One of the really nice things about working for Mudkiss is that one often gets the opportunity to watch bands that one wouldn’t ever consider going to see. It’s nice in that there’s always the chance that the mind could deviate from the norm and be pleasantly surprised by the band. So tonight I’m lucky enough to be at the cavernous MCR Arena with Mudkiss editor/photographer Mel to watch Swedish Europop giants Roxette receive a hero’s (and heroines) welcome from a crowd of die-hard fans.
Formed somewhere in the middle of the eighties by statuesque singer Marie Fredriksson and guitarist Per Gessle, Roxette dominated the charts, notching up a staggering 33 hits. 33 hits! Most bands spend their adult lives trying to get into the top 20 and this couple seems to hit the target at will with their well-crafted music. I have to say though that although Roxette have a back catalogue to die for the venue isn’t full. In fact the top tier of the arena in blanked off so it’s just the bottom tier that’s open for business and the vast desert of the standing area that is packed solid. Still. The people who have been drawn to the show tonight have made the effort to come because they want to be there.
So what did they get these Roxette fans? Well for one they got an incredible slick band that knocked out every song with the requisite amount of professionalism that result in fledgling band manage to lodge themselves in the memory . Not being a fan in any way of Roxette I slipped into thinking that there would be a ton of songs I didn’t know, but, after hit after hit kept coming, I tell you something, ‘It Must Have Been Love’ is a great record in anyone’s book and it was a joy to hear it being played tonight. But there were far more tunes that had lodged into my sand most of them got an airing tonight. And if truth be told I recognised far more songs lodged in my sub-conscious than I care to admit to.
Would I become a fan? No, but I can appreciate the skill that’s gone into creating these wonderful pop songs. Would I rush out and buy any of Rosette’s music? Not a chance; they live too far in enemy territory for my tastes, but as always I live and learn. Good music springs up where you least expect it and Roxette are okay in my book. I can’t ever see me buying their records but I do understand the appeal.
Setlist:Dressed for Success
Listen to Your Heart
Church of Your Heart
Review by Phil King
Photos by Melanie Smith – www.mudkissphotography.co.uk