Strand is no stranger to Hornstull, but Debaser is definitely the new cool kid on the block. Only taking over the concert venue recently, Debaser has given new life to the Strand we all know and love. So what’s the big deal about Debaser Strand? What makes it such a popular spot for Stockholm’s music lovers?
The location couldn’t be more dead on for a concert venue. Tucked away down below on the waterside of Hornstull Strand lies exactly what you’d expect to find – a grungy intimate concert hall. One of the best parts of Debaser Strand – it’s hidden. It’s something you’d find hidden under a Chinese food shop in the East Village of Manhattan or on a dead street in Brooklyn. If you know where to find it you can; yet it won’t be blatantly obvious.
Inside The Venue
The venue is dark and mysterious. It’s plain but effective. It’s like stepping into a dark lair of strangeness and secrecy. The walls are dark mostly, which causes the focal point to be the stage – I mean that is the most important thing, right? Piping and ducts line the ceiling giving it that basement venue feel. Some simple paintings line the walls in various places but never take away from the main viewing area. There are a few tables for those who need to rest their drink somewhere but unless the show is completely packed no one is ever fighting to use them.
The bathrooms are impressive as well. They are very clean and particularly nice. Bathrooms can be so hit and miss in concert venues and clubs. It really can make a difference when you’re not scared to used the bathroom.
The stage is small but intimate. The lighting used for the staging is great. They follow the style and sound and they make the stage more interesting and keep people from getting the same exact background in every photo or video they take.
There’s a small nook in the back as you come into the main area and on the left hand side near the front of the stage. Both areas have some seating and are a bit more unique. It’s a great “chill” spot and adds some dimension to the venue. The red curtains give it that warm atmosphere and the paintings on the wall accent the black in a cool way, that doesn’t distract from the performance.
The bar has an industrial feel to it with matches the rest of the club nicely. The lights above the bar are favorite part! There is a good selection of drinks including bottles of Coronas, Red Stripe, and Brooklyn on tap. I guess considering the two restaurants next door it’s not a surprise. The other drinks follow the normal Stockholm prices (which suck but are the reality). The bartender is pleasant. Not overly nice but not rude either. They attend to you pretty quickly when the bar isn’t too crowded and the drinks come up fast. The bar is simple though in appearance, but it seems to be what the owners was going for.
The Sound System
The sound system is very good. Singers are very clear over the microphone and instruments and/or beats do not feel strained or distorted. The system brands range from every piece of equipment – Including McCauley, Yamaha, Pioneer for the DJ equipment, and much more. Since Debaser took over the Strand last year the sound quality is at its peak because the equipment is fairly new.
The bouncers weren’t particularly friendly nor the opposite. I get the whole security act that they need to put on so as long as they are not unexplainably rude then I just see it as them doing their job. Some people need authority. That’s a fact. Besides the security outside – those at coat check, at the bar, and even selling the band’s memorabilia were friendly enough. When you asked a question they helped you and with a friendly tone. I think one even gave me a smile!
Overall, Debaser is ideal for seeing those interesting bands that come into the city (or are from the city) and being able to get a more personal gig with them. In venues like these you feel a connection with the band, artist or DJ because the emotions are being executed so directly onto the audience. In smaller venues (but not too small) the atmosphere is created through the feeling of the audience with the sounds and it makes for a magical musical experience.
Words by Angela Markovic