I'm From Barcelona
Emanuel Lundgren gets up at noon, when we are already supposed to meet up at the venue. He looks a bit rough and appears to be suffering from the aftermath of the previous party night in the tourbus of the more-than-twenty-members band from Jönköping, Sweden. But Emanuel, the head and lead singer of I’m From Barcelona, is a die-hard performer. As soon as he takes his acoustic guitar in a small shopping center in the outskirts of Vienna, he gets going and immediately starts playing his first song “Houdini” from the new album “Who Killed Harry Houdini?”, the second LP since the band was founded in 2005. While we are still trying to set up a malfunctioning mic (and audibly fail in doing so; apologies for the bad sound), Emanuel heavily flirts with a tethered dog that is obviously thrilled by the red-haired Swede’s performance and finally rewards him with a tender dog’s kiss. “This was magic”, Emanuel says as he bids farewell to his four-legged friend. At the end of the second song “Gunhild”, that he performed with the background sound of passing underground trains and lorries, Emanuel walks towards the place where he met the dog before, finishing with a screamed and longing “I know that you are hiding in there, can I let you out?”
At first sight there is not much reason to visit Erdberg, the southern part of Vienna’s third district Landstraße and one of the oldest settlements in the Vienna region. There are few things left which evoke the memory of the area’s rural past with its wineyards and vegetable gardens, apart from Erdberg’s coat of arms, which bares a strawberry. This, however, is based on a linguistic misunderstanding as the German word for strawberry, Erdbeere, bares a strong resemblance to Erdberg. Nowadays, factories, commercial buildings and the highly frequented A23 motorway with its several ramps, characterize the area. Although Erdberg appears rough and industrial, there are some spots that increase the value of the quarter. Arena, a former slaughterhouse, is a cultural centre and music venue, hosting mainly rock and punk concerts and manages to maintain a high-quality of programming for its altogether five stages. Close-by, the four Gasometer-towers form Erdberg’s skyline. The 70-meter high brick buildings, erected in 1896, were formerly used as gas tanks. Around the year 2000, however, the towers were reconstructed by famous architects such as Jean Nouvel and Coop Himmelb(l)au and now feature a shopping centre, flats, a concert venue as well as a student dormitory.