I’m From Barcelona @ Concorde2, 26 November
The Scandinavians have a reputation for being the most depressive people of Europe; an unfair stereotype based on the 28 members of Swedish indie-pop posse I’m From Barcelona. If anyone left their gig last week at Brighton’s Concorde2 without a big smile on their face, they must have a heart of stone.
Having already seen I’m From Barcelona live in London and at Latitude festival, I eagerly anticipated my next fix of jolly pop fun. However, I was a little disappointed when instead of bouncing onto the stage to the sound of “lalala-lala-lala-lalalala”, they began the gig with their new single ‘Paper Planes’. Although it sticks to the twee-pop style that I and many other Scandophiles find so charming and addictive, it’s a bit more serious and a bit less catchy. The other new songs were in a similar vein, and while they did earn their new album, Who Killed Harry Houdini? a place on my Christmas list, it was a relief when they started playing the old favourites, getting everyone bouncing around and singing along.
While they’ve clearly tried to distance themselves a bit from the gimmicks on the new album, seeing I’m From Barcelona live is still more like a party than a gig. Dance routines, colour-coordinated outfits, glow sticks, big red balloons, confetti and paper planes. What more could you possibly want from a pop concert?