After 24 years, Soffgruppen has become almost an institution in Boden’s music life. With a completely acoustic setting, they blow life in pop classics in their own way.
In the cover band Soffgruppen you will find neither electric guitar nor drum kit. Everything is acoustic, which of course means guitars and harmonica but also the slightly more unconventional instruments cajon, cucumber, tambourine, kabasa, vibrable and not least kasax – a mix between kazoo and saxophone.
– If it’s a song we play like a saxophone on, Nicke can turn on that toy saxophone. Even though people have heard ten songs and thought “damn how good these guys are”, it can still get a little plagiarized without it becoming frivolous, says Patrik Lindahl, guitarist.
He and the percussionist Per Olsson have settled down in the lobby at Quality Hotel Bodensia. This is a homely environment for them, they have in recent years become something of a house band here.
A house band, that was exactly what the restaurateur Henrik Lindström was looking for at Pub P 1995. Unplugged on MVT was hotter than hottest and all the biggest ones were fighting to be there, so an acoustic set was at the top of the wish list. He asked some musical friends if they could perform and the rest is history.
– The stage was decorated like a living room so when Henke announced the first gig he named us Soffgruppen, it was no more complicated than that.
Since then, they have been through a lot together; many different gigs, boat trips and guest artists. A powerful experience was when the legendary Jakob Hellman stepped up and on stage and played a couple of songs. But the strangest thing was probably Bus Day, they think. Länstrafiken had an open house throughout the county and Soffgruppen would play at the bus station in Boden.
– It was one of our first gigs. We sat among the packages in the luggage storage and played and it was probably mom and dad and four more who passed on all day. You will probably always remember that anyway, says Patrik.
Today, the gang has reached middle age and after a slight slump a decade ago, they are now more popular than ever. They have become almost an institution in Boden’s music life. It turned out not least a couple of days before Christmas when Soffgruppen, together with the Luleå band Juntan attracted almost 500 visitors to Bodensia.
– The latest Christmas gig was a success, we felt like local heroes. I even saw some of my kids’ friends there. What I was most surprised about was that it was a full dance floor. It will be difficult to surpass, says Patrik.
That response from the audience is one of the reasons why they continue to play after all these years. But the biggest is probably that they really like each other and appreciate playing together and becoming something bigger than six individual musicians. Most of them have been friends since elementary school.
– We manage to adapt to each other and we have fun together. Everyone sings and it also means that everyone has views on what songs it should be. It is probably also an important part of the fact that we have managed to stay together for so long, there are more people who contribute to the band, says Per.
They play songs that they like and are similar to the repertoire at Star FM. But they do not choose the most obvious cover songs, the unplugged setting provides both limitations and possibilities.
They usually play at company parties, weddings and restaurants in Boden and Luleå, but there have also been some gigs in Kåbdalis and Kittelfjäll, even though the band sees itself more as an after work band than an after ski band.
– We avoid these real after ski and “Highway to hell” songs. It’s not us. If everyone shouts Creedence, they get Bowie, says Per.
They rehearse every other Sunday in Johan Boström’s kitchen and try to have one gig a month. They do not have the opportunity to say yes to more than that, all members have jobs, families and other major hobbies. For all six, the band is still an essential part of life that fulfills many functions, both musical and friendly.
– Soffgruppen is my second family, says Patrik. #
PER OLSSON, cajon and vocals / PETER ISAKSSON, guitar and vocals / JOHAN BOSTRÖM, vocals and percussion NICLAS BÄCK, harmonica, casax and vocals / PELLE BRÄNNSTRÖM, bass and vocals / PATRIK LINDAHL, guitar and vocals