If the Swedish world of stand up has a spiritual centre, around which it revolves, it is Södermalm. On the Facebook group for stand up comedians, whenever a new club opens up, the question is never 'Where in Sweden?' or even 'Where in Stockholm?', but 'Which part of Söder?'.
There's hip Söder, old school Söder, nouvelle Söder, central Söder, the edge of Söder and occasionally a few real mavericks who dare to open a club off-Söder or even off-off-Söder.
On Saturday, I put together a night that broke the Söder mold... I can safely say that it was the talk of all of Söder which managed to unite every stand up fan who lived in and around Söder. Pretty hip, yeah? In fact, so hip, that the original Söder Hipsters haven't even heard of it. That's just how we role in the Söder that is better known as Söderköping.
Not a vegan café in sight, Söderköping is a schizophrenic town buzzing with people in the summer months but pronounced clinically dead in the winter. This Saturday, looked like a summer's day with blue skies and bright sunshine, but the calendar refused to play along, as the town was only showing minimal signs of life.
Despite the population of the town still being in hibernation, we pulled an OK crowd at Lock, Hop and Barrel, but not big enough to break any records. The summer is the goal, and this was very much a trial night to test logistics and check the reaction.
Ola Aurell and Thomas Eriksson, the two real, living, breathing, Stockholmers that I brought down, were both great; individually and also when they finished off the show with 20 minutes of impro. I did a decent set and Norrköping local, Anton Forsberg got big laughs with his Giffle routine.
And we all relished in the tearing apart a group of guys sitting at the front who handed each of us material on a plate that we knocked back at them, riffing on Stockholm, teachers, Latin American Spanish, road cleaners, and mobile phones.
It was a fun night and I think we'll be back. If only so that I can tell people that I'm running a club in off-off-off-off-Söder, just a simple two hour drive from Medborgareplatsen.
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