The wizardrock scene in the States is a-OK with bands like Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, and the Cedric Diggorys. Recently there was a big wizardrock concert in Stockholm that was part of Expecto Patronum 2009 (a Harry Potter convention), and I was expecting the same caliber of talent from Swedish bands. But I was off by a long shot. A LOOOOONG shot.
During the three-day-long festival, around a hundred girls and five guys played Quidditch and discussed Harry Potter books. The discussions included a 15-and-up relationship talk where they discussed who is kissing who in the books, which always ended up with slash pairings like Snape doing that-which-can't-be-named with Ron Weasly or kinky stuff like bestiality sex. The air was so thick with pre-teen sexual tension that you could poke it with a dick.
So there I was, lucky to see five wizardrock bands, the star of the night being Solitary Snape. (Personally, my favorite band was Ginger and Moon, though.) The concert started off OK, but the second act was fucking painful to watch because the singer forgot every other line, barely got by on the guitar and couldn't even adjust the strap. The rest of it dragged its ass along at an incredibly slow pace, and at many a time I wished that it would end earlier, but the crowd loved it. The last three bands were good, though. They had great lyrics but were a bit awkward on stage and a bit out of control (one of them really made a fool of himself). The audience was extremely forgiving and clapped after every song no matter how shitty the performance was.
Now I know I've been giving these kids a hard time (most of the band members were 15-year-olds, so of course they're complete spazzes), but I must say that their determination and style of playing felt like one of the rawest forms of punk. They had no musical background, bad voices, and ridiculous stage presence, but were all playing out of a common love for Harry Potter. It was just friends that liked the same thing and wanted to start a band in order to rock out. What the heck is wrong with that? I loved the kids playing because the lyrics rocked so much. The lyrics were the best part. So you might not want to spend time at such a concert, but at least listen to the lyrics. OK?
Here's a clip of the Swedish Shortsnouts performing their hit song, "Rolf":
I got a rare chance to talk to Anna from the band.
Vice: Do you guys often play live?
Anna: Hmm. No, we’ve played only five or six times. But we don’t really want to play anywhere other than conventions or Halloween parties. It wouldn't really work at regular places. I don’t think that 14-year-olds would want to hear about Hagrid. I think that they think Hagrid is corny and want to drink alcohol and go to a disco.
At age 14? Kids these days... Why aren't there many guys here?
I dunno. Guys think it's nerdy, I guess. Waving around a wand and saying Wingardium Levioso isn’t as macho as Warhammer (a role-playing game), where there are guns and swords.
What is the worst slash couple?
Dobby (goblin dwarf) and Hagrid (giant). Yeah, or Draco's son and Harry Potter’s son. That's crazy.
What spells do people use for sex in the slash?
Engorgio is pretty common. It's a spell that makes things bigger. You can imagine what that one is used for. I hope you don't think we are too geeky with this stuff.
Oh no, not at all.
Swedish Shortsnouts - "Rolf"
BY PATRICK CROTTY