Montag, 10. Juni 2013

Nightingales & Pontikka & Nubians


Arriving in Rovaniemi 10.00 am. Blue sky, sunshine, get picked up by Mäxi the Nightingales' drummer and his girlfriend Kirsi. This town always feels a bit like coming home. Afternoon rehearsals with Jorma (the Nightingales piano player) and Mäxi. Later on a pleasant little gig at Paha Kurki bar on Koskikatu makes this an enjoyable tour day. Otto Mikkola of Oskari Heikkinen & Arktinen Voodoo is there and passes me their new album. Great stuff as I expected after having them supporting me last year at the Grande just around the corner from here.

Mäxi preparing for the recordings

Recording sessions done and went down really well. Instrumental tracks of two songs fixed and thus half of the upcoming 7" ep. A pleasure working with the guys and sound engineer Tuomas.


Last day in Lapland. Did some cooking for Kirsi, here lovely daughter Sanni and Mäxi. That was most welcome fun. Love cooking. Should do this regularly on tour. Or at least any time there are decent facitilities. Gone for some tapa variation. Albondigas, chicken in white wine garlic sauce and a white beans and  serrano salad. A sunny summer day rounded up in the evening meeting all the boys from back in the days. Greenhouse AC, Nightingales and even Tuomas of Saariston Lapset. Good to see they're all doing fine. Got the second big compliment on this tour from Sanni and had some top notch Pontikka on top.


Timely at Vastavirta, Tampere. Yläkerta, their upstairs cafe, is just like made for my accoustic solo gigs. Amazing place. Attentive audience. After soundcheck the venue people send me to sauna. Just a few minutes' walk down Pispalan Valtatie one can find one of Finland's oldest still running public saunas. A very special place and just the right thing to have after 9 hours on a train and a possibly bit too crazy night at the Arctic Circle. Janne Laurila whom I haven't seen in years turns up for my show, invites me to stay at his place and hands me the latest album of his new band Janne Laurila & Tuhlaajapojat. Another familiar face is Jukka another member of Saariston Lapset. Last met 15 years ago. I still wonder if there is anybody apart from some really weird electronic music nerds who knows this band and how someone could have been so mad to put out their record then. Another miracle about this whacky art-meets-electronic-dada-pop project is that they've done a full tour of Germany after the album release. Gig was lovely. Really lovely.


Endless waiting for soundcheck at Henry's Pub in Helsinki but once we're there it feels most comfortable on stage. Playing a good 50 min set and leave stage soaking wet. My suit I must admit get's after this 7th gig pretty close to a state that can only be described as disgusting. Anyway a good one. The gig i mean. Great to see the Blue In The Face guys and Johan in the audience. Vallu who is hosting these "Helatorstai" clubs is like always brillantly compèring the evening. This hot summer evening's second band is Kap Kap from apparently Helsinki who are playing an eclectic blend of psychedelic indie rock, Bowie and Shellac. Good band. Later on we find out their guitarist and me met before. Some years ago after playing a Midnight Sun Filmfestival sideshow with Desert Planet we apparently had a chat on the river bank in Sodankylä at the traditional end of festival hang out.
Interesting news: Kimmo of Blue In The Face tells me they're going to play some German shows with Fucking World. The latter a punkrock legend from Finland with my old tour acquaintance Näkä Närhi on guitar.


Last day of May 2013 I find myself with two instrument cases and two way too heavy bags on the train to Kuopio. Last solo gig on this tour supporting Faarao Pirttikangas & Kuhmalahden Nubialaiset at Henry's Pub in Kuopio. Get there way too early and too knackered to have a look around town. Particularly because of all the rubbish I'm dragging across Finland.
Not light enough to travel. Not really.

Instead decide to smoke all of my accidentally bought menthol cigarettes and update my tourblog. Failed with the latter.      
The gig turns out to be the most satisfying one on this tour. A good crowd has turned up to see their hometeam Faarao Pirttikangas playing and is surprisingly really listening to what I'm doing. In fact they seem to be really into it. None is leaving, nobody chatting. Sound is fantastic and the playing goes down perfectly well this time. Hot again. Again wet suit. Respectful words and backslapping from the Faarao Pirttikangas guys makes this a perfect last one. Encouraging after a little down this afternoon. The odd tour crisis caught up with me on the way here.
Right after gig. Good there are are no odo-rama pics.

A word about Faarao Pirttikangas. It's a long time since I last heard some band like this perform. I don't think I'm exaggerating saying this is the most inspiring and definitely outstanding band from Finland. Absolutely unique in their way. Fingers crossed the wave of success they're currently riding carries on.

Faarao Pirttikangas right before gig

It's a long one this Friday night in Kuopio. Long talks with the Faarao guys (namely their bassist, their singer Pekka and their trombone player Pertti), run into Tomi Kosonen and Paul Staufenbiel of Aavikko and end the evening in the wee hours on Pekka's balcony, smoking a last ziggy and sipping red wine from coffee mugs round six in the morning. No less than a magic evening here in eastern Finland.
Footnote: before leaving I manage to get me a Kalakukko (no link here - ask Wikipedia or something) on the market square. The real thing.

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