Dispatch #7 – Music

I AM a representative of the former British Empire and the current Commonwealth of Nations; I am the descendant of Victorian Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and the son of an RAF pilot. I did not graduate with First Class honours from Cambridge University and since then have not entered the Foreign Office’s prestigious diplomatic corps.

The Northern Plights’ documents my assessment of Sweden for the possibility of any future conquests which the British Government’s War Cabinet is not considering.

DISPATCH 7: Music.

I am a chap who enjoys a pre-ablutions brisk stroll first thing every morning; Sweden is a country which, for the better part of the year, suffers long, dark nights. It was these two factors which came together and led to my discovery of the musical trends of this Nordic cultural hotcoldspot.

My jaunt along the streets of Malmö would normally be a rather quiet affair, but the morning when this ‘cultural awakening’ dawned upon me was somewhat busier. At first all I could hear were shuffling footsteps and muffled, subdued voices. I could see across a cobbled street a small crowd of people, but the combination of dim light and morning mist clouding my monocle hampered my view. I could make out shabby clothes, I could make out unkempt hair, I could just make out ashen faces as the fading moonlight bounced off anaemic skin.

But what at first resembled a scene from a 1970’s zombie film..

Soon, and as the daylight slowly filtered through, morphed into..

Yes, that’s right – Kiss fans. The city was teeming with them.

It transpired that these fans were returning from the fallout of the previous evening’s rock concert. Observational skills I had not honed on my ‘Introduction to Basic Spying‘ module led to the conclusion that one in every 20 people who were loitering in the city centre that day was wearing a blacker than black, newer than new Kiss t-shirt.

No matter where you turned, there was a Kiss t-shirt:

A quick side step:

Sweden has the 86th largest population in the world, i.e. not that many considering it is the 55th biggest country in the world. But check this out for the darndest of anomalies – Sweden is the THIRD largest exporter of music in the world. THE THIRD.

Anyone would be quick, yet foolish, to assume that this hefty statistic lies at the white faux-leather plateau-shoe clad feet of Abba.  The truth is that the current Swedish music industry covers the whole gambit, from native Sami people belting out the somewhat ridiculous sounding joik to the even more ridiculous underground reindeer skin drum & sea bass scene. In fact, the underbelly of talent in Sweden is so fat you’d think it would have been warned about developing Type II diabetes.

So why the devil do they not only import but embrace a band like Kiss? A band so arrogant they seem blissfully unaware that the rest of the world sees them as a joke and only like them to prove they understand irony.

Let’s look at the band’s defining qualities:

  1. They dress up in silly outfits.
  2. They CAN play their instruments, but they choose to play novelty anthemic tracks for children.
  3. They’re mainly about the show rather than the music.

But wait, did the United Kingdom not have its very own Kiss? A band of talented musicians? Yes. A band which performed dressed up on stage? Yes. A band which was more about the show than the musical performance? Yes. So what really is the difference between:


and The Wombles?

I can proffer no explanation as to why the Swedes have taken them so seriously, but one thing is for sure, while the world faces increasing austerity measures, Kiss will always have a healthy pension fund. I am baffled.

It is mid-July now so the winter is reering its ugly head; I am off to find some flat pack pine to assemble for the fire.

Toodle pip

I am a genial fellow, feel free to leave a comment on the blog – I’ll be sure to respond. All comments, criticisms, complaints and compliments welcome.

About The Dippylomat, Esq.

A connoisseur, a charmer and a bit of a cad.
This entry was posted in British Government, Culture, Ex pats, Foreign Office, Gothenburg, Humour, Music, Stockholm, Sweden, Travel, United Kingdom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to Dispatch #7 – Music

  1. Carrie says:

    Another great read, my good chap. I think one would rather go and see The Wombles. :p

    My least favourite song of all time have to be Dancing Queen by Abba. Oh, how I detest that ghastly song. :{ (One preferred Buzz Fizz anyway!)

    I have to go now to hack some homing pigeons for the latest sex scandal.

    Good day to you, kind Sir.

  2. Dear Carrie,

    The cruel irony of Abba’s popularity is that until Mamma Mia, no one in Sweden really gave a hoot about the band!

    Please do not handle the pigeons yourself, my fair lady..I’d hate it if my good friend was to catch bird flu, especially from a bird associated with the working classes 😦

    ~The Dippylomat esq.

  3. CC Champagne says:

    Bringing back very food memories of miming to ABBA back in childhood days (using the end of a skipping rope for a microphone)… *smile* Kiss I can live without, though but will have to go sharpen up my knowledge of The Wombles straight away. It sounds truly fascinating in that soundly British way… 😉 Thank you again for cheering up a Sunday otherwise monopolized by doing laundry! /C

  4. CC Champagne says:

    And that should, of course be ‘fond memories’ not food memories… That is what happens when writing hungry, methinks!

  5. Gristybeasty says:

    Waffle, waffle waffle. You have a big dictionary Sir?
    Waffle baffles brains…like I got…I think.

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