Neil Shipley is a lecturer and coach in intercultural competence and communication, and a member of Stockholm’s Gay Choir. Born in England, he’s lived in Stockholm for over 20 years and regularly blogs about his observations of swedes, Swedish traditions and culture, and everyday life in Stockholm on his blog.
What’s the best concert venue in Stockholm?
Nalen! I recently saw 80’s superstar Alison Moyet there, and it was magical.
What’s been your best concert experience in Stockholm, both as an audience member but also as a performer yourself?
As an audience member it was KD Lang, when she played at Cirkus in 2004. She has a magnificent voice and charisma. As a performer it was when Stockholm’s Gay Choir performed our ‘Erotik och Politik’ show. The concert was about the history of the gay movement and it really resonated with the audience and moved them.
If you had to sum up Stockholm with one piece of music – pop, rock or classical – which would it be?
‘Vita Bergens Klockor’ by Little Jinder.
What do you bring with you from Sweden when you visit friends and family in England?
It used to be a cheese slicer, but I’ve already bought one for everyone back in England. These days I love to just show them new pictures I’ve taken on my smartphone.
Which Swedish tradition do you look forward to the most each year?
I love the fact that there are so many traditions in Sweden and that Swedes really have embraced them. This is a regular topic on my blog since we’ve lost most traditions in England. My personal favorite is Kräftskivan (August’s crayfish party). I like the fact that you gather with your friends and family, eat great food, drink snaps, sing together and just have a fun time.
Name a restaurant you can’t afford to miss when visiting Stockholm.
Nytorget 6 and Urban Deli. Both are on Södermalm and both are very LGBT-friendly. If you’re here during the summer Mälarpaviljongen is a must. It’s a great bar, restaurant and casual hang-out spot. The pier by the water is unmatched during warm summer days when the place packed with an LGBT-crowd.
Which is your favorite area I Stockholm for a casual walk?
I love taking a walk in Sofo, or in the streets around Mariatorget on Södermalm, just to watch people or have a look at the shops there. There are also some wonderful places on Södermalm like Fjällgatan and Monteliusvägen to take in the view of the city. When you stand there you’re really struck by how beautiful Stockholm is.
When are you proud to be a Stockholmer?
All the time. When I perform with Stockholm’s Gay Choir I feel very proud every time we go out on stage to meet our audience. I’m proud when I get visitors from abroad and hear them wax lyrical about how beautiful Stockholm is. And I feel proud during Stockholm Pride when I walk in the parade with my husband and friends.