There is something special about playing in the street – challenging in a lot of ways but SO much fun, and extremely rewarding when it works!
Arriving in Visby, exhausted and surprised to see the city so empty we didn’t know quite what to expect from the days to come. Looking back on the days that followd, it makes us all smile. We’ve had an amazing time and most of it (again) we spent eating and drinking pure goodness in gorgeous places….
On our first night we found beer and swedish hip hop at Rosengården.
After beach at Kallis, or “Little Ibiza” as our friend calls it…As you can see we blended in perfectly in our pirate circus style clothes…:)
The obvious highlight was our first night at “Gamla masters” where we were so warmly welcomed and well taken care of by owner Gabbe & staff we rarely saw anything like it in the history of this band!
Finally, summer has come to Sweden and Tess in Toulouse are back on the road, this time aiming to take over the islands on the east coast fo Sweden…so far, so good.
What a beautiful first day of the tour! We spent it at Landsort – the most southern island of the Stockholm archipelago, where we were invited to play at the opening of a big bakery inside the hostel run by Tess’s cousin Anne. Welcomed with open arms we managed both to do an highly appreciated gig and try everything the bakery had to offer. Literally everything…
We spent the afternoon swimming off the cliffs and sailing a boat from the middle ages with our new found friends Malva & Tuva Lo.
We then had another gig at the pub/restaurant ”Saltboden” which is located right by the little harbour. From where we stood we had the most beautiful view overlooking the sunset, and it was pure magic to perform in such an atmosphere.
It was a close to surreal feeling leaving Landsort with our own boat driving into the sunset with the whole restaurant lovingly waving goodbye and calling out ”Good luck in Gotland!” We all sat in silence smiling the whole way back to shore.
Date of release is drawing nearer- only two weeks to go!
It’s been an intense fall for Tess in Toulouse and there are many times when people have thought us mad. Most of these times people were probably right.. For example we booked the releasedate/party long before the cd was ready! But then again it’s kind of typical for this band, we decide to do something and we do it, without worrying too much about if it makes sense in someone else’s eyes. It’s a bit of gambling at times, sure- but moreover it’s an attitude based on great trust in our joined ability to make things happen.
Life of Tess in Toulouse right now you see would remind you a lot of santa’s workshop, or at best even a long episode of the Fantastic Four. Each with our own (nerdy version of) superpower we make an efficient team working hard to make this release happen the way we want it to. Sending out pressreleases, sorting out distribution, rehearsing with the guest artists, arranging the party, planning surprises, etc etc. Madness? At times. Fun? Always.
Releasing an album is a dream come true -for us as for most musicians- and we are celebrating it BIG surrounded by friends, family and fans on the 30th of january in Stockholm. The party will be held at Boulehallen close to Nytorget (Södermalm area) and we hope to see you all there!
No entrance, live performance, cd’s for sale. Come join in!
Little did we know what it involved, that sunny day in june when we decided to record an album… We’d been playing live a lot, in Sweden and on tour, and gotten asked many times “Don’t you have a cd? Can we buy your music anywhere?” The truth was we’d never entered a studio together and most of the songs were never recorded at all. So, it was time.
Tess drove straight from Berlin to Öregrund for that first rehearsal in august and from that day it’s been full on! Firstly we spent lots of time diving into each song, rearranging them to fit a recording rather than a live streetperformance which has been both satisfying and scary. All of a sudden every detail would be noticeable, ever decision to be spread across the world! We’ve then done many hours of recording and learned that no matter how prepared you think you are, there are always surprises and new decisions to be made along the way. Should there be guests on the album? How do we want the backing vocals? How do we find a balance between the possibilities of recording and staying true to our acoustic sound? Since we want to be able to do at least most things from the album, live and on our own, we’ve tried not to overdo the extrastuff though temped many times. Studios are magic places, run by wizards…
We recorded almost all instruments at Ola Håkansson’s studio in Rågsved, Sthlm. and most of the vocals are recorded by John Hårleman who’s also mixed the album. Mastering was done by Peter in De Betou at Tailormaid and printing/duplication through Mats Dahl at Dicentia. These people are all brilliant at what they do and a great part of why we now have an album to be proud of.
Alongside this work vocalist and songwriter of the band Tess Mellberg started her own record company, named Step Forword Productions, to make sure we could release the album independently and on our own terms. Together with graphic designer Anton Björklund, the album cover was designed from photos taken by Robert Tärnell, and sent off to printing right before christmas. Another 2 brilliant men added to the collection of amazing partners in crime.
We thank these people from the bottom of our hearts for their outstanding work and we thank our friends and families for their invaluable patience and support. This fall we’ve done what some said was impossible. Without you it would have been.
After an intense last weekend in Berlin calmer days in Copenhagen awaited us. We arrived in the middle of the night and eventually we found the wonderful Villa Villekulla- house which was well hidden within the garden. A real size lion was watching over the night-snacks our new host kindly had left our for us. Ulla is a charming lady who has won all of our hearts, party by taking care of us as royalties but mostly because she’s an inspiration in how to age in style, with an active life and a great sence of humour. It’s made us wonder if maybe there’s a cool artistic and witty old lady trapped inside every old lady who thinks it’s her obligation to only bake cakes and talk about flowers?
Rainy cold weather and a sick Tess made us slow down for a couple of days but on Thursday we had a indoor-candlelight-picnic-concert for an audience mostly consisting of Ullas friends and a big group of Copenhagen Couchsurfers from all over the world. A beautiful evening which we ended properly by practicing the morning-gymnastics-salsa-moves in a real danish salsa-club!
Scaringly close to something out of swedish movie ”Torsk på Tallinn” we also managed to store some great wines for the summer before leaving german and danish prices behind and spent a day in Malmö to meet up with our wonderful friend and coach Peter Tegnér for lunch and coffee.
At night we played at one of Malmö’s most popular restaurants/bars called Carib Kreol. We were warmly welcomed by the lovely manager Patrik and enjoyed their wonderful food and drinks before performing. The gig was different from our other experiences on the tour, performing in a noisy restaurant/bar meant struggling to catch peoples’ attention but we’re pleased with our job and we were very happy to see old friends in the audience!
After a lovely roadside-breakfast in the sun with our new Dresden-friends we got back to Berlin and moved in with the lovely boys in Prenzlauer berg. Rafael, Marcel, Markus & Mattias have welcomed us into their home with open arms. At night we played at bar Tristeza in Neukölln, with the audience full of old and new friends. Thanks everyone for coming and being supersupportive! Dancing til 7.30 in the morning was a great way to celebrate afterwards.
We had a great sunday in Mauer Park, playing for a big group of friends and a lot of people gathering around us as soon as we started! Taking over the amfitheatre where the karaoke is usually held, we also played for a superenthusiastic audience in the sunset. People took all their stuff to move closer, get involved, sing along and dance! Another memorable moment and another reason to never want to leave…