I have done fairly well at seeing my favourite pop acts live – BWO, Backstreet Boys, Alcazar, Britney, Darren Hayes a zillion times, but there was one act in the top realms of my pop love who until last night I had never seen perform live and if I could have chosen any gig in the world to go to it would be one by Robyn. And at last, I have seen her and with such high expectations I could have been let down, but there was never any chance of that with Miss Carlsson. She was every bit as amazing as I expected.
My cohort for the night was Greg from Indie Girl & Pop Boy, and arriving early to get in free (not that I wouldn’t have paid much more for the pleasure of seeing Robyn live) we had to endure some rather trying African hip-hop, followed by a fairly good female singer in the style of M.I.A/Estelle, until at last it was time for our Swedish superstar. At the side of the stage we spotted her, her luminous blonde hair being hard to miss, and her kooky outfit was uniquely Robyn – a short white t-shirt over very high-waisted grey shorts and grey tights with a scarf exactly like this but blue. The real life Robyn was only metres away!
She took to the stage with just a male guitarist, who I later learned was Kleerup, and the show began with an acoustic version of Be Mine. It was slightly squeaky, but the strength of the song pulled it through, accompanied by Robyn’s voice which was exactly like on record. This was followed with another of the singles from Robyn, Handle Me, which got the crowd singing along, and then it was time for her cover of Jack You Off by Prince, for which she did a bit of drumming and left the members of the crowd who weren’t familiar with Robyn slightly aghast, but the reaction was very positive with the audience laughing and singing along, and it was at this point Robyn’s star quality began to really shine through – she has stage presense in abounds and it made no difference whether this was the tiny club it was or a huge arena, she just filled the room with acetastic Robyn-ness.
Next was an intro which got me very excited and roused a cheer from the crowd, although I don’t know how many were recognising it or just cheering for the love of Robyn. The song was With Every Heartbeat, a very new track which Kleerup will be releasing under his own name in the new year in Sweden at least, but hopefully in the UK too because it is, as everyone I know who’s heard it agrees, absolutely astonishing – download it from Into The Groove if you don’t believe me! The uplifting song filled the room with warmth and joy and it really was one of those amazing gig moments that you never forget.
The last two songs of the set were both from her Rakamonie EP and brought out the cheeky, bouncy side of Robyn. First was Konichiwa Bitches, which got the girl in front of me so excited I found myself holding onto the table in front of me for dear life as she unapologetically clambered over me to get to her friend. Then it was Robyn’s cover of Teddybears Sthlm’s classic Cobrastyle, which ended the night on a note of hyper giddiness, especially with me being excited to hear a Teddybears Sthlm song live, and frankly hearing it by Robyn is way more exciting than the original. Despite the chants of encore in Swedish (still haven’t worked out how that’s spelt – any Swedes want to enlighten me?) this was really the end and I began my race to catch the last train home, although not before the fitting amount of squeeing over the overwhelming brilliance of the short but very sweet performance. Now when is she coming back for a full live show, cos you know I’ll be there in an instant!