Oct 3, 2015

The first acts to go direct to Globen, Stockholm 2016- Highway.

As the month of October begins we have not one but two acts announced already to take the journey to Stockhom in 2016. One of the most interesting is from Montenegro who finished 13th in Vienna with 'Adio' that added some traditional melody to Eurovision 2015. For next year Montenegro have gone for the opposite in a pop-rock act that came 4th in X-Factor Adria. They are Peter, Marko & Luke called Highway  the trio and look and sound rather good.
Meanwhile Netherlands have also got in early with a big independant singer-songwriter called Douwe Bob who has two best selling albums to his credit already back in Netherlands. Douwe is likely to write his own uptempo entry for Holland. The song is due to be presented by soon.

                               Highway Trio- Tea for Three

Sep 26, 2015

Where have all the good men gone? asks Conchita. Last week on ORF Tv

Yes, our former Queen of Eurovision 2014- Is back home in Austria performing two new songs, one is her latest single 'Where have all the good men gone' which I like alot and makes me wonder why Conchita did'nt release this song before now? It has a touch on Beyonce to it as well.

Another hit on the way...

Sep 19, 2015

Stand by for 'Bracelet' coming soon- and just perrr-fect for Melodifestivalen 2016? We think...

Benny Andersson's association with Melodifestivalen, goes back as far as 1969 a songwriter of the first placed song 'Hej Clown' that very almost went to Madrid for the Eurovision Song Contest of 69. However Benny's tune lost out to Tommy Korberg's 'Judy Min Vän' in a tie break, that became Sweden's entry and finished in 9th position.

Then in 1974 Benny and Abba made international music history with 'Waterloo' that gave Sweden's first Eurovision win, yet the Melodifestivalen/Eurovision associations did not finish there.

In 1986 the second generation Peter Gronvald (Benny Andersson's son) joined forces with the famous Nanne (his wife) in a 80's pop band called 'Sound Of Music' and the 4th placed 'Elorado' being the first time we saw the Andersson-clan back in sweden's favorite national song contest. 'Sound of Music' became the pop three some 'One More Time' and won Mf to sing for Sweden at Eurovision Song Contest 1996 when they finished in third place. Next Nanne went solo and entred Melodifestivalen and very almost won Melodifestivalen of 2005 with 'Håll Om Mej' after four Melo' entries herself. Nanne became a huge name in Sweden, largely due to 'Håll Om Mej' becoming one of Melodifestivalen's famous top hits.   

Then if we fast forward on to 2014,  Benny's grandson's Felix & Charlie Gronvald formed their own rock band called 'Little Great Things' and became the third generation of the Andersson clan to be part of Melodifestivalen. 'Little Great Things' song 'Set Yourself Free' did not make Melodifestivalen 2014. However Charlie as a lead singer  and his brother Felix are about to launch a new three piece band, that includes a danish bass player Rebecca from Copenhagen, that are next month coming out as 'Bracelet' -onto the Swedish music scene. They have now joined forces with artist producer and songwriter Jimmy Jansson, who has a history of Melodifestivalen past hit tunes like 'Amanda' and 'Vi Kan Gunga' from 2005.

We cannot wait to hear what 'Bracelet' bring us, and at this early stage, whisper, whisper-  we have a feeling they could even pop up in Melodifestivalen 2016!  fingers crossed, as the Andersson musical clan continues...

Remember where u hear it first- Find out more on Bracelet here:

Sep 15, 2015

Melodifestivalen 2016- The contest dates are revealed

   Just today,  Svt have released the dates of each semi final, Andra Chansen and the Grand Final.
Interesting to see the coastal town of Halmstad included here (and birthtown of Roxette) for the first time, I think.

Melodifestivalen dates

06/02/2016  – Semifinal 1 -Göteborg – Scandinavium
13/02/2016 –  Semifinal 2 – Malmö, Malmö Arena 
20/02/2016-  Semifinal 3 -Norrköping- Himmelstalundshallen
27/02/2016-  Semifinal 4 -Gävle-Gavlerinken Arena 
05/03/2016- Andra  Chansen-Halmstad- Halmstad Arena
12/03/2015-  Grand final -Stockholm- Friends Arena

One of the popular Melodifestivalen artists Alcazar, did a radio interview and said they are so keen to return to Melodifestivalen 2016.. that would be a schlager treat. Alcazar who are currently doing a run of their popular show Disco Defenders in Stockholm now as we type.
May the schlager force be with Alcazar and for Melo 2016 as well.

Aug 29, 2015

Lena Andersson - returns a Schlager Legend from 1972-

Lena Andersson is back via the Schlager Time Machine, returning this week to Stockholm city to my complete pure delight. 

She has a brand new english CD released after a long long break since the mid 80’s.  Lena Andersson was a Polar artist who worked with Bjorn and Benny as producers and songwriters from 1971 onwards. She also had minor hits in West Germany with german versions of Abba’s ‘Fernando’ ‘Hasta Mañana’ & ’S.O.S’ Lena first found fame back in 1971 at the age of  just 15, Stig Anderson took Lena under his wing and her version of ‘ I’m gonna be a country girl again’ (Är Det Konstigt Att Man Längtar Bort Nån Gång) was her first number one on Svensktoppen chart in 1971. In a strange twist of fate, today in 2015,  Lena is a country girl again! As Lena lives on a farm in Arizona, USA together with her american husband and sings mainly gospel and country-pop music and is rarely seen on the swedish music and TV scene. 
Last Thursday she sang a free live set at The Pop House Garden, Stockholm.  

Lena Andersson has an amazing vocal, and I have always felt her Melodifestivalen entry ’Säj Det Med En Sång’ is just timeless, wrote by Bjorn and Benny a year before ‘Ring Ring’ in 1973. This tune is a ballad in the true schlager queen style, so how it came only 3rd for Lena Andersson at Melodifestivalen- I don’t understand, however she had some fine competition in Melodifestivalen 1972 from Tomas Ledin, Bjorn Skifs, Monica Zetterlund & Sylvia. Lena’s Melodifestivalen tune she reprised this week at Pop House , Stockholm.

You can check out more Lena facts -on the forgotten Svensktoppen star, and Lena’s brand new album ‘Open Your Heart’ at her Facebook page

Lena Andersson sings  ’Säj Det Med En Sång’ on SVT

Aug 20, 2015

Lena- the Queen of Schlager' is back at Last

Lena has been silent for a long time, but now she’s back - yes, Ms Lena Philipson. 
Who can forget Lena’s Eurovision performance back in 2004, when she sang ‘It Hurts’ for Sweden at Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul and finished in 6th place.
Lena’s performance and her mike-stand- who can forget that- is already a piece of Eurovision history. Before that big Melodifestivalen victory of 2004 with “Det Gor Not’. Lena Philipsson had three previous attempts to win a place at Eurovision Song Contest as a singer in the 80’s. Then two more times at Melodifestivalen in the 90’s as a songwriter for her friend Pernilia Dahlgren in 1991, and the group Arvingarna in 1999.
Lena has become in Sweden a household schlager queen, and seems to stick to music and songs mainly in her native language now-a-days    

Lena’s new album is due out in September 2015- produced by Alcazar’s producer, Anders Hansson we just can't wait…   

Lena’s new single is out now, and called ‘Jag är ingen älskling’ (I am no Darling) Really, she is a darling we luv her so.

Check out this wonderful TV performance of the new song wrote completely by Lena Ph as well, there seems no end to Lena’s talents.

Jul 31, 2015

Stockholm Pride Goes all Schlager in 2015

The highlight at the Pride Park -Stockholm Pride 2015-  this past Thursday evening was some Eurovision legends from the past the schlager tasic line up was as follows:

Linda Bengtzing (Melodifestivalen) Timoteij ( Melodifestivalen) Rickard Soderberg (Melodifestivalen) Nordman, Andres Esteche, Anna Book (Melodifestivalen) Ace Wilder, Sanna Nielsen (Melodifestivalen 2014)  
Then that Eurovision history-book was opened with Anne Marie David,(who sang in the same Red dress from 1973 no less!! -see utube) and Ms Maggie MacNeal (Mouth & MacNeal)  Bucks Fizz (Mike Jay & Cheryl) & Penny McLean (Silver Convention-Germany 1977)  

Maggie sang the Netherlands ‘I see a star’ entry from back in 1974 when Mouth & MacNeal finished 3rd. As well as her own song ‘Amsterdam’ Netherlands entry of 1980 that finished in 5th Place. Well I just wish I was somehow there that night…

Here is 'Formally known as Bucks Fizz'- Mike Cheryl, Jay, & Bobby McVay as they sung 'Making your Mind Up' & 'Im Never giving up' (Sweet Dreams) clearly having so much Fizz Fun 

(Pic thanks to CherylMike Jay@twitter)

Plus, fresh from Melodifestivalen 2015 stars - Mariett, Dinah Nah, Molly Peterson & Midnight Boy. Of course the schlager show was not complete until  Mr Mans Zelmerlow, himself who sang 'Hope & Glory', 'Cara Mia' & 'Heroes'..amazingly as only Mans can.. check it all out here.

Jul 25, 2015

Melodifestivalen 2016: Dear Christer, My schlager Wishlist is....

                                Alcazar rolled in Gold (Alcazar facebook promo)

The new submissions for Melodifestivalen songs for 2016 season are open from 1st September 2016.

Each year some old favourites return to Melodifestivalen with each new year for another change at Eurovision glory. In fact Sanna in 2014 had been in the Melodifestivalen contest -seven times before she won with 'Undo' so certainly these big swedish stars can still make an impact on the Grand Final scoreboard still today for certain.

Then it is all about the right song for Stockholm 2016, that will go direct to the final in 2016, as Sweden is the host nation. So who is best would fly that swedish flag do we think? I have put together my wishlist for would look like this....

1. Alcazar
2. Timoteji
3. Shirley Clamp
4. Danny Saucedo- or just bring back E M D?
5. Magnus Carlsson
6. Sarah Dawn Finer
7. Marie Serneholt
8. Linda Bentzing
9. Robyn!   (she did actually write a Melo song back in the 90's)
10. Dolly Style
11. David Lindgren
12. Peter Joback

Top of the wish list is two schlager groups, its been a long long time since Sweden sent a group to Eurovision, and yes, Alcazar have always been just purrr-fect. They are currently touring in Sweden and have a disco new fab release - so I am certainly they would be up for -one more time,  at Melodifestivalen?
Check it out Alcazar's newie 'Young Guns'

                          -Here is the Abba girls both noting 'the mid-70's Melodifestivalen wishlists' back in the day!

Jul 15, 2015

Samir & Viktor they came to Melodifestivalen in 2015- and conquers all in the charts.

                                -Thanks to Samir & Viktor FaceBook page

Rap in Melodifestivalen, and even Eurovision Song Contest, it just has never really worked at all- For an example check out Austria's Trackshittaz, they were very popular in homeland yet finished last in the 2nd Semi Final in Baku 2012.
Then came Samir & Viktor, I had dismissed them as another rap pop act until- I stopped and listened to them in the Melodifestivalen 'Second Chance' round..Wait a minute, this really works well and is an amazingly caughty tune.The boys certainly set up Melodifestivalen Grand Final as Song 1- with their amazing staging of 'Groupie'
and certainly they went on to recieved the sixth highest public vote in the final.

Then 'Groupie' went on to have further massive success as the song remained on the Swedish singles charts for 21 weeks- to date, and along with Mans 'Heroes' (which you would expect after Sweden's 2015 win) are they are the only two Melodifestivalen singles still arround in the swedish charts this summer. Also Hasse Andersson's 'Guld och grona skogan' has given him a number one selling album this summer in Sweden. So in the sales ratings the two swedish songs from Melodifestivalen have won, could this mean Melodifestivalen 2016 -will bring us a swedish lauguage winner? that would be a turn up for the books..

Jul 14, 2015

Review of Bucks Fizz debut Album (1981) Track by Track

TRACKS + Bonus Mixes + Demos

Piece Of The Action- This was a killer second single from Bucks Fizz after Eurovision,
 it was the first time we heard those synth drums that were to be come the trademark
sound of Bucks Fizz. This was a highlight of the album, and this foursome really did
grap a massive slice of the UK action at the time

Midnight Reservation- I have a real thing about train songs, (and not in an anarak-
way either) the way the chorus
 builds to perfect vocals - when I first played the LP I remember this was my favourite
 (Abba's 'Nina' another example of Train Tracks- without train in the title)

It's Got To Be Love- Mike Nolan's debut slow ballad. If you didnt know,  Cheryl
Baker confessed on BBC Radio 2 that she had a love at first sight crush on Mike,
 during the band's early days.. a secret Cheryl never shared before with not
even Mike. Well as the pair duet on that very subject Love-  this tune takes on
a whole extra layer and new meaning.

Took It To The Limit- Another album highlight- the production is amazing on this
 track. So how it ended up as a B side on the 'Piece Of The Action' in hindsight
it could have been another single for the Fizz. It went off in a very funky jazz
direction towards the songs close. One for the dance floor for sure.

One Of Those Nights- The third single from the album and a showcase of
Bobby Gee's vocal style- and once again the shape of what was to come
from the Fizz- anthems and terrific building giant chorus. It was never
going to be another No:1 but a worthy follow-up hit.

Making Your Mind Up-  This song just never seems to age to me, and has
 so many hooks it's just not true. It was never an obvious Eurovison entry,
yet the perfect example of taking one of the biggest risks in the song
contest's history that paid off big time.

Lady Of The Night- This track was Bucks Fizz pushing the boundaries of 1981,
a song of ladies of the night, at the time I am sure I was not alone in never
realising that was what the song was all about. It was later recorded by
 Bardo as a B-side, however it did not compare with the B F original track for me.

Getting Kinda Lonely- One of the best Fizz ballads, and this showcases Jay
Aston's vocal power so well on this track, she always had a mature edge for
the band's baby. Plus some great orchestral arrangements on this track.

Shine On- Another favourite on the album for me. With a dose of Fizz funk on
this uptempo track, it would be a great oldie for the band to bring back
 into the Live shows they are doing all over UK and Ireland this summer.

The Right Situation- This track has always been 'Making your...' part two-
what a shame, there was'nt a third part, but I think the Rock n Fizz theme
was dropped after this album?
What a great album closer

Don't Stop- B side A worthy album track for certain this song and of course
everyone whole brought the Eurovision single got this as a wonderful B-side

 one of the Fizz's best.

Always Thinking of You- B side Another ballad with a difference, and Miss 
Cheryl tugged on the heartstrings with just amazing vocal production. 
Footnote Bardo did this track as well
 in a completely different style that worked
really well. I wonder if Bucks Fizz ever recorded 'One Step Further' -except the 

boys, demo cut of course.

One Of Those Nights (Demo)-
One Of Those Nights (Extended Mix)-
This is an Extended single version that actually never was around back

 in the 80s although the 2012 re-production is excellent, as well 
as a stripped down demo version

Piece of The Action (Demo)- 
Piece of The Action (Stephen Vaudin Dedication Mix)-
An amazing 7 minute remix of Piece Of The Action'one of this deluxe 

CD highlights I love it...

The Right Situation (Early Mix)- a stripped down mix without the
 JiveBunny effect, I actually like this more than the original album 
version. It still has the party vibe but a lot more bass
rythmn to it.

Making Your Mind Up (Fat Dog Mix)- This is a bit of a Demo 
Mix the vocals are fantastic and
 the handclaps are all there
- without those handclaps it's just not Making your mind up for me.
Making your Mind Up (2011 Anniversary Mix)- Not as good as F
at Dog Mix, but another great remix
that takes the track off into an almost pulp fiction direction -

if that is possible.

Making Your Mind Up (Matt Pop's Bending The Rules Mix)- This 
mix is a slow starter
 but I love the way the Eurovision anthem is blended at the start!  

It certainly is a sing-a-long mix more than get on the dance floor 
Mix that Matt Pop is famous for...I think I still prefer the 90's Hi
energy mixes of Eurovis' Classic.