Sweden Rock Festival - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

Once called the highest band in Sweden (not because of drugs, but because the name is taken from the highest mountain in Sweden), Kebnekajse was a completely new acquaintance of mine. The first I heard of them was when they played Nyhetsmorgon (a Swedish morning TV-show) where they were announced as one of the bands playing at Sweden Rock Festival.
I found their music interesting, and when I learned that Kenny Håkansson (whom I had heard in his solo career) was their guitarist, my interest grew further and I decided to go check them out here at the festival.

Kebnekajse had their heyday back in the 70ies where they played what has been called both “Swedish electrified folk music” and “psychedelic folk rock”, both of which must be said to be a fitting description.
The first things to hit me as I went to watch them from the hill before the Zeppelin Stage was sweet psychedelic backdrop with the name (in the old spelling Kebnekaise), and the anything but normal band setup; Kebnekajse consist of Kenny Håkansson (which I mentioned earlier) on electric guitar, Mats Glenngård on violins, the two (!) bassists Göran Lagerberg and Thomas Netzler, Pelle Ekman on drums and the probably only African to wear a traditional Sami outfit - Hassan Bah on percussion.

Age wise it was a mixed audience which had gathered to see this Swedish cultural treasure perform; some were standing up in front of the stage, but most had decided to what I also opted for, which was to sit relaxed on the hill and just enjoy a day of beautiful summer and some great music.
Although I should warn you that if you decide to open up for this type of music (sometimes very long, all instrumental songs) you might end up feeling like your taken on a journey which might leave you a bit disoriented at the end. In a good way.
However, if you don’t you will likely find it a tad boring and in lack of the energy a normal rock concert offers. I was definitely part of the former group.
To quote myself, I even ended up writing in my notebook;”What Kenny can get out of six thin metal wires is nothing short of amazing!” And the rest of the band-members were equally good, I just didn’t know their names at the time…

I would say that Kebnekajse gained at least one new fan today.

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