Friday, 15 June 2007

I never tasted meatballs like yours

Ever since the mid-90s heyday of The Cardigans, The Wannadies and Popsicle, I've been a huge fan of Swedish indie pop - or "Swindie", to give it its proper name. But it wasn't always an easy scene to follow from the UK, bearing in mind that outside of the aforementioned bands, you'd have been hard pressed to find much in the way of Swindie in your local HMV or Virgin Megashop.

So, in the days before the internet (or at least before I personally had 'net access) I was grateful to Hotstuff in Sweden, who'd feed my Swindie habit by mailing their latest music catalogue out to me a couple of times a year. (The words "Hotstuff Mail Order - Sweden" showing up on your credit card statement have quite a high potential embarrassment factor about them, by the way - especially when the card in question belongs to your dad, and he thinks the reason you borrowed his Visa card was to send away for a load of Scandinavian porn! Took me a while to talk my way out of that one, I can tell you.)

It was thanks to Hotstuff that I first really stumbled upon the superb A West Side Fabrication, an independent label based in Skellefteå on the north east coast of Sweden. AWSF had launched the careers of, among others, Popsicle, The Bear Quartet and The Wannadies, and at regular intervals would release compilation albums showcasing the many bands that made up their roster. I picked up loads of these compilations, along with a whole bundle of AWSF CD singles, during a particularly nicely-priced Hotstuff sale.

One band who kept popping up on the CDs was Waterbug. To this day I still know precious little about this band, other than that they hailed from Gothenburg, wrote lyrics about meeting Johnny Marr at a hamburger bar, and were rather good. I'm pretty sure they're not together anymore, but it's still possible to buy their CDs from the A West Side Fabrication webshop, so the music's still out there, including the following song, the rather splendid "Meatballs". They recorded two completely different versions of this song, but this one - from the "Yellow" CD single - is by far my favourite. See what you think.

Waterbug - Meatballs ('96 Version) mp3

Buy Waterbug stuff here

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