Live Reviews

Peter Bjorn And John @ Dingwalls, London

30 March 2011


For the band that have never been able to escape the shadow of 2006 hit Young Folks it’s a shame that this has distracted superficially from every other song since their success burgeoned off its back. It’s easy to forget that three albums have been released by the Swedish trio since the Young Folks-led Writer’s Block in their six-album repertoire. But they are back, slightly hairier and more rugged than last time they hit British shores to enchant us with their catchy brand of infectious pop and expose us to their latest offering, Gimme Some.

The new album is edgier, rawer and displays a certain cynicism that has been acquired through age. The likes of Tomorrow Has To Wait and May Seem Macabre are accompanied by chat in a constant drawl from singer Peter Moren and guitarist Bjorn Yttling that feeds the crowd between songs. “I wrote this song for an ex-girlfriend. Well, now I’m married, so who cares?” explains Peter before indulging in a medley of past album tracks. Not quite the sickly sweet niceties that we expect from them, which is rewardingly refreshing.

The relatively intimate venue is packed to the rafters with a rather odd looking crowd, very different to what you would have seen at a Pater Bjorn And John gig three of four years ago. This is definitely a crowd divided into two camps. Those loyal followers who’ve followed the threesome since the debut self-titled album – or at least Writer’s Block – and those who’ve cottoned on to them by shazamming the TV speakers at a certain over-subscribed DIY advert. It is almost as cynical as some of Peter Bjorn And John’s new songs, but it seems largely true as, although Young Folks featured in the the four track encore, it was up first – after which the small club cleared by about a quarter.

Ah well, those there only for the one song the trio are famed for missed out, for they played a mammoth encore, pounding through another two tracks from the new offering and rounding up with the ever-catchy Nothing To Worry About. Taken from 2009’s Living Thing, it’s a rival to Young Folks in terms of catchiness, but it’s never been quite so widely accepted. It looks like, for now, Peter Bjorn And John will have to continue to live in the shadow of their hit’s success.


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