Jens Lekman - live music review (5 stars)

Oran Mor, Glasgow, Thu 15 May

Jens Lekman


Modern pop is rarely as smart, affecting or plain funny as when it’s in the hands of Jens Lekman. Nor as succinct. ‘No encore, 11 songs, all hits,’ proclaimed the Swede at the start of his set, tongue lodged loosely in cheek.

Lekman has had hits. His second album, Night Falls Over Kortedala, spent a week at number one in his native country last year. He remains a bit of an obscurity elsewhere however, perhaps for his outer veneer of tweeness. There’s more than a shade of Belle and Sebastian, certainly, about Lekman’s shy, lovelorn crooning, but then there’s much more too: old soul, rich 60s pop and Scott Walker-style lush string arrangements and samples.

Lekman’s a romantic in the most unusual of situations, such as posing as his lesbian friend’s fiancée at dinner with her Catholic father (‘Postcard to Nina’), or dedicating songs to girls on the radio during a spell in the clink (‘You Are the Light’) or secretly pining for his tax-evading hairdresser (‘Shirin’). He’s not always the romatic though: he left his fans booing and stamping (there really wasn’t an encore) in a surprisingly un-indie schmindie of fashions.


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