FINNISHED! / music
Yesterday we started the live gig season here in Helsinki in the good old Nosturi. There was a skate/punk evening and the bands playing were mostly the same ones that we already saw like a million times. But, they always rock and luckily they had some new material so it wasn't just exactly the same as three years ago (before moving to Munich). Anyway, I hope we'll find also some new bands during the year.
Helsinki is quite an active rock city though there aren't too many good places to catch a band playing. Here's a list of my usual places. In addition to these there are also some rock bars without live but I'll list them later on. All in all, I would recommend checking out a live act while visiting Helsinki. But be prepared, the beer is expensive. So, to reach the true Helsinki experience you can do it like locals: drink something cheaper before going in, haha.
Hey Nosturi, I'm back!
LIVE ROCK CLUBS IN HELSINKI
NOSTURI is one of the classics and my favourites. The place has original roughness and they have all kinds of gigs. Highly recommendable but of course only if there's a good gig. I heard they are planning to move to bigger location in the future.
TAVASTIA is the only and only classic that has been around for ever. Compact premises, good gigs and a central location. Also a rock disco on Saturdays.
SEMIFINAL is Tavastia's little brother. A really small venue for small bands. Raw, authentic and nothing extra. Stage and beer and that's it.
LEPAKKOMIES is nothing special but I still like the place. The live venue is downstairs and actually the space there is somewhat tight and not ideal for live but they quite often have bands that appeal to me. The location is in the heart of Kallio that is the ("crappy") bar area in Helsinki so before or after the gig you can hit the classic Kallio tour in the near by bars. (Gig listing here.)
CLUB LIBERTÉ has a bit distant location but it fit the bar's personality well. They mostly have beginners and smaller bands playing. So usually music-wise it's not the high end bar but if you like it real, unpretentious and enjoy "grassroots action" so give it a try.
BAR LOOSE is maybe my true favourite as they have a comfy bar upstairs and the live venue downstairs. Again the shape of the concert space is not ideal but oh well, nothing's perfect.
BAR BÄKKÄRI is a basic rock club but for my taste something is missing. I would only go there for gigs.
HENRY'S PUB is a great choice for stopping in for a beer and snacks when you are not planning to have a party. The place smells like deep frying and grease but has it's unflamboyant underground appeal. Sometimes gigs; mostly unknown or downscale (the venue is not really compatible for a big rock concert) but usually also interesting.
ON THE ROCKS is a club, not a bar really even though they have a bar upstairs. More for heavy/metal people so I wouldn't go there just for fun but if they have an interesting gig, why not.
VIRGIN OIL is a bar, restaurant and a concert venue. You can get some ok pizza in the restaurant but as a live location it is rather cold and unpleasant. But the place is big and so they have many kinds of bands playing. Mostly of course those that can attract the room full. So, in only for seeing the band and then out for some other action.
BOOTHILL is funny, weird, awkward, entertaining and sometimes scary depending on the crowd. But it's always real. It can be totally empty or totally full. You never know. They don't have gigs every weekend but they do have a jam night on Thursday's.
KORJAAMO is more of a cultural center and they mostly have totally something else than rock in their calendar. But sometimes you can get lucky and find something interesting in there as well.
There are lot of cool German bands at the moment and I recommend for you to check out the German band called KRAFTKLUB. It takes you to the weekend party feeling and as it is already Thursday so it is just the right time for it.
Since we are soon visiting Berlin, I guess the most suitable song is this: "Ich Will Nicht Nach Berlin" (I Don't Want To Go To Berlin). But other good songs are among others: Zu Jung and Mein Leben. You can also find the band in Spotify.
Also BEATSTEAKS are one of the current big rock bands here in Germany. For me they are just quite ok, but no doubt they are good. Maybe it is just that they have some British rock in them and I never really got friends with the British rock/pop. Here my favourites: House On Fire and Hand in Hand. Beatsteaks has made also other quite interesting music videos, you can find more of them in Youtube.
In Finland there is this Finnish rap wave going on but there are now also a couple of current punk acts that have transgressed the limit of the music media. Take a look.
PERTTI KURIKAN NIMIPÄIVÄT
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurkikka's Name Day) is a group formed by four Finnish punks with developmental disabilities. Their album released 2012 is called "Six cups of coffee and one coke". They really have their hearts in the project. Respect!
What I really love in their music is also the lyrics (which you can find on their website). The lyrics are in Finnish but use the Google Translator to understand. For Example, the song Pyhäpäivä (Sunday that is called in Finnish "Holyday") goes like this:
It was Sunday
I went to church
I got some coffee
I took a crap
KOVASIKAJUTTU (free translation: big fucking deal) is a short documentary that tells about their gig trip to Germany. Totally worth watching.
Pää Kii (Shut Up) is a punk group that also represents well the Finnish ramopunk tradition. The band is praised from both critics and the underground audience. They will perform next summer also at the Roskilde festival. Pää Kii sings in Finnish but as the band also asks, why should it matter? Other bands sing in foreign languages in Finland. Why not the other way round?
We visited London a while ago and of course I did some second hand browsing also there. So, what I found from London was two jackets. They both are from Brick Lane second hand markets. For the jeans jacket I paid faaar to much (£45) but for the army jacket I paid only £5. Still I'm happy about the jeans jacket as well because I finally found just the right material for my jeans vest. It is the right color, hardly used, small enough and of course Levi's. Bigger and more used ones I could have gotten for £20-25 but as I am so short legged I feel that tight upper part fits me better.
I seem to have this little perversion to 90's style. Maybe I am trying to feel like 15 years old forever. Anyhow, here's two new modification projects. ...As if I wouldn't have unfinished projects enough.
Around the Spitalfields and Brick Lane, as well as at the Camden Town Stable markets, you can find tens of second hand stores. But the thing with the vintage markets and shops in London is that they sell everything as vintage but actually most of them are just recycled clothing. But they surely always have vintage prices.
I found some cool stuff and of course some of the best items are real vintage. But I am totally not going to pay for used T-shirt £18 or square pattern shirt £20. Only the shoes were maybe in more sensible prices, it makes more sense to pay £20 for leather shoes than a pullover.
Street art somewhere around the Spitalfields/Brick Lane markets area.
London was darn cold so we ended up doing mostly bar hopping. We checked out maybe twenty bars in two and a half days. We found some good ones and popped in also in some shitty ones only because we were freezing and needed some warm up. All in all, many liters of beer consumed!
About bar hopping in London I have to say that it is impossible and pointless to try to visit all the good ones at once since there are so many and they are so scattered around the city. Maybe it is still worth pinning some places to your map so that you can stop by if your way happens to pass some place.
HERE'S MY LIST OF ROCK BARS & GIG VENUES IN LONDON:
In front of the Cargo Club...don't go in there.
I am a upcycling enthusiast, passionate rock fan and a lifestyle anarchist from Helsinki, Finland. At the moment I live here in Munich, Germany and my mission is to introduce the tradition of Nordic handmade design to Munich. Join me in joy of crafting and being against!
And as a small flashback to my roots I would like to show this piece of music video that is made in my tiny crappy hometown Kemi (Finland) by boys from back there. The video is shoot in our old "livingroom" Bar Koodi. ...And I have to say the video is pretty damn realistic, haha.