|Day 284/365: Bodyfest: the recap
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
As I’ve mentioned previously, my trip to Stockholm was centred around attendance at the one-night Bodyfest EBM (electronic body music) festival. I specifically went to see Roya. We went to high school together in the States, and as far as I know, she’s the only other one of my classmates who moved to Europe and then decided to emigrate permanently. She just made a
better different choice of country (fuuuuuucking Brexit, sorry/not sorry for swearing).
Anyway, I arrived at the Nalen Theatre, a classically beautiful venue, just as Roya began her set. I squirreled myself away behind a small table occupied by a couple of chaps who looked as if they wouldn’t bother me. I was right. Good job, chaps; this solo lady appreciated being left alone to enjoy her old friend’s music.
I was captivated from the first note. I’ve listened to Roya’s music through good headphones and decent speakers, but there is something about hearing it fill up a space with an excellent sound system that cannot be replicated. She had specially arranged fast-paced beats on her songs for the fest. The packed room didn't have much space for full-bodied dancing/stomping and it was also very early, but the rapt audience enthusiastically bobbed heads in appreciation.
The synths wrapped their arms around me. My tiny, talented friend raised her haunting voice, sending tingles that raced down my spine opposite the beat radiating up from the soles of my feet.
Roya’s set (all links go to her bandcamp page)
- Dead Air
- Boys (Bauhaus cover)
- Day One
- Reuters (Wire cover)
After the crowd flowed away, I headed into the main theatre to see if I could find Roya. I did. She was still giddy from her set and I was giddy about seeing her for the first time in seven years. We exchanged brief precis of our lives in the interim, and she introduced me to various Swedes who came up to compliment her.
I went to find a drink. A coke, I discovered cost slightly more than £3. Much as I appreciated the caffeine, I figured there had to be a cheaper way to stay hydrated, and that was how I discovered the marble drinking fountain with the thoughtfully placed array of paper cups placed next to it in the theatre foyer. I downed a few cups before Underviewer’s set started on the main stage.
Me in my Apollo Command Module dress from Svaha, with matching blue tights and tall black boots. The perfect outfit for an EBM festival, if you ask me. Oh, and a wool coat, because it’s ruddy cold in Sweden in October, tyvm.
Roya (the woman on stage with the microphone) on the small stage. She was the opening act for the festival. I had to hold my phone straight up above my head to take this photo because the room was packed with 8-foot-tall Swedes.
Underviewer on the main stage. Two of the chaps from Front 242 playing ancient EBM. It was glorious and I was very happy to be able to feel the bass through the soles of my feet.
Leaetherstrip on the main stage. I have seen Klaus Larsen play before, at least 15 years ago. I was impressed that he was still energetically bouncing around the stage - he must be at least 50 - in his (mildly alarming) leather harness, belting out his dance floor classics, and that the (much younger) audience was absolutely lapping it up. I was too, but much more quietly in a safe corner, away from flailing arms and sloshing beer. But I still chanted “Civil Disobedience” with all my heart.
I must admit that I did not stay for either of the headline acts (S.P.O.C.K. and The Young Gods). I like them, but I’m also old enough that they could not compete with the lure of my comfortable hotel room bed and room service. I had seen the three bands I really wanted to watch. I hadn’t eaten supper because Roya played so early. So I bid farewell to her, downed some more free water from the marble drinking fountain, and ambled off back through Tunnelgatan into the night, feeling content.
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