Saturday, July 25, 2009

high notes

Mats Nilsson of the band Andra Generationen (Second Generation, in English) plays to the summertime crowd on the steps of the splendid Dunkers Kulturhus. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Initial plans fall through, opening up my Thursday night. I look up. The light seems promising, which is sign enough for me to head north to Helsingborg, perhaps the most photogenic of Skåne's cities.

Ahh, the spontaneous, romantic life of a photographer (or, at least, a pretend photographer). I sling my gear over my shoulder and head for the station.

The evening's still young when I board the Öresundståg at Lund Central, and it'll be some hours yet before I can set up the twilight shots I covet. I fire off a text salvo to Katarina, on the off-chance she's working late and needs a break.

"Coffee?" I ask.

"You're lucky," Katarina replies, just as the train bullets past Dösjebro. "I decided to stay for a free concert at Dunkers ... come join, if you'd like. We're standing at the back." She makes no promises about the quality of the show.

Still, it works for me. Katarina is the culture columnist for the Helsingborgs Dagblad, one of Sweden's oldest dailies, and maybe she needs a photographer. Happy coincidence.

"See you soon," I text back.

The waterfront Dunkers Kulturhus is Helsingborg's inspired centre for the arts, and on a glorious summer evening like this one, I can't think of a better venue to host an open-air concert than the courtyard off its back steps. An additional bonus: no press pass is required for tonight's event so I'm allowed nearly unfettered access to snap away. Excellent.

Andra Generationen - and their brand of Balkan-inspired beats - headline. Not necessarily my type of music but the mood suits. Besides, the eclectic crowd is the ultimate judge and, before too long, they're right into it, complete with enthusiastic handclaps and dancing on the steps. By the time the sun dips over the horizon, they're calling for an encore ... and we might as well be on the Adriatic instead of the Öresund.

Two thumbs up. These Swedish high notes just keep on coming.

The band. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Dancing on the steps of Dunkers. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Rockin' out. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Summertime crowd. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Katarina Höije, the Helsingborgs Dagblad's fearless culture and entertainment columnist. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Sunset over Dunkers Kulturhus - and its parking lot. Helsingborg, Sweden. (2009).

Helsingborg's photogenic Norra Hamnen. (2009).

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