Roxette
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Editorial

XXX Tour: Watercolours and the women of Roxette


We are just days away from the first concert of 2015 but one talking point from the 2014 shows that needs a mention is the incredible version of “Watercolours in the Rain” that was performed live.


Dea can play the piano! Who knew?

In case you missed it, check out this amazing version of “Watercolours in the Rain” uploaded by a Roxette fan on YouTube from the Yekaterinburg show back in November 2014.

“Watercolours in the Rain” has returned to the Roxette set list for the XXX Tour and although the song was played live on the previous tour, this piano version with Dea sounds nothing like the previous 2011/12 live incarnation. In fact, it sounds nothing like the 1991/92 Join The Joyride Tour version nor does it sound anything like the album recording either. This is what’s exciting! If the same song does re-appear, giving it a whole new vibe is very exciting for the fans! Let’s hope we see this approach to other tracks too.

DEA2Back to “Watercolours…” and this live version – firstly, how cool is Dea Norberg? Not only does Dea’s voice suit the Roxette vibe – but her on stage role has expanded beyond just the additional “oooh” and “ahhh” and the occasional “na na na na” – Dea has now taken on a very nurturing and supportive role towards Marie. We all know, considering the horrific circumstances that Marie has overcome, that every now and again, Marie’s memory causes a hiccup or two when it comes to remembering lyrics. But what’s even clearer is just how much Dea’s watchful eyes are checking on Marie during the shows – giving her support when she needs it. This genuine positivity and warmth is no more evident than during the pair’s rendition of “Watercolours…” when Marie proudly introduces Dea as her “friend” to the screaming audience. Then what follows is an enchanting duet as these two voices gently intertwine and harmonize together whilst floating ever so peacefully over a lush piano played with the gentle touch of a lullaby – it’s definitely the “feel good” moment of the show as these two women share the spotlight.

But of course, whilst Dea is currently the backing vocalist, let’s not forget the incredible line up of talented ladies who have fulfilled this crucial role for the band and helped Roxette create magic both in the studio and on stage over the past few decades. Let’s take a quick look back at these wonderful women!

MIA + VICKI2In the beginning, Mia Lindgren was the backing vocalist for Roxette. Mia performed on the Look Sharp Live! Tour (both Swedish and European versions) and even features briefly in the world famous video for “Listen To Your Heart“. We have not been able to find what Mia does these days.

Following Mia, the stunning Vicki Benkert entered the team for a few years.

Take a moment to consider the pivotal role that Vicki played during her few years with Roxette. If not for Vicki Benkert and her piano accordion skills, perhaps “Perfect Day” would never have been the closing track for the Joyride tour and we would have had “Queen of Rain” as the closer instead? Does this mean “Perfect Day” would have become track #16 on Tourism? Or would “Perfect Day” have fallen by the wayside? Scary thought, thankfully it never happened. Also, Vicki performed on the prestigious MTV Unplugged show in 1993, before the role of the female backing vocalist disappeared for many years. Vicki works as a translator translating children’s shows for TV now, with the occasional dub.

It wasn’t until Roxette’s handful of “test” shows in late 2010 that the band once again had an additional female vocalist. This time, it was the very talented Malin Ekstrand! Once the team were convinced that Roxette could go on a full scale world tour, a slight re-shuffle was made to the line-up and Per Gessle’s Mazarin and Son of a Plumber vocalist was recruited to the team; Helena Josefsson.

HELENAHelena is of course no stranger to Roxette fans having spent many years during the 2000s working on numerous Per Gessle side projects including Mazarin, the Son of a Plumber recordings and the Party Crasher record and tour to name but a few.  And of course, Helena is an accomplished and established artist in her own right, but it wasn’t until 2012’s Travelling that Helena’s backing vocals featured on a Roxette album – particularly prominent during a duet with Marie on a reinterpretation of Per’s 2009 ballad, “Perfect Excuse”.

With Helena moving on from Roxette’s live band at the end of 2011 to concentrate on her family and her work as an optometrist, the following year saw Dea Norberg join the live band and now, Dea and her funky piano are very much part of the Roxette XXX Live Team!

And there we have it folks, a quick re-cap of the illustrious list of brilliant women who have all helped shaped the legacy that is 30 years of Roxette! And now, in 2015, Dea continues that tradition. Be sure to keep an ear out for the live performance of “Watercolours in the Rain” the next time Roxette stops by in your home town in 2015!

 

  ★ The author:
Stevo


  ★ Publishing date:

February 3rd, 2015


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  • miltos

    What a wonderful article! Reminding us all that Roxette is not just the two people we adore, but a collaboration of beautiful people singing pop simplicity and perfection!

  • RobS

    Nice write up, as always.
    Very nice rendition of the song, love Marie’s vocals on this, and great to hear it without the classic guitar/drum backing (although I really do love that one).

    I’m slightly confused though, aren’t you also requesting that The Look goes back to it’s classic style? That said, the big songs probably should be done in the classic style for the more casual fans.

    But mixing it up for some of the lesser known tracks for the fans I think is a great idea. Stars now having about 3 different versions is a track that does this well – the dance-y album track, rocking guitar live, and lullaby-esque ballad.

    • I’m with Stevo here, The Look without the riff is… boring. And Joyride in its pub rock version was nice for the Per tour, but when Rox plays it it just blends in with 727 etc. I’m all for mixing it up with other tunes though, but not those two. Or Dangerous!

      • RobS

        Yeah I completely forgot about that version. A big no-no for a Roxette tour. That riff is like a trademark and just has to be there.

  • Chris

    I’m not really into the latest versions of perfect day and watercolours. I don’t think that they fit Marie’s voice anymore. If it comes down to stripped down versions of songs I think things will never be the same was way better. Or they should try the stars acoustic version they did backstage some time ago.

    I really like Dea as the backing vocalists. She cares so much about Marie and her voice is pretty good. I hope she will stay for a while.




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