To non-Swedes, dansband is a glorious and somewhat cheesy mystery: I suppose the nearest British equivalent is those cabaret bands in working men's clubs who play the same songs to the same people, week after week.
Now, SVT has taken the talent-show concept and given it a uniquely Swedish twist. "Dansbandskampen" is a weekly Saturday night contest which, I read somewhere (can't remember where) that it's hammering rival TV4's "Stjärnor på is" in the ratings. I decided to check it out last week and was immediately hooked. The two hot favourites, Larz-Kristerz and Scotts, progressed to this week's show (which I haven't seen yet - but I know they've made it through to next week). Larz-Kristerz is possibly the worst-dressed band you have ever seen, even by dansband standards, but their selling point is their cover versions of some very unlikely songs - I bet you've never heard "Purple Rain" done dansband-style!!
Scotts are less outrageously dressed and are more pop than dansband - they reminded me of Barbados, maybe it's the blonde singer, but seem to have a wider appeal beyond the more traditional dansband audience. I could see them at Melodifestivalen!
Above: Scotts frontman Henrik, subject of many a Swedish middle-aged woman's crush at the moment...
Above: the Dansbandskampen jury with presenter Peter Settman. Yes that is Magnus Carlsson, he's on the jury...another reason to watch!!