GIG REVIEW: Cardigans at the Eventim Apollo


WHERE? Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith

WHEN?: 7/12, last night of the current tour

SETLIST: Paralyzed; Erase/Rewind; Explode; Starter; Hanging Around; Higher; Marvel Hill; My Favourite Game; Do You Believe; Junk Of The Hearts; Nil; Live And Learn; For What It’s Worth; And Then You Kissed Me; Don’t Blame Your Daughter (Diamonds); You’re The Storm; I Need Some Fine Wine and You, You Need To Be Nicer; Communication; Iron Man; Carnival; Lovefool; 03.45: No Sleep

We last saw Sweden’s The Cardigans in Bristol in 1996 as Lovefool hit number 2 after featuring in Baz Luhrmann’s film Romeo + Juliet and years before the Gran Turismo album, which is played in its entirety here.

  • Read on for reasons including how the set twice included moments that had never affected the band before

Twice during this set the sound drops out from under the band so it is almost inaudible and the 1st time (around song 7, Marvel Hill) lead singer Nina Persson observes: ‘That hasn’t happened to us in 20 years – weird.’

It happens again during the band’s biggest hit, the aforementioned Lovefool, and the crowd literally don’t care singing back the chorus: ‘Love me, love me, say that you love me …’ until the sound kicks back in again.

Elsewhere, Persson wishes their best-selling Gran Turismo LP happy birthday before imploring: ‘Let’s move on.’

We’re here because we still love the album’s lead single, the adrenaline-fuelled guitar pop blast of My Favourite Game, and it, alongside fellow hit Erase/Rewind from that era, doesn’t disappoint.

For whatever reason we don’t remember much of The Cardigans’ back catalogue after Gran Turismo and we’re pleased to report the choice cuts here are country-infused and see Persson sporting a harmonica.

During the encore we’re reminded how gloriously St Etienne Carnival is and the Black Sabbath cover (Iron Man) just proves how idiosyncratic they are.


The Cardigans haven’t released any new material since 2005 and this show is the finale of 4 UK dates in quick succession which prove how popular they continue to be – and that there’s certainly demand for new material to freshen up their fine set.

We agree with Persson that the band should move on with new material – and bring their audience along with them for the ride.

  • Picture by Jenny Baumgartner via Facebook courtesy Cardigans. Tickets
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook


  1. Elk Lektik · December 8, 2018

    Nina Person has a voice & stage presence of a Swedish Dusty Springfield, a huge emotional & vocal range, as powerful with the slower songs as the banging ones. The crowd were delighted to have the rare opportunity to hear the Cardigans live. The band could feel this. The post Gran Turismo tune selection was perfect. ‘The Storm’ had me in bits at it’s beauty.


    • mrmonstagigz · December 8, 2018

      We did think what a beautiful smoky quality Nina still has to her voice.


  2. David · December 8, 2018

    Wow mate , is this what you called a concert review ? I am sure they are calling you from Rolling Stone asking you to join their payroll ?


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