"Hobo Humpin Slobo Babe."
A QUASI-EXTENSIVE REPORT FROM STORSJÖYRAN
(also known as YRAN, the second most famous Swedish festival)
by Lars Johansson
Date: 21-24 July, 1994
Location: Östersund (the town in Jamtland with the
largest population). Jamtland is a county
that is situated in the northern part of
Sweden. Almost the entire centre +
Badhusparken (the nice park) were used as
festival area. Storsjön (the beautiful lake)
is accessible from the park. A monster is
said to live in it (yep, it's Sweden's Loch
Number of stages: 8 (plus one stage for the raisin look-alikes
who like to do the dance that mostly old
people do (i.e. people who are 45 years old
or older)). Number of visitors: Approx.
49,000 dudes of all ages from all countries.
Ticket prices: Only Friday or Saturday for 240 SEK (at one
of the entrances). Friday + Saturday (if the
tickets were booked in advance) for 395 SEK.
Thursday for 80 SEK. Sunday for free. [Friday
and Saturday were superciliously the best
days to visit the festival]. Note: 395 SEK is
about US$ 49.
Thursday 20.00 - 02.00
Friday 20.00 - 03.00
Saturday 19.30 - 03.00
((Sunday 12.00 - 18.00))
Complete list of all the officially engaged artists (containing
a few non- music ones):
Crash Test Dummies
Matt & Nat
Steve Blame (MTV)
The Two Herberts
Annika Frölander Band
Bernt Egerbladh (aargh)
Bo Lyckligs ork.
Mary Beats Jane
Mystic Sultan and the Natty Natties
Nick Borgens ork.
Nisse & Peps
The Real Group
Titiyo & Jennifer Brown
Östen Mä Resten
United States of America
Mr. Thing & The Professional Human Beings
A brief history of Jamtland
Jamtland is one of the 24 geographical counties that Sweden is
divided into. Jamtland can also be spelled Jämtland or Jemtland,
but Jamtland is preferred by the members of JRA (Jamtland
Republican Army). JRA is mostly a joke, but they seem to be
pretty serious about some matters. I'm not sure if that's the
case or not. The president, Ewert Ljusberg, hasn't really got any
power, his value is strictly symbolical. Jamtland has got a class
and a dialect of its own. The Jamtlanders (or "jamtarna") should
perhaps be proud, I don't know. One thing they should be proud of
is YRAN, a massive party for all people. Jamtarna is a peaceful
and friendly nationality so don't be afraid to visit Jamtland (my
father was born in Jamtland and I think that my mother's mother
(my deceased grandma) was born there too (just a few miles on the
"right" side of the border between Jamtland and Medelpad (where I
live)). This whole thing should not be taken too serious. Note:
Ånge, the community that I live in, wants to become a part of the
county of Jamtland again (the community of Ånge belonged to
Jamtland a long time ago).
"Storsjöodjuret" is the name of the terrible monster that lives
in the lake. People observe it a few times each year. It appeared
once when the festival was going on and a friend of mine actually
saw it (i.e. sortof, I mean...). It's an irritating fact that
there are only a few people around to witness it every time it
feels like showing its ugly face. It didn't appear during rush
hour this time either. What my friend saw was six big waves that
were behaving strangely. They changed direction independently of
the other, smaller, waves. The waves appeared in a row as if each
wave was a result of a hump moving. The humps might have been
parts of the monster's structure. Who knows? Scary, no?
Steve Blame from MTV wants to change citizenship
Steve Blame wants to become a citizen of The Republic of
Jamtland. He has spoken about the matter with Jamtland's
president Ewert Ljusberg. I'm not sure if the president liked the
idea, but I s'pose he did.
The artists' spare time
The artists used their spare time to bungy-jump. At least that's
what Crash Test Dummies, The Mission and Saw Doctors did. Saint
Etienne wanted to go water-skiing on Storsjön. But I don't think
they ever did (perhaps the monster living in the lake scared
Crash Test Dummies
Date: Friday 22-07-94
You simply must have heard the successful song "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm"
by the Canadian band Crash Test Dummies. It's in the top section
of every single list I believe. And their album, "God Shuffled
His Feet", may very well climb to the top on some lists since
Crash Test Dummies is an original band thanks to the singer Brad
Roberts who has got a dark, very personal, voice. It's his voice
that makes the band different from hundreds of other bands. The
square was filled with people watching Crash Test Dummies and
doing whatever people who watch such a band do. This band isn't
made for headbanging or stagediving but it's a nice group to
start the evening with. Mmm, yes it is.
Mary Beats Jane
Date: Friday 22-07-94
Mary Beats Jane are a band from Gothenburg, Sweden, that plays
heavy hardcore music. "Call it death metal, hardcore, punk or
heavy metal" says Urban Olsson, one of the guitar players in the
band. I bet that the message is that it doesn't matter which
genre their music belongs to. The important thing is that the
music gets your adrenalin pumping, or something like that. Mary
Beats Jane consists of Peter Dolving (lead vocals), Urban Olsson
(guitar), Magnus "Nypon" Nyberg (guitar, ex-member of Psychotic
Youth, that also performed at YRAN), Peter Asp (drums, ex-member
of Stillborn) and Bjarne Olsson (bass guitar, ex-member of Sonic
Walthers). Mary Beats Jane's performance was excellent and
powerful. This band will become famous one day soon.
Date: Friday 22-07-94
Dia Psalma is a Swedish punk band that mixes punk and folk music
wonderfully. Imagine that blend based upon distorted guitar
skills. That's what Dia Psalma is all about. Dia Psalma's
performance can be described with three words: Chaos, anarchy and
scandal. The tiniest stage of them all had been assigned to Dia
Psalma. They managed to play two of their songs, "Alla älskar
dig" and "Atomvinternatt", before they had to cancel the rest of
the concert. Tough shit! Several fans had at that time dropped
unconscious. They had been pushed too hard against the stupid
fence that prevents people from getting up on the stage. These
people wouldn't have become mashed potatoes if there hadn't
been that damn fence. I wonder why all organizers insist on using
such death traps. Anyway, the best thing would have been to give
Dia Psalma a bigger stag from the very beginning. Dia Psalma
finally got a larger stage and continued their performance three
hours later, at two o'clock in the night (morning). It was a mere
coincidence that I actually got informed about the fact that Dia
Psalma had gotten a new stage. The organizers didn't inform
people very well about this matter. Dia Psalma is a great live
band. Don't miss them when they come to your town (i.e. if you
live in Sweden). The only Swedish punk band that can compete with
Dia Psalma is DLK.
Date: Saturday 23-07-94
Latin Kings are a band consisting mostly of refugees who came to
Sweden from Latin American. As usual (I think) they performed
their rap songs in front of mainly female teenagers. They rap in
Swedish and Spanish (they preferred to rap only in Swedish this
time). They used playback (yawn!), but their music is based on
samples so I guess it just had to be that way. It wasn't very
entertaining for me, being male and all, to see Dogge (the main
rapper) bump and pretend to masturbate (or whatever). I s'pose
you've got to be a female teenager to enjoy that. But, I'm not
sure if they liked it either. Jeez, let's concentrate on their
music. Well, some of their songs are quite nice if you're in a
rap mood. They tell a lot of truths with their cheap rhymes and
they might even get you moving some day, who knows? Cypress Hill
and House of Pain are still the best hip hop bands. I mean, who
are you trying to get crazy with this thing? Don't you know I'm
loco? I ain't goin' out like that! I prefer Cypress Hill.
Date: Saturday 23-07-94
Clawfinger was the true highlight of the entire festival.
Clawfinger are a Swedish/Norwegian band and the Swedish
singer/rapper Zak Tell is an English descendant, so it's a nice
blend of nationalities. Clawfinger plays an excellent mix of
rap/metal and hardcore. Their music is really powerful (the
guitar sound is a bit dry, so to speak) and one just has to
headbang and stagedive. Clawfinger live is pure entertainment.
Zak Tell almost flies all over the stage, bangs his head, makes
ugly faces and generally acts like a madman. Clawfinger sounds
nice on CD, but even better live. Some bands are terrible live,
you know. Clawfinger have got an attitude with almost everything.
The most successful song this far is "Nigger". It's a song about
the word "nigger" and that it's bad that Afro Americans use it to
describe themselves. The real niggers are, according to
Clawfinger, the white racists and people who use the word
"nigger". Clawfinger did of course perform "Nigger" this magic
evening. I'm not sure how long time the performance lasted, one
doesn't give a damn when there's so much fun going on. I think
they played all songs from their debut album "Deaf Dumb Blind".
At least I remember them playing "Don't get me wrong", "I need
you", "Warfair", "Sad to see you sorrow", "I don't care",
"Truth", "Catch me" and "Nigger". I'm not sure whether they
performed "Rosegrove" and "Wonderful World" or not. "Catch me" is
a quite different song. It's laid back and kinda soft groovy with
some guitars going chugga chugga wang occasionally. It's about a
guy (or gal) who's getting ready to jump from a roof (i.e. commit
suicide). "Truth" is the song that contains the most attitude. It
was pleasant to hear the crowd singing (pseudo-rapping): "...Tell
me the truth. Tell me the truth. Tell me the truth. Tell me the
truth motherfucker. Tell me the truth. Tell me the truth. Tell me
the truth. Tell me the truth, you sucker," and so on. I actually
sang too. About 15 young kids appeared on stage when Clawfinger
played "Truth". It was bizarre to see those guys bang their heads
to the unaffected, heavy, music. Clawfinger made an extra
performance where they sang "World Cup Bronze". This was all in
all a great experience. Clawfinger has to be one of the best live
bands. There were quite a lot of crazy and freaked out people in
the crowd so I was happy to survive the gig in one piece. They
climbed on top of each other and jumped. Too many of them were
too close to hit my head. But, hey! What do you expect to happen
at a festival? Hot gossip: A friend of mine saw Zak Tell jump on
some beer cans off-stage. He didn't tell me the brands, though.
What a shame.
Other bands and artists
Stakka Bo This is a group that plays club music. Their song
"Here we go again" made them quite famous abroad.
Titiyo & Jennifer Brown
These two gals can be called "the soul sisters"
'cause soul music is their business. They sound a
bit like Whitney Houston.
This is a heavy band that I accidentally missed to
This group is famous in an infamous way. They play
music that old people like, but they somehow got
popular when they appeared at the Hultsfred
festival (or was it Dalarock?) a few years ago.
Sven Ingvars has become a ploy, at least I think
that's the answer that you'll get if you ask the
Swedish youth (not the psychotic one).
Cardigans This group has got a female singer that is
beautiful in a kind of cute and innocent way (that
would be like Björk, the, wouldn't it?, ED.). They
play some kind of pop music that is quite nice, I
s'pose. I'd rather attend their gigs to watch
their female singer than to hear their music.
Garmarna This band plays an Old Norse type of thing, or
mythical, Swedish, folk music, if you like. Stuff
Hedningarna This band plays the same type of music that
Garmarna plays, although with a personal touch.
Hedningarna is Garmarnas' big brother, or sister.
Stuff for Laplanders and Vikings.
Saw Doctors This Irish band has become very popular at YRAN in
Östersund. They play melodious guitar music. They
played at last year's festival too.
Hoven Droven This band can compete with Hedningarna and The
Flesh Quartet according to a journalist who's
working for LT (a local daily paper).
Nisse & Peps This is a blues band from the southern part of
Sweden (Skåne to be precise). Social realism
directly from the cotton fields... Eh?
HP Burman This man is cult in Jamtland with his hit
Mr Thing... I heard that this band from the States was a good
one. I missed it completely anyway. What a bummer!
Bazooka! Some people claim that this heavy band consisting
of Swedish girls can be compared with L7. I
haven't heard L7 (as far as I know) so I can't
express an opinion here. Bazooka! was one of the
hottest bands after last year's Hultsfred
Brainpool This band played at YRAN, but I actually heard it
at Midrock in Ånge instead. This band was
discovered by Per Gessle (from Roxette), so to
speak. "Girl lost" and "Every day" are two quite
popular songs by Brainpool.
I don't think I've got any more comments to share with you.
There were also a few bands (or whatever) playing for free
outside the festival area. A friend of mine (Smogg of TIV of
Flexichron) played with a band for free last year. That band is
dead and buried today (he plays with four other bands now).
Food & beverages
Ten restaurant and bar/pub tents had been built along a special
street (down by the lake) for this occasion. You could buy
different food, beer and other beverages. The prices were quite
expensive, 40 SEK for a class III beer. Some of the abiding
restaurants/bars/pubs were also open. The most common food was
Mexican, I think. There were lotsa tacos, enchilladas and
tortillas. The beer that had the most pleasant taste during this
event was the Mexican one named Corona. It even tasted better
than Guinness (although Guinness is dark and Corona light). Why
the hell weren't there any Jägermeister in the tents? Shame on
you, pub owners!
"Gallons Of Rubbing Alcohol Flow Through The Strip"
A special amusement park was built for the occasion and it was
possible to try other things as well (bungyjumping, for example).
There were also lotsa salesmen (lotsa stalls). You could buy
almost everything. There were also different competitions such as
a graffiti competition, a street basketball competition and other
competitions. I recognised three radio stations that broadcasted
live from the festival. The most well-known station was P3 which
is a nation-wide channel. An important event was the speech by
the president Ewert Ljusberg. Rule 42: Run like a fried chicken
and attend all events at the same time.
Delirium tremens, or what?
There was a guy who climbed up in a tree at the square and fell
asleep or whatever. Suddenly there came a skylift from nowhere
and drove thru the crowd. About seven watchmen and cops stood
under the tree and tried to communicate with the poor fellow. I
don't know if this dude was on drugs but I bet he was. Finally he
started to climb down. But, when the watchmen reached his butt,
he stopped and after a short while he climbed up again. He came
down after another minute or two. I don't know what happened
then... Take it easy next time, pal...
YRAN was all in all a nice, well-organized (except for the Dia
Psalma incident) and nicely mixed happening. Go to the next
"YRAN"/"Storsjöyran"! Be there or be square...
Lars Johansson (a.k.a. Dark Shadow of TIV of Flexichron)
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