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Café 44's large enthusiast Tompa Eken celebrated with concert

in the Morning and a smooth cup of coffee with Tommy ”Tompa Eken” Ekengren in Hand, his home. We sit three hundred and fifty yards from the place where it all began – Ultrahuset. A träkåk on Källvägen 9 as arctic Ultra, after assiduous efforts, had to rent by the municipality in 1980. The inspiration came not least from the Oasis in Rågsved, ”require an oasis in every suburb!” read the banner where the.

was just in the 30 square, but we just poured on, it was two thousand bands who played where in total, around fifty, came from the united states and England. We would only be there for a year maximum, but it was eight, " he says. During these eight years also played Dave Grohl in the house, later the drummer in Nirvana, the soon world-famous Black Flag – as well as Ebba Grön.

" It was the first time that we took admission, ten crowns, previously it was voluntary to pay. For me who grew up in the sixties with bands like the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Beatles, The Who, the Kinks and the Animals, so, punk was the same rock’n’roll feeling again, though I was never any punks.

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in 1987, the news came that the house would be demolished. A number of demonstrations followed, the subsequent occupation and then the police came and Ultrahusets saga was all in August 1988. Two years later it was Ekengren with and arranged the first gig at Kafé 44 in Kapsylens large brick building in Södermalm, stockholm.

" I put in the time and fed on the gigs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We had built up a network of contacts over the years in the Ultrahuset and it was enough with the small A4 posters, ties pull often its own audience, " he says.

and was decorated with graffiti. A svetskunnig friend built the loft for connection. The freshly baked cinnamon buns, a specialty from the Ultra-years, soon became famous. Sixty pieces per evening, the first sheet always has the band got to share.

Last year, Tommy Ekengren, so her last week at Tjärhovsgatan 46 and retired.

" It was almost 28 years at 44, with a 9.000–10.000 bands that played, what should I say ... I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience it. This is how I feel about it.

Photo: Lars Lindqvist

He identifies especially the young audience from the whole of greater Stockholm. Thousands of unknown bands have stepped out on the small 44-scene, but also very well-known. The Hives, Weeping Willows, Hellacopters, Sahara And, Stefan Sundström, Marit Bergman, Freddie Wadling, Love Antell, Kent, Latin Kings, Moneybrother, Backyard Babies and Aunt Hassles, for example, (and Ebba Green who played a few songs at a party in 1996 for his friend and tour manager Blutte that filled evenly).

There were twenty people in the room when The Hives played there the first time, but took the direct that they be world class, " says Tommy Ekengren and smiles. We have often got there the band before they become big and then come back when they become known. Hellacopters first gig was also special for they wore dresses and Pippi Longstocking braids and then drew in again the worst fetrocken.

Tusentalsband have been on stage at Café 44. Photo: Lars Lindqvist

– Music and klottret on the walls and that we only brought a few bucks in the entrance have created a special atmosphere, a love, replies Tommy Ekengren. The proximity between band and audience has meant a whole lot for it. Thomas Öberg in Bob the Dog went on their extended hands during a gig, from the stage to the mixing desk and back.

the Lack of age limit has also been crucial for the Café 44's importance, he adds.

– It is the age limit everywhere in town, otherwise, you have to have money and ... tie to get in. I've never been a commercial konsertarrangör but just a fan of the bands, the music, " he says and circle some of their favoritorkestrar of the less-famous battle – as Mr Marmalade And His Crusts, Los Bohemos, and Worried Turkeys from Tumba.

"For me is the kanonband that may not show so much, but still often drew a full house of 44:an," he says. All of the concerts through the years has been recorded and will now be digitized.

In the kitchen at Café 44. Photo: Lars Lindqvist

" It must come from them themselves if there shall happen anything, it shows Greta Thunberg in the day. The commercial interests have always been ahead of the and controls everything. Sweden is also in the outskirts of befolkningsbältet, we are relatively few. Looking to the south, for example, in Germany, there have always been more people that have been in the time of the activities and attracted audience. It also has cultural activities been controlled from the top, from the politicians, and we have bowed for them, " he emphasises.

" I think that the Gula Villan (the music scene in Haninge cultural park, which opened in 1990, and which has long been difficult to get the business to make ends meet financially), is an extension of Ultrahuset and Café 44. We need to constantly protect these venues, where you have the opportunity to exercise this type of culture. An oasis in every suburb!

– It is a great honor, of course, I can only bend and bow, it is quite unlikely. I will be really nervous when it is time. But really should all be if every human being on earth, all of the eight billion – how many of them have not worked all their lives without receiving anything in return? There are many retirees that are here in the Hand and picks the empty cans, it is shameful.

I vette fan, I don't want to use that word, I'm just fortunate. I am a musikidiot and has only really got the space to do something that I love.

I have full up with the family and our teenagers, I also read a lot of history books. Life just continues. In addition, I run the coffee service on Wednesdays in the basement of our apartment building for the people in the area. There is coffee, tea and juice and so I bake.

– It is a given – but I also do mockarutor, chocolate balls and sponge cake. I run with the cost price, the coffee for five bucks, a bun for two.

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