Acid House Kings @ Mosaic Music Festival, 8 March 2013
March is here and that means one thing – the return of the annual Mosaic Music Festival at the Esplanade. It’s that time of the year where a plethora of bands from all over the world descend on Singapore for a week of music, mayhem and madness. Personally I’m disappointed by this year’s lineup which I find underwhelming. It doesn’t blow me away and none of the acts really stand out; there’s not a single act that I’m a huge fan of.
But enough complaining. There are still gems to be found. First up is Swedish band Acid House Kings. Having only heard of them by name before, I was woefully unfamiliar with their music but a visit to their SoundCloud page took care of that. I was won over by their sunny melodies and decided to see their show on 8 March.
Friday finally rolled around and I made my way down to the Esplanade after work. My ticket was for the 10pm show and I had some time to kill, so I headed to the Theatre Studio to see if there was a line. The first show had ended at 8.30pm and there weren’t any people except for the festival staff. They were kind enough to let me in to view the merchandise. There were CDs from Labrador Records artistes selling at $20 while the Acid House Kings tshirts were $30. I decided to save my money instead, and chatted with the friendly booth assistant who informed me I could get a fake moustache from the booth across if I wished. She also gave me a card to accumulate stamps with every purchase of a drink from participating bars in exchange for a pack of Hendrick’s Gin playing cards. I hung around for awhile, then went to sit on a bench at the Concourse and watched the crowd from the Joss Stone concert that had just ended go by.
At 9.20pm I headed back to the Theatre Studio and joined the steadily growing line. Once in, I made a beeline for the front and chose a spot in the middle. The crowd was a mix of 20-somethings and older long-time fans, both local and foreign. The club was reasonably full and the air was filled with chatter as we waited patiently. The band came on stage at exactly 10pm to cheers and claps and promptly launched into “Do What You Wanna Do” off their 2005 album Sing Along With Acid House Kings. They played a mix of songs from their discography, such as “Would You Say Stop?”, “Say Yes If You Love Me” and “This Heart Is A Stone”. Their cheerful catchy tunes were well-received by the dancing crowd. Vocalist Julia Lannerheim was an energetic sprite, striking poses and smiling throughout. She was flanked by brothers Niklas and Johan Angergård, and a couple of touring musicians. It was their first show in 7 years and according to the band they had only 2 hours of sleep, but I wouldn’t have known judging from the smooth flow of the music. I was impressed by Julia singing and dancing at the same time and still keeping reasonably in tune; not an easy feat at all. Her voice grew hoarse towards the end though, no doubt brought on by doing two shows back-to-back.
The highlight of the show came at the end during the second and last encore. Niklas joked that their idea was to “take the best song in the world and make it slightly worse.” Julia sang the opening strains of The Smiths’ classic “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” to whoops of delight and she led the crowd in a rousing sing-a-long. It was a beautiful tribute and a lovely end to a great show.