Saturday, February 18, 2012

Oax Pick - Träd Gräs & Stenar - Gärdet 12.6.1970

Träd Gräs & Stenar - Gärdet 12.6.1970 (Subliminal Sounds, Ti'llindien CD 1996, Subliminal Sounds 2xLP 2011)

Träd Gräs & Stenar 1970

Träd Gräs & Stenar 1971

Träd Gräs & Stenar 2012

A couple of weeks ago I went to see a gig by the legendary Swedish prog-psych-trance band Träd Gräs & Stenar.
Except some intermissions of various length they have been around since late 60's as Pärson Sound > International Harvester > Harvester > Träd Gräs & Stenar. The members of the groups has been the same more or less. The core for longest time has been Bo Anders Persson (guitar, vox), Thomas Mera Gartz (drums, vox), Jakob Sjöholm (guitar, vox) & Torbjörn Abelli (bass, vox).
A couple of years ago Bo Anders took the decision to quit, partly because of tinnitus, maybe a bit tired of touring and maybe because of reaching a respectfully age. The band decided to go on with Reine Fiske (Dungen, etc) as new force on solo guitar.
In summer 2010 Torbjörn sadly passed away in borelia.
At least I thought I'd seen the band for the last time. Obviously, after some time had slipped, they took another decision, to go on with Sigge Krantz on bass. Sigge might have avoide the spotlight but had been around for years as musician, recording engineer etc, so he was a part of the movement, so to speak.
When watching their concert they also had added Thomas Tidholm (sax, flute, vox) who had been a member of the band before the TG&S incarnation.
My expectation was rather high and I wasn't disappointed. All guys are great musicians, they mix long improvised, psychedelic space-trance-minimalistic powerful tunes with shorter written tunes with vocals. All within the frame of their unique sound. Second set added Thomas T and it all when into sung-based material even though it also went away for longer instrumental parts. As someone said, Thomas is kind of the Tuli Kupferberg of the band. He was so funny and thoughtful, delivering bananas to the audience.
There was no actual merchandise, but I saw that Jakob had a plastic bag with some vinyl albums and as I knew they recently had released the 'Gärdet 12.6.1970' live CD in a vinyl version I asked him if he had a copy of that. This very humble and polite guy had to excuse, he did only have one copy left and he had promised it to a 20-year old girl in the audience. "Of course she shall have it", I said, happy to know that the youngsters are attractive to these phychedelic sounds. Jakob said he thought the vinyl edition might be sold out, but when back home he could check it out by the guy responsible for the release, if there was any left and then send it to me. "Great" I said and we exchenged email addresses. A couple of days ago there was an email in my inbox: "I've found a copy and I've send it to you, you can pay to my account..." and the next day it was in my snail-mail box.
The album? Holy cow, I've heard it on CD, but now, with this expanded 2 x LP version on beautiful splash colour vinyl - what a sound! what a dynamic! what music!!! and also added a sidelong 22 minute track as a bonus. Mighty, mighty, this is good!!!
So, thanX Jakob for being such a nice and generous fellow doing this great gesture.

The festival of Gärdet? It should be at Skeppsholmen in the central of Stockholm as the first alternative, non-commercial, out-door festival in Sweden. The residental companies and offices at this tiny island did protest and the police said No to the event just the day before and some very quick arrangemtns had to be done to move it to the Gärdet field about 5 kilometers from there.

But they came back later... (TBC)


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