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)
Some of their music:
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