I’m never sure how to describe the phenomenon of dancing to live bands that Swedes engage in. It’s not clubbing. I’m sure of that. It’s dancing, but what image that conjures up in your mind, I have no idea.
So, in the summer in Sweden I can go to sleep to the sound of a ‘dansband’ on a Tuesday evening. That’s because they are playing sufficiently far away, not to be too noisy for me. They are playing at Västerhagen, which is an outdoor dance venue, in the woods near the water filled ditch I once stumbled into on my way to school in the dark one winter. But that’s enough about wet boots.
It’s ‘easy listening’, I suppose. And Swedes love dancing, and particularly outdoors in the summer. Midges, and all that. Lovely.
The other day while we were still heading straight for our Gothenburg parking adventure, we overtook a coach on the motorway. I saw the stork a long way away. Closer to, I saw that the stork was a flamingo. Pink. It was the coach ferrying the dansband Flamingo-kvintetten (Flamingo quintet, to you) to somewhere, possibly a somewhere with midges. According to the side of the coach they have been doing this for 45 years, and I certainly remember them well. They were – possibly still are – one of the big names in the business.
Västerhagen, for all its position in the woods near me, also attracts the big names. Some time I will actually go along to experience this at closer range than through my bedroom window.
Offspring and I vividly remember another bedroom with a lot more noise. We were staying in a large Gothenburg hotel one Saturday night, when we found ourselves dancing in our beds. The hotel had a dansband for their Saturday night entertainment, and it may have been two floors away, but we were able to sing along to every song. It was that loud.
And if that sort of thing isn’t enough, you can attend special events lasting days, where people come on holiday to dance like mad for a few days or a week. A kind of dansband Glastonbury, maybe.