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Gessle Over Europe - the 2009 club tour captured live! Since RoxetteÂ’s ”Room Service” tour in the autumn of 2001, Sweden has been able to keep one of their true pop superstars more or less for themselves. Starting with 2003Â’s massively successful Swedish solo comeback “Mazarin”, Gessle kept himself busy in Sweden as a solo act or reuniting with his former group Gyllene Tider. But in the spring of 2009, the Roxette songwriter Per Gessle finally took an acclaimed step back to the international scene. With a back catalogue of songs from multi-million selling Roxette albums as well as solo material from his 1997 international debut “The World According To Gessle” to the 2005 double package “Son Of A Plumber” and last yearÂ’s “Party Crasher” album, Per had plenty to choose from. Between April 16 and May 10 fans in Finland, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Poland, The Czech republic, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and England could experience a seemingly never-ending stream of Gessle-penned hits in an intimate club environment. They got revamped Roxette classics like ”Joyride” and ”The Look” next to more recent solo material like ”Hey Mr DJ” and ”DoesnÂ’t Make Sense”—all in a new and inspired setting that made even a more than 20 year old-faithful like “Dressed For Success” seem like it was written yesterday. But why did he do it? ”First of all to have a blast on stage with this incredible band. And then I wanted to get out there and say, ‘Hey—these are my songsÂ’. My music is much more well-known than I am. People all over the world can sing along to the Roxette classics, but they donÂ’t know that IÂ’ve written them. So the idea was to perform some of my English favourites while putting a face to the songs”, Gessle smiles. Summing up some of the brilliant musicians heÂ’s been touring with in Sweden the last years—Helena Josefsson (vocals), Clarence Öfwerman (keyboards), Christoffer Lundquist (guitar/vocals) and Magnus Börjeson (bass/vocals) plus the seasoned Roxette anchor Pelle Alsing (drums)—Per quickly found the high-energy power pop drive he was looking for. The sound was guitar based, gritty and in your face. Fat, ringing Gibson chords against three-part harmony vocals in the choruses. Heavy and feather light at the same time, constantly accompanied by a singing, whistling and cheering crowd. The tour gave Gessle the chance to dust off Roxette rockers like ”Sleeping In My Car”, ”She DoesnÂ’t Live Her Anymore”, ”Opportunity Nox” and ”7Twenty7” and up-tempo solo hits like ”Stupid”, ”Do You Wanna Be My Baby?” and ”CÂ’mon”. The energetic pop drive was mixed with the thoughtful melancholy of ”Late, Later On”, ”Wish I Could Fly” and the majestic set closer ”Queen Of Rain”. ”I had no idea what the reaction would be. Over the years IÂ’ve learned not to have too big expectations—just do it and see what happens. But the public reaction was overwhelming and after a few shows only — I think it was Copenhagen — I suddenly realised why I was back playing the clubs after all these years. It was terrific to be on stage and do all these songs again.” All this and more is captured on ”Gessle Over Europe”, a real treat for fans who wants to re-live or experience this quite remarkable club tour. With 21 live recorded tracks on CD, the complete final show at Cirkus in Stockholm on May 9 on DVD plus assorted goodies featuring 100 “home videos” filmed during the tour as well as additional clips and interviews taken from PerÂ’s international solo career, ”Gessle Over Europe” deliver more than a Roxette or Per Gessle fan could ever hope for. You donÂ’t get any closer than this, without actually standing on the stage yourself. The vinyl collector Per Gessle also has made sure that ”Gessle Over Europe” will be released as a vinyl double album, which is great news for those who think todayÂ’s music business would be better off with albums like ”Frampton Comes Alive” or ”Made In Japan”. And if you wonder whether itÂ’s possible to maintain a true pop heart after more than two decades of international chart successes and World tours, just listen to the inspired take of Paul Revere & The Raiders ”(IÂ’m Not Your) SteppinÂ’ Stone” from 1966. It hasnÂ’t sounded better than this in a long time...
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