Concert Reviews

Gefle Skivmässa, Gävle Sweden, Day Two: 4 May 2024

Day two: the day of the record fair and the day of the Beardfish reunion!

Jerry van Kooten — text
Anders Sjöberg — photos

Saturday 4 May 2024

The record fair ran from 12:00h to 17:00h. The effects of the beautiful weather, especially after the rather long winter, was noticeable in the attendance numbers, but it was still a good turnout, and seeing people from all ages browsing through vinyl is a lovely sight.

With Sounds Fair running the record fair and the concerts at the two main venues (Lilla Gasklockan and Stora Gasklockan, or The Small Gas Bell and The Big Gas Bell), the organisation running the venue, bar, and restaurant were allowed to use the third venue (Retorten), where another four bands were playing: Vypera, Sons of Sin, Juno Pearl, and Nonsa. Several were running simultaneously, so we did not have the time to attend the bands in the other venue.


Trying to provide more chances for newer bands, Bilda, the organisation that helped Sounds Fair to set up, got to choose a local band to open the second night. From Gävle are young band Berguv.

Jonny Ikonen (Berguv) Perla Naranjo (Berguv)

Being part of the organisation means you cannot see every band, but I was in the venue during Berguv, so I did hear quite a bit of their set. Being the "special local opening band" they got only 25 minutes, but they did make use of the limited time and managed to impress me enough to wish I had seen more.

Gustaf Dubeck (Berguv) Erik Holmqvist (Berguv)

I am definitely going to check out this band, see what they have released so far. Good groovy rock, towards stoner with enough melodic variety to trigger my prog and psych-minded brain. I'll keep an eye out to see them properly one day.

Monumental Måla hela världen svart När den sista stjärnan slocknat Sömnlös Styrka, känsla, mod


Another band I did not know until this event that gave me the second surprise of the weekend.

Orkan at Gefle Skivmässa "Test"Orkan at Gefle Skivmässa 2024

Psychedelic rock with a strong focus on melody and catchy lines. Something very unexpected was a psychedelic shuffle in several songs. Things never last long though — many quirky breaks and sudden changes, even in the shorter songs.

In a few songs I heard an overlap with Children Of The Sün (who were on this same stage at the previous year's edition of the event) in the harmony vocals in a few quieter sections and a few riffs and melodies. Then there are elements of what I can only describe as a mix between melodic post-punk, like Blondie, with touches of the progressive rockabilly of British band Beltane Fire. Unexpected, and unexpectedly enjoyable.

Josefine Green (Orkan) Moa-Linn Rosenlöf (Orkan)

There's a good feel of 1960s progressive blues for example halfway Urskog, when an emotional part gets a wonderful build-up towards a majestic ending. In Solen är på väg and later in Jag blundar hårt as well, singer Green picks up the harmonica to play a beautiful solo. You don't hear this instrument very often any more, let alone the soulful and heartfelt way she played it.

What a lovely collection of influences and styles blended into something that sounds like a style on its own!

I don't know why the bass player was sitting down. It made the visuals a little more static, but it did provide a contrast to the liveliness of the drummer and especially front-woman.

Theresia Dufva (Orkan) Frederik Pettersson (Orkan)

The musicians on stage tonight were Moa-Linn Rosenlöf (drums, vocals), Fredrik Pettersson (guitar), Josefine Green (guitar, vocals, harmonica), and Theresia Dufva (bass, backing vocals). Only afterwards did I realise the band are usually a five-piece. Saxophone player Kim Bertilsson did not travel along as she was at home with her newborn. That means that this gig was a bit special. How much I liked the sound now does make me wonder what a gig with the full line-up would do for me.

Leva för att dö Sussie Urskog Rik rikare rikast Solen är på väg Orkan Framtidstro Jag blundar hårt Ditt fel Moder natur

Siena Root

Siena Root is a band I've known and been enjoying for many years now. Having seen then in the Netherlands in 2015, I was really looking forward to seeing them again.

Sam Riffer (Siena Root)

Last time I saw them they had a full-time organ player, and I was a bit afraid some of that organ magic would be gone after the previous player left. But after two songs, singer Zubaida Solid went singing from behind the organ and she played there for the rest of the gig. Good, the organ is such an important part of their sound for me!

Zubaida Solid (Siena Root)

Siena Root is always Sam Riffer on bass and Love Forsberg on drums. Their backing vocals fit nicely with Solid's voice and the whole band sound. Guitarist Johan Bergström fits right in with his style, slightly different from KG West but making it more interesting on the old songs as well.

The musicians are clearly enjoying themselves on stage. While Zubaida is using most of the stage space, Riffer and Bergström are moving around as well, and drummer Forsberg is looking like he is keeping track of everything. The response from the audience is no doubt a motivator to play a well-rehearsed set that, as this type of music is basically demanding, has space for interpretation, variation, and improvisation.

Love Forsberg (Siena Root)

To me, it seems the band are used the changing the setlist often and to play songs from different albums. Tonight was no difference, and songs from five of them were played. (I do wonder whether they have ever played the suites on Different Realities, though, which from a prog-rock point of view would be very interesting to see live.) Besides the show itself, variation in the setlist makes it very interesting to attend this band's gigs whenever you have the chance.

Johan Bergström (Siena Root)

Awesome gig, guys. Hope it won't be another 9 years before I see you.

Ridin' Slow Wishing For More Above The Trees No Filters Coincidence And Fate Dusty Roads Rasayana Keeper Of The Flame Waiting For The Sun


About 9 years ago the musicians of Beardfish went their separate ways. I don't know what brought them all back together again, but the prog rock world can be pleased to have them back.


It has been a while since I heard them myself and instead of listening to the albums again I was going to let the music surprise me as it did so many years ago. And it did. Roulette works very well as an opener — powerful, melodic, driving, progressive. And the Hammond B3, I just love that sound.

Magnus Östgren (Beardfish) Robert Hansen (Beardfish)

It all came back to me soon enough of course — the very progressive song structures layered with familiar sounds. In that sense, the musical style and compositions, they remind me of 1990s Dutch band Cliffhanger, who also deserved more attention than they got at the time.

The whole setlist was a little more to the heavy side than what I remember from their albums. (I had never seen the band live before.) I assume the heavier songs are just better suited for a live airing. The average length of the songs played was about 10 minutes or so, and every song has a lot of different sections including quieter ones. It just felt the balance sway to the heavy side, which works fine for me!

Robert Hansen and David Zackrisson (Beardfish)

The band seemed really into it. Songs like this must be very well rehearsed to pull this off. But the musicians were also not taking themselves too seriously and are communicating with each other and the audience. Sjöblom spent most of the time behind the organ and keyboards (and mics) but there were a few songs where he played the guitar as well. I had forgotten how versatile Sjöblom's voice was, both warm and powerful.

David Zackrisson (Beardfish) Rikard Sjöblom (Beardfish)

Besides playing this reunion gig, many in the audience seemed thrilled to hear the band were actually working on a new album as well. And they were going to preview a song from it, the first live outing of a new song — Beating Hearts. Although a quieter song in the beginning, it was to be expected that as the last song of the set, it would build up with a certain level of grandeur towards a proper proggy second half.

Rikard Sjöblom and Magnus Östgren in the smoke (Beardfish)

Only the Mammoth album got two representatives, the other songs all came from different albums. A good overview of the discography but also a very good collection for a live setting.

I am very happy with this re-acquaintance with Beardfish, and the fact that they decided to get together. We all know Sjöblom is a busy man, being a permanent member in Big Big Train as well, but I hope to get many more chances to see Beardfish live.

Roulette The Hunter Destined Solitaire Comfort Zone Green Waves And the Stone Said: If I Could Speak Voluntary Slavery Beating Hearts


An excellent time has been had by, I guess, all. An atmospheric venue, very good sound, great music (OK, depending on taste). If the guy at the bar would stop throwing with bottles and have a little respect for the artists and audience then things would be even better. Bring it on for 2025!

Click here for our report on Day One!


Gefle Skivmässa home page
Gefle Skivmässa on Facebook

Sounds Fair (organiser) on Facebook

Gasklockarna (venue) official website
Gasklockarna (venue) on Facebook

Bilda (supporting organisation) official website
Region Gävleborg (funds) official website

Text by Jerry van Kooten
Photos by Anders Sjöberg, used by kind permission, licence CC BY-NC-ND

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