Static v1.0 - festival at Kolingsborg, Stockholm - March 12, 2004

By: Johan Carlsson

This weekend we saw the birth of a new festival here in Stockholm. Static is an indoor one-day festival with a focus on synthpop.
I arrived just in time to see Moulin Noir climb the tiny second stage. I haven’t heard much of his material before, but Anders Wikholm did a very good job backed by members of Run Level Zero and Malaise. The new songs he performed sounded promising, and made the crowd – albeit small – get into it. After
visiting the bar to get myself some much-needed fluid, Alice In Videoland was hitting the main stage. As usual they made a fun show, with lots of action. Toril is a terrific front woman.
There was a bit of confusion with the schedule, since it had been changed recently before the event, and I really can’t understand why there never are any schedules to read at indoor festivals? Just print out some big A3 posters, and put them where people can see them. Anyway, I found Universal Poplab playing at the small stage, and their cute synthpop seemed to work for the audience. They’re so sweet they even handed out flowers!
Statemachine played a solid set, and I must say that their version of “Paint It Black” works wonders live. No surprises though, as the Stockholm dark synthpop band played a lot of songs from their latest album. After this, the shock of the night was about to take place. Mobile Homes was supposed to play at the small stage, but instead we got an all-electronic set with unknown songs. It sounded very Kraftwerkish, but with a more techno ambient flavour to it. Very nice indeed. Afterwards, I learned this was their new electronic side project Sapporo '72! After the mediocre Mobile Homes guitar pop EP last fall, this initiative is welcomed.
Nasa is a Swedish pop band that was in the charts in the eighties, but their comeback album “Remembering the Future” was certainly not a big hit. They played live here for the first time in five years, and I really must say they’re not my cup of tea. The programming skills of the two members are incredible, but where are the songs? The singing sounded really bad on occasion as well, adding to further disappointment. I was swept away by a friend to the small stage instead, where Code 64 was playing. They are newcomers and play… well, futurepop, I guess. For such a new band, they have a great stage presence, and the crowd was wild. Their catchy songs raised the temperature in the room, making it a sauna-like experience.
Now the moment we had all been waiting for was at hand. Karl Bartos entered the main stage to much rejoicing, and played a long list of Kraftwerk hits mixed with solo material. He focused on the poppier numbers, and kept them pretty short. The crowd couldn’t get enough, and even though the three people on stage didn’t do much, it was a great concert.
In between the live acts, several DJ’s played, including Client A and Client B from Client. The two cute girls seemed to have a lot of fun playing music, dancing around in the booth, and they had a very nice play list. I need to do some research and find out exactly what they were playing.
I was a bit apprehensive about a festival at the Kolingsborg venue, since it’s not that big, and the PA:s are usually poor. There were some audio problems this night too, but it all went pretty well, and I hope this will become a yearly event for us synthpop fans.