Friday, 7 September 2012

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Live at Södra Teatern Stockholm, August 30th

Mattias & Ebbot - Photo by Steve Worrall
It's starting to hit home that this really is the closing chapter in The Soundtrack of Our Lives story. At the end of the year the band will finally call it a day and they will do so in some style. They have announced that they will run through each of their studio albums on consecutive nights, starting December 17th, here in Stockholm at this very theatre, the beautiful Södra Teatern. It's well worth mentioning the venue as it is stunning, situated high up on Södermalm's Mosebacke Square with breathtaking views over the City, it's Stockholm's oldest surviving theatre, dating back to 1859. It's also well known as the venue where Sparks performed for the recording of their superb "Lil' Beethoven Live in Stockholm" DVD. Tonight's gig however, is outside on the Terrassen, and it really is a beautiful setting to see a gig. Due to the proximity of local flats, houses and hotels - some lucky residents got a perfect view from their own balconies - the gig starts early, and the support act Mattias Hellberg actually plays indoors afterwards at an official aftershow. You can read about Mattias Hellberg's excellent show on the Blog here, and see a video of a brand new unreleased song, the excellent "Wait For The Morning".

Photo by Steve Worrall
Soundtrack take the stage at around 8:15pm just as the light is fading, Ebbot appears with an acoustic guitar and they open the set, somewhat surprisingly, with the slow burning "All For Sale", the last track from second album, "Extended Revelations...". In all the times I've seen the band they have rarely played any songs off this superb album, certainly not during their more regular "rock" shows anyway. I've always thought this was a big shame as the album is surely a psychedelic rock masterpiece, crammed full of fantastic songs, so it was a great to hear the opening chords of "All For Sale" ring out to start the show. Tonight Soundtrack play a pretty lean, stream-lined set, cramming in 20 songs that span their 16 year career as one of the greatest, and certainly most underrated, rock bands of...well...all time!  

Kalle - Photo by Steve Worrall
They play an eclectic pick of tracks from each of their albums, except, interestingly enough, "Origin Vol. 1", the rather patchy album that was meant to have built on the critically acclaimed, break-through "Behind The Music". We are treated to a handful of raucous oldies such as "Dow Jones Syndrome", "Confrontation Camp" and the ultimate TSOOL song, "Galaxy Gramophone". The band attack each number with a vengeance, guitarists Ian Person and Mattias Bärjed are a blur of frenzied energy. Then it's the classic "Instant Repeater '99", which could almost be Sweden's unofficial alternative National Anthem, the packed out Terrassen responds enthusiastically, singing along with every word, and the atmosphere is amazing. More early songs are played, with their very first 1996 E.P. title track "Homo Habilis Blues" and "Grand Canaria", which shows off Fredrik Sandsten's peerless drumming skills to great effect. "Behind The Music" is also well served with "Still Aging", bassist Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm's stunning "Broken Imaginary Time" and the beautiful "Tonight", which features a solitary Ebbot singing to Martin Hederos' stunning Erik Satie influenced piano. Of course we also get the thumping "Sister Surround", probably the one track that made their name outside Sweden.

Photo by Steve Worrall
Following "Origin Vol. 1", the band had a real return to form with the release of the epic, sprawling double album called "Communion", and we get the mini-symphony of "Second Life Replay", another track that has become something of a classic amongst fans. The song was also to end up on the soundtrack of the American Television comedy/drama show, "Californication". "Just a Brother" is probably the only lull in the night's otherwise faultless set, but "The Passover" from "Communion", makes up for it, a stunningly simple but emotional and effective camp-fire singalong. From the latest, and last ever album, "Throw It To The Universe", the band play the superb Love-influenced flamenco styled "Where's The Rock?", the powerful "Faster Than The Speed of Light" and the slower paced "You Are The Beginning".

Martin - Photo by Steve Worrall
As one of the encores, the band return to the stage to rapturous applause and we get the storming title track of the new album, "Throw It To The Universe", which segues nicely into the early single, and probably the band's theme song, "Firmament Vacation". As a final encore, the ecstatic crowd are treated to that familiar Eastern influenced riff of "Mantra Slider", which slowly builds and builds until it degenerates into a crazed, Stooges style freak-out, with Ebbot leaping off the stage into the crowd. The song then mutates into the old Union Carbide Productions classic "Ring My Bell" and a fantastic gig is brought to a crashing end. What a performance, and it's just such a damn shame that there is not much time left to enjoy the spectacular live experience of The Soundtrack of Our Lives. Here are a few more photographs...

Gig Poster at Slussen
Soundtrack Soundcheck
A rare pic of all six members in one shot!
Side of the stage at the Södra Teatern Terrassen
Ebbot in the shadow of the beautiful Söder Teatern
All Photos above copyright Steve Worrall 2012. Here is a great video of a triple hit from the gig kindly contributed by bgrrrlie. You can check out bgrrrlie's excellent YouTube Channel for more videos of the show along with many others.


  1. Have my tickets for Heaven next Thursday right in front of me on the desk.

    Wish I could get to Stockholm for December - sounds like a brilliant idea. Maybe they could be persuaded to release all the shows on dvd?

  2. Enjoy Heaven - I'm looking for someone to review the London Heaven show for the Blog - any takers ;-)