

Gefle Dagblad's Dalhalla review


Just found this lovely review by Kerstin Monk in Gefle Dagblad (the picture above is also courtesy of Kerstin Monk): http://gd.se/noje/musik/1.2270412-till-slut-star-vi-alla-dar-och-klappar
It's a detailed and very descriptive review (of what was undoubtedly a fantastic show) and I thought it was particularly interesting when she highlighted that she often thinks of film music when listening to Salem. I feel that way too, and can imagine him composing film soundtracks someday!

The reviewer also mentions Salem's talented musical family, and highlights Salem and Sami's duet for violin and tuba, "Manfreds Dans".

Anyway she concludes: "Labelling Salem al Fakir is almost impossible. He is really a true style mixer. In addition, a real feel-good artist, playful, energetic, humble. An artist that inspires and reaches a wide audience." So true.

P3 Sommarsession - translation required!


Yes once again I'm asking all my lovely Swedish friends for your help :)

Salem appeared in Sveriges Radio's P3 Sommarsession today - listen to Hanna's interview with him at http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=3178&artikel=3942438

I understood little bits of the interview - but as my Swedish isn't getting any better, and Salem speaks so fast that I can't always understand, so....I'd be very grateful if any of you would be able to translate the article for me and I'll publish the translation on Planet Salem.

Tack allihopa!

Emails: important information

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to mention that if you send any emails to planetsalem@googlemail.com, from Monday to Friday, I am unable to access my email whilst I'm at work, therefore I'm unable to reply to any urgent emails until that evening. If you need to get in touch about anything urgent, please give me a day's notice and I'll get back to you, I promise ;)

Keep the emails coming though - I love receiving them and it's great to hear from you all!

(Of course you can leave your comments at any time of the day!!)

/Laura.

Musicstage.se review of Salem's Aftonbladet gig

Kristina Osterling at www.musicstage.se (which is one of my favourite sites for Swedish concert photography and reviews) has made some very relevant points in her review of Salem's Aftonbladet gig from last night:

http://www.musicstage.se/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1817:salem-al-fakir-aftonbladets-liveloepet-2010-08-22&catid=16:recensioner-konserter&Itemid=65

Dala-Demokraten's Dalhalla review

It's a four-star review by Hanna Borgs in Dala-Demokraten: http://www.dalademokraten.se/sida/id/133134/

The reviewer, who had her doubts about whether Dalhalla was the right venue for an artist like Salem, soon changed her mind: "It is here, in Dalhalla's powerful arena, that Salem is at home. Without a doubt".

The violin/tuba duet with Sami.
And he played "All Day Love" too? Oh.My.God.

I think this may just have been the perfect concert.

Aftonbladet's post-gig interview with Salem...

...is at http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2010/article7657885.ab along with a nice photo of Salem, Adam, Nisse, Jakob and the one and only Internal Dread!

He really enjoyed this experience and described it as a lot of fun. Glad you liked it as much as we did Salem!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Dalhalla poster question

I was thinking about Salem's Dalhalla show today (well I haven't really thought about much else, to be honest).

Remember back in June this year, Salem ran a competition to find 10 faces to appear on the poster for the concert. http://planetsalem.blogspot.com/2010/06/are-you-face-of-dalhalla.html

Did anyone see the poster? I was curious to see what it looked like, as I haven't found any pictures of it anywhere, and I was wondering if any of the lucky winners were Planet Salem readers!!

Aftonbladet Live-löpet 22.08.10



Tonight was the 4th in Aftonbladet’s Live-Löpet digital concert series, and the one that I was looking forward to most of all - Salem Al Fakir of course!!

24 hours after their Dalhalla triumph, Salem, Adam, Nisse and Jakob were back "on stage" although this time it was a virtual stage rather than a real one. Unfortunately I still have the same criticism of the format which I highlighted in my previous posts about the digital concerts by Mando Diao and The Ark.

In the immortal words of Salem himself: "It’s cloudy and dark, it’s hard to see". I was watching the show with my mum tonight (she’s also a big Salem fan) and she immediately said - "This is weird. It’s too dark and I can’t see anything". The digital-concert idea is an interesting one, although in my opinion it needs a lot of improvement to work. I just want to clarify that any criticism I have of the format is not a criticism of the bands/singers themselves.

As ever there was a list of songs for the audience to request:
4 O’Clock
All Day Love
Astronaut
Brooklyn Sun
Dream Girl
Good Song
It’s True
Keep On Walking
Roxy
This Is Who I Am

(I was very intrigued to see All Day Love on the list: despite its famous ‘one night only’ performance from 18.06.2010, I strongly believe there is so much more life left in this song, and is a potential international hit in the making).

Salem and the band began with Astronaut. Although tonight’s show was billed as an acoustic set, Salem was sitting at his electronic keyboard. However I guess they gave the songs more of an "acoustic" feel. A very nice start to the concert.

Next up was I’m So Happy (which wasn’t on the request list!). There were all those ‘interactive’ options on the left hand side of the screen, but they really should have had a "la la la la...." singalong-with-I’m-So-Happy option :))) I particularly enjoyed Adam’s guitar accompaniment on this song.

The acoustic-version of Keep On Walking followed. I felt that Salem was a little strained vocally in parts of this song, although that’s understandable as he’s been singing all summer and I’m surprised he’s still got a voice left!

Finally, it was time for Brooklyn Sun. Usually Salem accompanies himself on guitar but he stayed at his keyboard and Adam provided the guitar-accompaniment. This is of course one of my favourite Salem songs and even after all this time it still touches my heart.

My only criticism was that the show was far too short. It was all over too quickly - an encore would have been welcome, but sadly it was not to be. :(

However I did enjoy the show - it was a very nice performance by Salem and the band, and I hope they enjoyed the experience too. What did you all think of the show?

Don't forget Salem's Aftonbladet gig tonight!!!

It starts at 21:00 Swedish time - remember to log in at 19:55.

There's a very short interview with Salem about tonight's show at http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/article7654806.ab

Remember it will be a very short concert, only about 4 or 5 songs. I don't know if you've seen any of the previous Live-Löpet gigs, which I've reviewed over at my other blog EuropeCrazy:

The Ark: http://europecrazy.blogspot.com/2010/08/aftonbladet-live-lopet-200810-ark.html
Mando Diao: http://europecrazy.blogspot.com/2010/08/is-this-future-of-how-we-watch-live.html

I'll be posting my review of the show later tonight - if you are all "going" I hope you enjoy it and remember to let me know what you thought of it.

Poll results update

With 9 days of voting to go, here's the current standings in the "favourite Salem song" poll:

=1. It's True
=1. Astronaut
3. Keep On Walking
4. 4 O'Clock
5. Good Song

Remember that the poll will close on 31st August. Thanks for all your votes so far!!

Dalarnas Tidningar's review of Salem at Dalhalla

I've just found a very positive review of last night's show by Fridah Jönsson in Dalarnas Tidningar: http://www.dt.se/noje/musik/article722801.ece

The reviewer refers to Salem's wide appeal to old and young fans alike.. "Everyone loves Salem, and Salem loves everyone"..."his joy knows no bounds...and he never loses the audience's attention". The reviewer also comments on Salem's between-songs interaction with his audience, comparing him to no less than Ola Salo, and then concludes: "It is so easy to love Salem. Both hardcore fans and those who only heard him occasionally enjoyed it just as much...Salem does everything in his power to ensure everyone has a fantastic evening, and the standing ovations at the end are more than clear that he has been successful".

The only thing I'm surprised about was the turnout - I thought there would have been more than 1200 people in the audience, but the most important thing was that every one of those 1200 people enjoyed the show. Oh how I wish I'd been there.....

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Salem interview in Dala-Demokraten

Happy Dalhalla day everyone :D

Here's a new interview with Salem from today's Dala-Demokraten: http://www.dalademokraten.se/sida/id/132840/

Friday, 20 August 2010

Dalhalla tomorrow!


The wait is almost over....

Tomorrow night, Salem and his band will be appearing along with the Gävle Symfoniorkester, under the direction of Hans Ek, at the legendary open-air ampitheatre - Dalhalla, which is located in Rättvik in the county of Dalecarlia, central Sweden. (the above picture is courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.se/)

It's going to be an unforgettable night! I know that a lot of my Planet Salem friends and Facebookers are going, so I hope you all enjoy it - I really wish I could have been there to meet you all, but I will be there "in spirit" :)

But here's where I need your help!! Here's your opportunity to share your Dalhalla experience with me and all the other readers of Planet Salem. Please send me your comments, setlists, reviews and photographs from the show and I will publish as many of them as I can on this blog.

And finally, Salem - good luck with tomorrow night's show!!

Have a great night everyone and remember to tell me all about it. :)))

Livelöpet this Sunday: tickets still available!

Just a reminder that Salem and his band will be playing an acoustic show this Sunday at 21:00 Swedish time, as part of Aftonbladet's Rockbjörnen Livelöpet concert series, live on the internet.

(Free) tickets are still available at http://livelopet.aftonbladet.se - remember you won't be able to watch the show unless you have a ticket, so make sure you get one! :)

Swedish charts update

"Ignore This" has fallen from no.17 to no.22 in this week's Sverige Topplistan album chart.

Dalarnas Tidningar interview with Salem

To get you all in the mood for Dalhalla, check out this new interview with Salem which I found this morning on Dalarnas Tidningar's website: http://www.dt.se/noje/article721104.ece

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Dalhalla: two days to go!

Isn't it exciting!!!

It won't be long until one of Salem's most long-awaited shows ever - Dalhalla, this Saturday night. I was surprised to read that there are still tickets available so if you are a Salem fan don't miss this big night, which could be one of his best ever concerts - possibly the best :) More information at www.dalhalla.se.

If you live in or around the Gävle area you will also be able to see Salem and his band perform with the Gävle Symfoniorkester again on Sunday 5th September at 15:00, at the grand opening of Stortorget. More information at: http://www.gavlesymfoniorkester.se/gs_index.php

Salem live in Oslo: 17th September


Good news for Salem's fans in Norway!

Via EMI Norway (on Twitter) I can reveal that Salem will be returning to Oslo to play at the Rockefeller on Friday 17th September. He previously played the smaller John Dee club (within the same complex) in June 2010, but the gig in September will take place in the much larger Rockefeller Music Hall (capacity 1350) - that's a very good sign that his popularity in Norway is growing...!

More info at: http://www.rockefeller.no/rf170910.html

Meanwhile, after the success of "Keep On Walking", which was a big airplay hit in Norway, now "4 O'Clock" is one of the top 5 most played songs on Norway's NRK P3 radio this week: http://spillelister.p3.no/ Here we go, here we go again....... :)))

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Rockbjörnen Live: get voting!!!!

Sorry I'm a bit late with this (it's been a busy couple of days and nights).

The final round of voting is now open for this year's Rockbjörnen Live awards so you know what you have to do....rösta rösta rösta!!!

You can vote for Salem in the 'Årets manliga liveartist' and 'Årets svenska låt' categories, at the following link...http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2010

The award winners will be revealed at the Rockbjörnen gala on 1st September.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Rockbjörnen Live: two nominations....and Facebook's fabulous 50,000!


Stort grattis Salem!!!!!

Great news today, as Salem has been nominated in two categories - Best Swedish Male Live Artist and Best Swedish Song of the Year ("Keep On Walking") in this year's Aftonbladet Rockbjörnen Live awards.

Full list of nominees at http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2010/article7622790.ab and I've also written a post about the nominees at my other blog EuropeCrazy: http://europecrazy.blogspot.com/2010/08/rockbjornen-live-and-nominees-are.html

And even more great news today as the total number of fans at Salem's Facebook fan page reached the fabulous total of 50,000!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Poll results update

After another week of voting, here's the current top 5 in the "Favourite Salem Songs" poll:

1. Astronaut
=2. It's True
=2. Good Song
4. Keep On Walking
5. 4 O'Clock

Whilst on the subject of voting, the nomination phase for Aftonbladet's Rockbjörnen has closed. I guess we will know soon (tomorrow?) if Salem's made it to the next stage, and how many categories he's been nominated in.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Nassim gets "Dansfeber"!

According to this article in Aftonbladet today http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/article7616138.ab, Salem's big brother Nassim will be one of the celebrities competing in "Dansfeber" a new TV dance competition which begins on 28th August on TV4.

This show will be a Swedish version of our British shows "Let's Dance for Comic Relief"/"Let's Dance For Sports Relief" - they're a much funnier version of "Let's Dance"/"Dancing With the Stars", and the money raised from telephone voting goes to charity.

I know this is off-topic, but to give you an idea of what you (and Nassim) can look forward to, here are some of my favourite moments from the British version of the show.

Robert Webb's "Flashdance - What A Feeling": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Lz6k5Zg2wA

Katy Brand's "Single Ladies": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfpCXP14blw

Paddy McGuinness & Keith Lemon's "Dirty Dancing": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygToBqK60XU

I've got my ticket!!!!!!!!

"I'm so happy" because I'm "going" to the Aftonbladet gig next Sunday!

Remember to let me know if you got a ticket. Hope you were all lucky enough to get one :)))

Friday, 13 August 2010

Dalhalla tickets competition

Found this on Dalarnas Tidningar today: here's a competition to win tickets for Dalhalla. More details at http://www.dt.se/noje/article714614.ece

Swedish charts update

"Ignore This" has climbed two places to no. 17 in this week's Sverige Topplistan album chart.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Rockbjörnen: voting reminder!

Salem's posted a reminder on his Facebook and Twitter pages today - don't forget to cast your vote in the Aftonbladet Rockbjörnen at the following link:
http://www.aftonbladet.se/nojesbladet/musik/rockbjornen2010/article7198677.ab

The nomination stage closes this weekend and the acts with the most votes will go forward to the next stage....so you know what you have to do - keep on voting!!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Aftonbladet Rockbjörnens Live-Löpet: Salem's "digital concert" on 22 August

It sounds like an unusual and very revolutionary internet concept, doesn't it! Aftonbladet.se is running a series of "digital concerts" between 17th and 25th August with wonderful Swedish acts like The Ark, Mando Diao and Robyn - and the best of all, of course.....Salem!!!

Salem will be appearing on 22nd August at 21:00. However we won't all be able to watch it on Aftonbladet TV - there are only 20,000 'digital tickets' available for each show and these will be available on 14th August from 12:00, at http://www.rockbjornen.se/.

I wonder if any tickets will be available to fans outside Sweden, or to people who aren't on Facebook? (Just like me!!) I probably won't be able to get a ticket anyway as I won't be at home this Saturday lunchtime when the tickets become available.

Apparently there will be press tickets available though. Can Planet Salem qualify as press? If so, someone please please please send me a ticket and I will love you forever :)

Otherwise, as usual, all my lovely friends will have to get in touch and tell me all about the show...

Here's the press release which has all the information about this exciting new concept: http://www.pirab.se/rockbjornen/pressrum/pressmeddelanden/view/pressmeddelande-varldspremiar-for-ny-interaktiv-livescen.-robyn-bland-stjarnorna-som-upptrader.-886732

EDIT 11.08.10: I've had a little change of plan for Saturday and should now be at home at 11:00 (British time) so I'll be logging on at that time for the ticket-race :))) Apart from that must-have Salem ticket, I wouldn't say no to The Ark or Mando Diao either! Or Robyn. Or Eric. Or Ola....it just makes me realise how wonderful Swedish music is, from pop to rock and everything in-between.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Poll results update

Thanks again to each and every one of you who have voted so far in the 'what's your favourite Salem song' poll (and special thanks to Lotta for mentioning it on Facebook!)

Here are the results so far, after one week:

1. Astronaut
2. Good Song
3. It's True
4. Keep On Walking
=5. Dream Girl
=5. It's Only You (Part II)
=5. Split My Personality

Of course it can all change, so keep the votes coming in! Remember you have until 31st August to vote.

Two weeks to Dalhalla.

...and more than ever, I wish I could be there, but sadly I can't be, so you will all have to tell me all about it!

Friday, 6 August 2010

Swedish charts update

"Ignore This" is no.19 in this week's Sverige Topplistan album chart.

Borås Tidning's review of Salem's concert

I've just been over to Borås Tidning and found this review by Anna Rydholm: http://www.bt.se/noje/salems-show-gar-som-pa-rals(2045216).gm

It looks as if he brought the sun out once again :)) The reviewer notes that there has been little room for improvisation or change to Salem's live set during the summer tour, since she last saw him at Liseberg, but it was (as ever) a crowd-pleasing show which kept everyone happy.

Also, check this out: http://www.bt.se/nyheter/boras/salem-al-fakir-det-var-valdigt-kul-att-spela-pa-torget-i-boras(2044788).gm

Finally, there's a link to some Sommartorsdagarna pictures here, which includes a couple of pictures of Salem: http://www.bt.se/nyheter/boras/fler-bilder-fran-sommartorsdagen-foto-jeanette-larsson(2044798).gm?service=mediacenter

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Just wondering...

*This is only speculation and not news!!!!*

I've been looking at http://sverigesradio.se/cgi-bin/berwaldhallen/program/index.asp?programid=979 and there are three concerts in the programme billed under "SVENSKA STJÄRNOR" on Thursday 28th October (18:00), Friday 29th October (18:00) and Saturday 30th October (15:00) with the Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester under the direction of Hans Ek. With an un-named soloist.

Could it be.....?

EDIT 09.09.10: It's not.

It's Lena Philipsson.

Oh well, maybe next year - here's hoping!!

Lysekil tomorrow, and Strömstad on Saturday

The latest stops on Salem's tour: tomorrow night Salem and the band will be playing Restaurang Havsbadet in Lysekil, in the beautiful west Swedish archipelago. http://www.havsbadet.se/ ...

....and on Saturday he moves on to another beautiful part of the country - Strömstad, near the Norwegian border, where he and the band will be back at The Cod: www.thecod.com

As usual, if you are going, enjoy the show and leave your comments here.

Lotta's Sandhamn pictures :)

My good friend Lotta Strandberg went over to Sandhamn yesterday to see Salem's show...and took some very nice pictures of course, which I would like to share with you tonight. Enjoy!!



Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Borås tomorrow!

Thursday night in Borås in summertime means only one thing...Sommartorsdagarna!

Salem will take to the stage at Stora Torget at 21:00 tomorrow night. As usual, if you're going ....enjoy! :)

Whilst reading the official site http://www.borascity.se/sommartorsdagarna/om-sommartordagarna I noticed that it is just over three years to the day (2nd August) when Salem played at Mitt i Borås. I wonder how many of you who were at that show are going back to see see him tomorrow night?

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Chipmunks....if you like that kind of thing :O

I suppose you could say that it's proof you have "made it" when your songs are "chipmunked"

Whilst on my nightly search on YouTube for any new Salem video clips, I found this tonight: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWkj0Sx5Z3Q

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 2 August 2010

Mellerud : interview and review

Just found this review tonight: http://ttela.se.adp-visitor.sth.basefarm.net/nojekultur/musik/1.911185-charmant-glatt-och-lite-barnsligt - it's a bit more positive than the PDOL ones anyway, and I like the comment by reviewer Anna Sofia Dahl that "anyone who isn't charmed by Salem Al Fakir - in all cases, aesthetically pleasing - must have a heart of stone". She goes on to say: "he makes people dance, clap, sing and smile"...."he invites the audience to a world that is amazingly nice, kind, cheerful and a little child-like". The reviewer comments on Salem's young audience and compares him to a 'play leader' ..."caring and inclusive".

There is also an interview which was published a few days ago on that website, but which I missed and hadn't been able to find until tonight: http://ttela.se/nojekultur/musik/1.907394-salem-tar-over-rodret in which Salem talks about his summer tour and interestingly, at the end of the interview, mentions his future plans - after he gets a well earned rest of course!! - to write more music, "...and work further with the sound of the song I did before the Crown Princess' wedding". Could this mean an alternative version..."All Day Love (Part II)" perhaps??

More of Lotta's pictures: Berns, May 2010

My new friend Lotta Strandberg has sent me some more lovely pictures of Salem which she took during the Berns shows on 8th and 9th of May 2010. Here is a selection of them - enjoy!





(Is that the 'Keep On Walking' finger????) Just let the light guide me through.....!

Salem in Sandhamn this Wednesday!

I didn't know about this one, so tack så mycket Lotta :)

Salem will be playing a free concert this Wednesday in Sandhamn.

I then did some internet searching as I hadn't heard of Sandhamn before, so firstly I found this site http://www.destinationsandhamn.se/ : Sandhamn, which is in the Stockholm archipelago, looks beautiful, especially as it has lots of those little red wooden houses/buildings which I always associate with Sweden.

From there I eventually found this link http://www.sandhamn.com/defaultpage.aspx?pageid=899 : the concert starts at 17:00 on Wednesday, it takes place on the bridge at Seglarhotellet, and best of all, it's free :)

Beautiful scenery, beautiful music ....what a perfect combination. If you're going, enjoy the show and remember to tell us all about it.

Lotta's pictures from Salem's Mellerud show!




These pictures were taken by Lotta Strandberg at Salem's show at Mellerud on Saturday 31st July.

Lotta is our first guest photo-contributor; she is a regular reader of Planet Salem and is one of the regular contributors on Salem's Facebook fan page.

Thanks again Lotta for your excellent photographs!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Audience participation!

As you know, I love hearing from every single one of you, Planet Salem readers, whether you leave comments or send emails.

Now I'm going to take things a little bit further....perhaps you'd like to write a concert review for Planet Salem? Or maybe you'd like to share some pictures which you've taken at a concert?

(I'll be particularly interested in reviews and pictures from the Dalhalla show, as I'll be devoting a lot of coverage to this show and would welcome all your contributions!)

Anyway, talking of concert photography, we've already got our first guest contributor - check out the next post!!

New poll: What's your all-time favourite Salem song?

Regular readers will know that there have been previous polls on Planet Salem for you to choose your favourite tracks from all of his three albums released to date.

Well...it's now time for you to choose your all-time favourite Salem song! There are 20 songs to choose from and as usual you can vote for one, or more, or all of them if you want :)

The 20 songs are made up of the 6 songs from each album which received the most votes in previous polls, along with two "wild cards" - two songs by Salem which have not featured on any of his albums - "All Day Love" and "Backseat".

I was originally going to run this poll until the end of September, but I changed my mind and it's now only going to run until 31st August when I'll post the results and publish your all-time top 20 favourite Salem songs. At which time I'll also post my own Salem top 20, and we can compare the differences :)

Get voting now!!

Another Piteå review

In her review of Salem's Friday night show at http://www.pitea-tidningen.se/pitea/artikel.aspx?ArticleId=5511237, Piteå-Tidningen's Anna Holmberg wasn't very positive: "...PDOL made a big mistake to put him on the big stage...he did not manage to reach out to the audience... I have never seen such a distracted and restless audience during the concert yesterday."

The reviewer highlighted that Salem Al Fakir "is designed for a small stage with an intimate contact with his fans", and she felt that on a smaller stage, with a different set list, it may have been more positive.

Both Norrbottens-Kuriren (see previous post) and Piteå-Tidningen were critical in their comments about Friday's show. If any of you were at Piteå, do you think the reviewers were right or wrong?

"This Is Who I Am" poll: results

Thanks to all of you who voted in my poll of your favourite songs from "This Is Who I Am" -here are the results!

1. It's True - 30 votes - 38%
2. Good Song - 27 votes - 34%
3. This Is Who I Am - 25 votes - 32%
4. Dream Girl - 21 votes - 26%
=5. It's Only You (original version) - 10 votes - 12%
=5. Devil Look- 10 votes - 12%
7. Count Me Out - 9 votes - 11%
8. Thank You - 8 votes - 10%
9. Damien and Bob - 7 votes - 8%
10. Hymn - 6 votes - 7%
11. Tell Me - 5 votes - 6%