“The live arrangements are more moving and powerful than the original CD versions because the songs have have grown stronger with time.”
Release date: January 9, 2017
1 DVD Digipak, 2 audio CD
and a 12 page booklet
(The DVD is region free)
No Place Like Home
The Concert by HFMC
No Place Like Home-The Concert by HFMC
Reviewer: Dr. Steven Blomerth
Hasse Fröberg is a singer, songwriter and guitar player who is best known internationally for his twenty years of work with the Progressive Rock band,The Flower Kings. In 2008 Hasse Fröberg formed the band HFMC (Hasse Fröberg and Musical Companion) during a 4 year hiatus between Flower Kings tours and recordings. In the HFMC band Hasse Fröberg has been the main songwriter and band leader and now, after recording three albums of striking music in the Progressive Rock vein, he has recorded a breathtaking live DVD with 100 minutes of his music with HFMC as well as 2 Flower Kings songs. (The package includes a 2 CD set of the music as well, so you can hear the music in any setting.)
Several things are notable about this live performance DVD, but the number one achievement is that the live arrangements are more moving and powerful than the original CD versions because the songs have have grown stronger with time. If you thought you knew this material it is now tighter, more rocking and more soulful. If you are unfamiliar with either the Flower Kings or HFMC this DVD concert is a good place to start because seeing music this well composed and played in a live setting is a rare treat. If you have heard live Progressive Rock albums that did not equal the tightness or the punch of the studio sound No Place Like Home will be a revelation of how good the sound can be and how tightly a band can play. The sound quality is excellent in both the quiet and the louder sections and surprisingly impressive when the keyboard acoustic piano sounds are the only instrument playing; it sounds like a grand piano playing right in your living room, it is so clear and powerful. The camera work allows you a chance to see all 5 talented members contribute to the uplifting music, including a nice overhead view looking down on the drum-kit where drummer Ola Strandberg works his rhythmic magic.
What does Hasse Fröberg’s music sound like? It is above all melodic, thoughtful and emotional, with quiet moments as well as heavy rocking passages and dramatic choruses that elevate the music as well as the message for maximum impact; much like a good symphony. When you hear Hasse Fröberg’s strong voice in this DVD you will find he can sing tender, soaring melodies as well as rock hard. Here is an example of Hasse Fröberg’s tender singing with the Flower Kings on “Stardust We Are” (which is the final song on the No Place Like Home DVD by HFMC).
The songs featured in this 100 minute set are taken largely from the three HFMC CD’s although there are also 2 previously unreleased tunes as well as the 2 Flower Kings songs. There are several longer pieces such as “Pages”15:27, “In the Warmth of the Evening”10:33 and “Fallen Empire”10:33 which have significant instrumental sections allowing for dynamic changes and opportunities for soloing. Guitarist Anton Lindsjo and keyboardist Kjell Harraldson show remarkable skill and taste when soloing; enough to convince me that they are masters in many different styles. The pacing of this concert is just right with several gentle acoustic moments between the rocking moments. When all 5 members of HFMC sing the vocals have strong harmonies and well blended voices which makes the live performance of these songs all the more musical.
The No Place Like Home DVD is also rare in that it was recorded and filmed at one night’s performance and no overdubs or changes were made after the fact. This is very rare because as far back as The Who: Live at Leeds album bands have gone back into the recording studio to correct vocal and instrumental weak spots. What you see and hear on No Place Like Home is not only a strong and moving performance; it is also the product of one night’s concert from start to finish, as if you were there. This DVD allows you to see Hasse Fröberg and his friends performing melodic, moving and intelligent music: and what shows throughout is a tight and talented band having great fun with mutual affection for one another. That good feeling flows from beginning to end of this concert. The fact that the live sound is better than most live albums and the arrangement of the music is stronger than the initial releases makes No Place Like Home a must-have addition to your music library and DVD collection.
The HFMC band is: Hasse Fröberg: lead vocal, rhythm, twin lead and slide guitar, Anton Lindsjo: lead and twin lead guitar, 12 string acoustic guitar, mandolin and backing vocals, Ola Strandberg: drums, 12 string acoustic guitar, and backing vocals. Kjell Harraldson:keyboards and backing vocals. Thomas Thomsson: bass guitar and backing vocals.
No Place Like Home – The Concert
No Place Like Home contains music from a time span of 20 years. There’s music from all three HFMC albums, some Flower Kings classics plus two previously unreleased songs. On the DVD you can also find interviews and behind the scenes material from the tour on the “mandatory” extra section. The package includes 1 DVD, 2 CD:s, a 12-page booklet with liner notes and all possible information on the recorded show at Reginateatern as well as the HFMC tour.
- Seconds – Intro 01:53
- Can’t Stop the Clock 07:05
- Everything Can Change 05:08
- Godsong 04:53
- Pages 15:27
- Valleys and Fields 02:28 (Previously unreleased)
- Song for July 04:49
- Chasing a Dream 07:47 (Previously unreleased)
- Genius 06:50
- Something Worth Dying For 05:10
- In the Warmth of the Evening 10:33
- Life Will Kill You 04:06
- Fallen Empire 10:33
- Venice CA 04:48
- Stardust We Are 04:25
- Someone Else’s Fault 01:41
“Of course it’s important to play the right notes and to sing in the right key etc. but to me it’s even more important to be able to touch and move people. Considering the response we’d get from the audience during and after our sets, I can only say we’ve been very successful in that sense and that alone is making me sitting here in my living room feeling happy, tired and uplifted at the same time as I’m writing this. I wish I could say we had a full house every night but that was not the case. We had poor turnouts on some occasions but not even that can take away from me thinking we did the right thing. In fact I’m pretty happy how things turned out and I know that the people who attended the concerts will look at Hasse Fröberg & Musical Companion as a great live band from now on.”
I’m going to leave you guys with the words that our German Tech/Roadie Olly Uhl (over 40 years in the business and has worked with every name you know of) said to me after the last show: “To have witnessed you guys playing your beautiful music with the vocals spot on and not a wrong note played for 9 nights in a row, is impressive even to me”. Well it might not be 100 % correct but thank you anyway Olly”
– Hasse Fröberg
Dr. Steven Blomerth
Doctorate of Chiropractic, Logan College 1982
My ears were first opened to Progressive Rock in 1969 by listening to King Crimson’s album In the Court of the Crimson King. By having some formal musical education, many friends professionally involved in music and a home recording studio I have gained insight into what it takes to write as well as perform music. I try to apply what I have learned both as a fan and as a musician to my writing about Progressive Rock music.