The Sounds - Mean Fiddler London - Robyn - Dingwalls London

As they way we listen to music changes the chances of discovering new acts increases.
I fall in love with a new band on an almost daily basis,usually by downloading tracks from blogs or checking out My Space pages.
This has led me to come across a variety of different groups and solo performers all originating from Sweden including Raymond and Maria, Oh Laura, Ida Maria and Marit Fahlander.
Living in London I've had the opportunity to see many of my favourites live.
Last month I caught sets from Hello Saferide and Maia Hirasawa and was lucky enough to sample two great live acts - The Sounds and Robyn on subsequent days recently.
The Sounds show at London's Mean Fiddler was the fifth time I had watched the band this year.
I find their synth led "New Wave" rock anthems highly infectious and their live shows tremendously entertaining.
This is predominantly due to the stage presence of lead singer Maja Ivarsson who tonight dressed in a biker jacket looked like the meanest girl from High School!, flicking cigarette butts into the crowd, spraying water and using the microphone lead as a makeshift whip!
Of course The Sounds are more than just one woman so Felix, Johan, Jesper and Fredrik all had their part to play.
During the performance I noticed keyboard player Jesper and Johan on bass were both a bit livelier onstage than I had seen them previously so it's good to see them enjoying themselves .
This was The Sounds biggest London headline show to date and they were thankful of the large crowd that had come to see them.
Maja commented that this tour and the last tour wouldn't have been possible without the crowds support.
The band roared through a set consisting of tracks from album "Living in America and debut release in the UK "Dying to say this to you".
The good thing about the UK release is they've taken the best bits of "Living in America" and sprinkled them on the top of "Dying", giving you the perfect Sounds collection!
The biggest cheers of the night went to "Song with a mission", "Living in America" and "hit" single "Tony the beat".
Maja is a very energetic performer and I spent the night wondering if she was going to leap off the stage into the crowd.I've seen her do it on a few occasions but the size of the gap between band and audience made it look unlikely.She almost did it during one number but ended up singing from the pit, leaving it till near the end of the set to take a run and jump into the highly excited crowd!

I actually enjoyed The Sounds set so much that I picked up a cheap ticket for their Wireless Festival performance at Hyde Park the following afternoon where they won over a lot of new fans I'm sure.
I stayed at Wireless to watch the Only Ones play.They were really disappointing unfortunatly with their set not catering to a festival audience so I was happy to leave to go to Dingwalls to watch Swedish Pop Pixie - Robyn.
I do tend to return to see bands and singers I like so it's no suprise that this was my third Robyn show this year.
Robyn has been a success in Sweden since the mid 90's and dipped her feet into the UK's chart waters with her most successful single "Show me love" getting to number 8 in 1997.
Robyn set up her own record label Konichiwa Records in 2005, releasing her self titled debut album in Sweden.A new shiny version with extra bits and pieces was released in the UK earlier this year.
Robyn's music combines elements of rap, electropop, and R and B filling her album with perfect pop songs.
Robyn's Dingwall's show was the largest she'd headlined in the Capital so far with the majority of the crowd seeming to know the words to every song, with several screaming Robyn's name during gaps in her performance.
She was joined on stage by a drummer, guitarist and keyboard player but there were two drum kits set up so the guitarist played drums every so often.Not to be left out, Robyn also brought some beats to the table, pounding away on an electronic kit.
The set was pulled from her album with the likes of "Cobra style", forthcoming single "With every heartbeat" and "Bum like you" all appearing.There was even a ballad mid set when "Eclipse" was played, with the audience entranced for it's duration.
One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for the 90's hit "Show me love" but the biggest response was heard when single "Konichiwa Bitches" was aired, causing a mass singalong from where I was standing.
Robyn threw a cover into her set, performing Prince's "Jack U off".This seems to be a favourite of the Swedish siren as she's played it each time I've seen her.
Her final song of the evening was the stripped down ballad version of my favourite song played earlier in the evening - "Be mine".When she performed the number at my previous shows there was a hushed reverence however there was a lot of shouting during it and a tone deaf harpie singing along loudly behind me, slightly spoiling the moment!
Robyn is currently one of the hottest acts in pop and should be far more than a cult favourite.I'm sure her next London show will see her playing to a larger audience but it's a pop travesty that's she's not perched in the top spot of the nation's Top 40.
Who knows?
Perhaps "Heartbeat" will get her there...

For more information on Robyn and The Sounds visit their My Space pages...

The Sounds


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