The Refreshments

By Gary: “This post will be so far away from my normal posts  you will not believe it, so stay with me.  I will tell you about a band, that maybe, just maybe, most of you are not familiar with.  They are not Top 40. They were only formed in 1989, but they are just about the hardest working band in Sweden. 

Yep, I said Sweden and we are talking old hard stompin’ Rock and Roll, yes the type I grew up with.  They started as a cover band (old Rock and Roll), then began writing their own material (similar to a sixties band called the Rolling Stones).  So, for all of my fellow “bloggers”, meet and enjoy…

(Photos by Anton Söderhäll)

The Refreshments
Joakim Arnell (bass, vocals)
Micke Finell (sax, vocals, guitar)
Mats Forsberg (drums)
 Jonas Göransson (guitar, vocals)
Johan Blohm (piano, vocals)


This is what Rock and Bands were like when I was a teenager.
Chuck Berry’s Let it Rock/they have a couple of extra horns/ but this band really knows how to rock


Both Rock and Roll and Rockabilly“/


Johan Blohm does a great job of Fat’s first hit “The Fat Man“/


Swedish TV/ Here we Are/


Miss You Miss Belinda/


Johan Blohm just Boogie’s/


High School Confidential/


Here are the Refreshments playing Chuck Berry’s “Let it Rock“.  They are joined by the great guitarist “Albert Lee” and as we all know, he plays with only the best.  So even though we abandoned the Music in North American, Go, Sweden, Go!! /


2011 Live at Antones’s in Austin Texas / they were appearing at SXSW / this is their entire performance 

Some of their music:

1.  Promised Land (Chuck Berry)
2.  55 Ford/
3.  Miss You Miss Belinda
4.  One Dance, One Rose, One Kiss

Founded in 1989 in Gävle, Sweden, and influenced by 1950s American Rock & Roll as well as 1970s British pub rock, the Refreshments are a Swedish rock band with a hard-working reputation and an impressive string of Top Ten albums in their homeland.

The band is comprised of Joakim Arnell (bass, vocals), Micke Finell (sax, vocals, guitar), Mats Forsberg (drums), Robin Olsson (guitar, vocals), and Johan Blohm (piano, vocals).

Former members include Tord Eriksson (guitar), Niklas Aspholm (drums), and pub rock legend Billy Bremner (guitar) of Rockpile fame. 

Impressed by what he’d heard from the then-unknown band from the modest-sized coastal city of Gävle, Bremner made arrangements to produce their full-length album debut, Both Rock’n’Roll (1995), and also produced their follow-up, Trouble Boys (1997), on which he played guitar in the place of original guitarist Tord Eriksson.

Bremner subsequently invited his former Rockpile colleague Dave Edmunds to join the Refreshements for a tour and also record A Pile of Rock (1997), a live album from the tour; billed to “Dave Edmunds & the Refreshments,” the album was recorded live at an intimate club show in Gävle.

Bremner played guitar with the Refreshments one last time on the band’s third album, Are You Ready (1999), which was their most successful to date; not only was it their first to break into the Swedish albums chart, but it also featured their first hit single, “Miss You Miss Belinda.”

Robin Olsson took over as guitarist for the band’s next album, Musical Fun for Everyone (2000), and pianist Johan Blohm also joined the band at this juncture.

The follow-up album, Real Songs on Real Instruments (2001), marked a surge in popularity for the band, thanks in large part to the hit single “One Dance, One Rose, One Kiss,” and a best-of compilation, Here We Are (2001), was commissioned for release in the wake of this popularity surge.

The success continued for the Refreshments in the years that followed, beginning with One the Rocks (2003), their first album to break into the Top Ten of the albums chart, ultimately peaking at number five.

The follow-up Christmas album Rock’n’Roll X-Mas (2003) then went all the way to number one, capping off a remarkable year for the Refreshments.

Subsequent albums — namely Easy to Pick Up, Hard to Put Down (2004), 24-7 (2006), It’s Gotta Be Both Rock’n’Roll (2006), Christmas Spirits (2007), and Jukebox (2008) — all proved similarly popular, each charting within the Top Ten, if not the Top Five. ~ Jason Birchmeier, All Music Guide



3 responses to “The Refreshments

  1. Marilyn Stuart

    They rock. No wonder they bring the crowd to their feet. I couldn’t keep my feet still just listening to them.

  2. damn, I have searched everywhere to find out how to reach The Refreshments, as my husband is a total freak about them. He plays their music on his computer every day. I am looking to find a concert date we can plan on, besides Sweden…however, if they have no US planned venue, we’ll go there. Seriously, help me out here, thanks so much

  3. They’re just great! I’ve heard their stuff on YouTube and found a few of their CDs, maybe 7 or so. They were at SXSW in Austin, Texas in either 2011 or 2012. I don’t know if the SXSW bands for 2013 are scheduled on line yet or if The Refreshments are coming. As far as I know, the SXSW concert is the only time they have appeared in the US.

    Johann Blohm is a wonderful boogie & R & R pianist. When I first heard 55 Ford on YouTube, I just endless looped it. If you like boogie, incidentally, Sylvan Ziingg from Switzerland is also tops in boogie. Listen to Zingg and watch spectacular dancing:

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