Popaganda Festival: Facing the arrival of the fall with indie pop atmosphere

J.N. September 6, 2018

Is it possible to have a two-day festival at Sweden’s national arena for swimming, Eriksdalsbadet? Yes, of course! And you are allowed to use one of the swimming pool’s during the festival days!

Popaganda Festival usually represents the end of the summer and the arrival of the fall, and this year was no different; Friday was burdened by typical Swedish autumn rain while Saturday saw summer return, allowing for a few extra beers to stay cool in the heat. Most important though was that both days offered some high quality indie pop and indie rock. And three bands were standing out on the scene this year – Glaswegians Franz Ferdinand, cult indie pop act Caesars (former Caesars Palace) and Americana-oozing First Aid Kit.

To some the indie rock sound of the nineties might feel as a relic genre from the past and Franz Ferdinand haven’t really spoiled their audience the last years with high energy shows, but this time it was up for a change. Alex Kapranos and his comprades inject the crowd with energy already from the start in a remarkably, non-Franz Ferdinand way. Where did it come from?

Caesars, the Swedish cult indie rock act most known for their “Jerk It Out” song in Apple’s iPod campaign 2005, and then they dozed off in 2012, made a one-show comeback and brought back the indie rock rhythms on stage from their peak years in the beginning of the 2000s. And it was much because of the guitarist, today well-known producer – e.g. The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Charlie XCX – but also band member of Teddybears and Les Big Byrd, Joakim Åhlund.

Although Caesars is far from the originality found in the bands mentioned above their “party rock” kind of music always makes the crowd move around a bit and songs as “Jerk It Out”, “Candy Kane” and “Over ‘For It Started” just add to that impression.

The last band to mention is First Aid Kit and their amazing live show. There’s a reason why sisters Johanna and Klara Söderberg has gained an international reputation and has an impressive following in America. Their intoxicating voices and signature kind of country style works great a night like this. Just to enhance that impression they had invited three of Sweden’s most interesting artists at the moment – the rising country star Sarah Klang, Sweden’s soul queen Seinabo Sey and Silvana Imam with her blown-up hardcore hip hop attack on social injustices in general. Amazing!

The fireworks at the end were a bit too much though but such spectacles seem to be part of every modern show since Rammstein decided, and was allowed, to use a flamethrower on stage. However, it wasn’t necessary because the crowd were already amazed by the ostentatious display of artistry on stage.

In the photo gallery you will also find photos from shows by Bipolar Sunshine, Hanna Järver, Jenny Wilson, Jens Lekman, Little Dragon, Mwuana, Pale Honey, Parcels, Sarah Klang, Sibille Attar, Slowdive, Tove Styrke and Veronica Maggio.

Photographer and reviewer: ©Martin Wilson
Photo gallery


About The Author

Music researcher with an unhealthy passion for music and music festivals. Former studio owner, semi-functional drummer and with a fairly good collection of old analogue synthesizers from the 70's. Indie rock, post rock, electronic/industrial and drum & bass (kind of a mix, yeah?) are usual stuff in my playlists but everything that sounds good will fit in.