Holiday For Strings
We would have nearly missed out on the show of Holidays For Strings in Vienna, if our friend Ilias from seayou records (http://www.seayourecords.com/) hadn’t given us a last-minute call. The band played at a festival from the Austrian music magazine the gap (http://www.thegap.at/). So when we catch up with them at the venue Arena, the air is brimming with music. While other musicians are doing their soundcheck in the concert hall, the five Swedish guys gather in the open air area to play the upbeat song “Two Of You”. Three out of five are former professional chefs, which might be an explanation why they cite “French pastries, Italian wines, German krautrock, American rap, Belgian truffles, Jamaican digital, Northsea fish, Cuban tobacco, really thin pancakes with amaretto and walnuts, Hungarian smut, French escargot, cheap Irish whiskey, Swedish wild berries, Jacques Dutronc, New York cabdrivers” as their influences and have entitled their recent album “Favorite Flavor”. The other two are John from Peter, Bjorn and John (https://theyshootmusic.at/posts/Peter_Bjorn_and_John) and Pony, from the group Thieves Like Us (http://www.thieves-like-us.com/).
Arena is a cultural center and music venue in the industrialized district of Erdberg. Its beginnings hark back to 1976, when some thousand demonstrators gathered around the former St. Marx Auslandsschlachthof to save it from demolition and subsequent commercial use. While they were not able to save the huge building complex, the vast social movement did succeed in reaching the foundation of an autonomous cultural center on the smaller area of the former slaughterhouses, which represents today’s Arena. Presently Arena has integrated a wide musical spectrum to its programme for various crowds and commercial use. Yet Arena’s dictum “Love Music, Hate Fascism!” is more than a relict of old days as it is still the venue with the most punk concerts in town.