The UK’s 40-year love affair with Scandinavian music shows no signs of waning if a packed-out Symphony Hall is anything to go by.

Stockholm’s First Aid Kit even appeared to have borrowed Abba’s ‘shiny triangles’ backdrop from their Voulez Vous tour of the late 70s.

Our latest objects of desire, sisters Klara and Johanna Soderberg last played Birmingham three years ago at Digbeth’s Rainbow. How far they’ve come since.

That was before their third album Stay Gold won hearts and minds across Europe with its Nashville tinged melodies and the siblings’ faultless and seemingly effortless harmonies that instantly draw (favourable) comparisons with the likes of The Pierces.

The Soderbergs may be Swedish but their sound is pure US country; at times they even sound more American than the Pierce sisters – who hail from Birmingham, Alabama.

There was a technical blip early on, when Klara (dark hair, guitar) had to go off stage to fix a technical hitch, leaving an awkward looking Johanna (head-banging blonde, keyboard) with only her backing band and a cheese joke to keep her company.

“What was left after the explosion at the French cheese factory?” she asked. “Yeah, some of you have heard it… ‘only da Brie’”.

Happily, that was all soon forgotten as we were treated to a set list peppered with magical moments from Stay Gold (Waitress Song, My Silver Lining and closer Emmylou some of the many highlights), great covers (Jack White’s bluesy Love Interruption and Simon & Garfunkel’s America) and, apogee of a memorable night, a completely stripped back Ghost Town – microphones off, the sisters centre stage.

A real goosebump moment.






About The Author

A journalist for 17 years, Jon now works in the world of PR in Birmingham – when he is not listening to music, reading about music, going to gigs, playing hockey or watching The Big Bang Theory