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The Refreshments


Furuvik SWEDEN



A Bands Gotta Do What A bands Gotta Do

Two decades have passed since a bunch of kids from Gavle decided to walk in the footsteps of their Rockpile heroes and put all their bets on basic three-chord rock. It was a wise decision. Twelve consecutive gold albums, two platinum and more than half a million albums sold proves it. The list above includes their latest album "A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do", which was certified gold on pre-order alone. Once again the band delivered. "A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do" is a new convincing proof that The Refreshments have created their own unique sound. A mix of high-energy rock'n'roll, melodic pop and bittersweet country boogie, which have turned into Sweden's most commercially successful rock'n'roll band. A lot has changed in the music industry since The Refreshments took off, but Joakim Arnell (bass/vocals), Johan Blohm (piano/vocals), Micke Finell (sax/vocals/guitar), Mats Forsberg (drums) and Jonas Goransson (guitar/vocals) has managed to stick by a few simple guidelines like "Three chord songs - a minute to learn, a lifetime to master" and "It's gotta be both rock'n'roll". "We don't want to change our style, switch instruments or make any other changes just for the sake of it. The only thing we try to do with every new album is to write the best songs as possible and make them rock as much as we can", Joakim Arnell says. As the most prolific songwriter in the band, Arnell is behind 11 of the album's 14 songs. "I started thinking about the 20th anniversary and the time that's passed since we started the band in the autumn of 1989. After a while I had the lyrics to 'A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do'. It became a summary of what we've done so far." The Refreshments have always treasured their rock'n'roll heroes. In "Rock'n'Roll Heaven" some of the giants are looking down from a heaven where nobody dies: Elvis, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and so on. "I heard they were opening a new restaurant in Stockholm with the concept taken from 'Mel's Diner' - the restaurant in 'American Graffiti' - and instantly knew that it was the perfect subject for a song. That it turned out to be a Buddy Holly pastiche was logical, I guess." The band's pianist and vocalist Johan Blohm is one of Sweden's best piano players in the country boogie tradition of Jerry Lee Lewis. Was it with him in mind Arnell wrote the steady rolling "Just Like Jerry Lee" - including the lyrics "say look at me, I can play just like Jerry Lee"? "No", Arnell smiles, "Johan is aware of the similarities in their respective styles and is cautious of not coming to close to the original. There are a lot of Jerry Lee wannabe's out there, and they really try to imitate him down to the last detail - they're just as extremely dedicated to their calling as the Elvis impersonators. I figured that was quite a good subject for a song." Speaking of the Killer, Arnell has actually become part of the extended Jerry Lee Lewis clan. Two years ago he met Annie Marie Dolan, daughter of Jerry Lee's younger sister Linda Gail Lewis. "She Makes Me Cool" describes a guy who's only hip factor is his girl. "Well I never was one of the boys/I was just a weird dressed kid making noise/when the guys hit the town I stayed in/playing old records again and again". Self-biographical? "To some extent, yes. When I was young I guess I was the typical musical nerd who hung around in record stores, listening to records and checking out who was playing what on the album sleeves". If you share that kind of enthusiasm, you might want to know that the albums only cover, "I Still Love You", is written by the former NRBQ guitarist Al Anderson. Also worth noting is that sax player Micke Finell has co-written two tracks - "Hard Luck Jim" with Gary Primich and "Taking A Chance" with Brian Hodgson and Mike Berry. A lot of things have changed these last 20 years. As "A Band's Gotta Do What A Band's Gotta Do" proves, The Refreshment's job is the same as ever. Write a good song. Deliver it with passion and conviction. Record a killer album. Go out on the road and make the clubs rock. Collect a gold album. If you wonder where The Refreshments are heading, look no further than the new single, "Keep Movin' On" - a reassuring point of direction from the band who still are unsurpassed in doing what they once set out to do.


Wednesday March 16



The Tap Room at Six


311 Colorado St


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