Sunday, July 20, 2008

My Own Summer 2008

Tammerfest 2008 is far behind already but I want to make some notes about what I witnessed in Vanhan kirjastotalon puisto in Tampere on Saturday 12th. As a wannabe music journalist I enjoy writing gig reviews as well as album reviews (This blog, however, is not intended to be very journalistic in style because it’s only about blabbing about things I like or find interesting).

My Own Summer is probably the most interesting thing about Tammerfest city festival. It is a one –day happening, it’s free, and there are always new, promising Finnish indie rock bands performing (and some metal bands too). This time there were definitely a bit too many glam metal bands – too little variation, too few happy, pop-rocking, melodic bands.. There was something seriously worth seeing, however.

The first band was Lob Nor, a nearly all-girls band, the winners of some rock competition for junior high students. Their music didn’t make a huge impression on me, but they played well, and they had a good singer. It was nice to see such young people playing together as a band. That’s something I’ve never accomplished, even though I surely would’ve wanted to..

On Volcano played an amazingly strong set of shoegazer rock. It was magical. I don’t know much about shoegazing yet but it sounds brilliant with all the noise, good energy and atmospheric sound. I will definitely go to see On Volcano’s next gig, too. The band has released one EP so far.

The highpoint of the day was the folk-punk duo Jaakko & Jay. Jay had a snare drum and one cymbal, Jaakko played acoustic guitar and sang. There was lots of wild energy, and the songs were very, very good. It was so great fun that I hardly recall a gig that would’ve been more fun. The extremely simple instrumentation (a drummer with a two-part drum kit – that’s crazy!) was a big part of the fun, and Jaakko’s excellent vocal expression combined with great pop punk melodies was awesome. These guys don’t seem to want to release anything official but they have some music samples on MySpace, mostly live recordings. There are also a few downloadable songs at I recommend seeing them live. You won’t be disappointed – it’s fresh and extremely lo-fi.

After Jaakko & Jay started the almost unending cavalcade of glam metal bands, none of which sounded particularly interesting to me. There were T.A.P., Lines of Leaving that sounded so much like Lapko that it was quite confusing, and Renoise. These bands had many young female fans standing in front of the stage, but even they didn’t seem to be very excited about the bands. It was quite strange.. But Jaakko & Jay had already made my day.

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