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If you ask Mad Juana about their musical style, you will get the answer that it only ends up in stereotyped thinking if you start to name genres - and that`s not good. Alright. To give you a better picture of their music anyway: Mad Juana is a band consisting of seven musicians who serve an acoustic guitar, an electric bass, a saxophone, a trumpet, an accordion, drums and a microphone. The latter is the job of front lady Karmen Guy who enters the stage with swinging hips, apparelled with oriental-inspired hippie clothes. Everything else, you might have derived from the band`s name already. If not, the band is going to tell you more about their influences now: "New York City Art Rock, Balkan Horns Meet Mariachi Horns, Spanish Guitar, International Reggae, Old World Tarantella, Punk Intentional, Alternative". Well, also STALKER is not a fan of stereotyped thinking but the influence of Alternative / Punk / Rock is low as expected (!). So what lures so many obvious Glam (!) rockers - including my humble self - to a concert of Mad Juana?!? Well, the answer is more than clear if you know that no one less than Sami Yaffa is involved in that band. Even nowadays, Finland`s most legendary rock band Hanoi Rocks is a major public attraction but Hanoi Rocks don`t exist anymore and so the focus is on the former band members and their various projects. Sami Yaffa played the bass for Hanoi Rocks and he is still doing it in the band of Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe. In Mad Juana - whose frontwoman Karmen is his wife, by the way - Sami serves the acoustic guitar.
A plenty of the above-mentioned Balkan sounds is going to be presented by the support act Tundramatiks already. They have a home game here in Helsinki and, indeed, is quite exotic to mix up Balkan sounds with Finnish lyrics so no wonder that almost everyone in "Tavastia" starts to dance sooner or later...
The headliner Mad Juana is a band from New York, by the way, even though they have this very famous Finn in their band. This very famous Finn also might be the reason why "Tavastia" is meanwhile pretty full. But Sami Yaffa is almost forgotten when Karmen enters the stage `cause her pants are so low that you can see nearly half of her butt. We are pretty perplex `cause this fact won`t be changed till the end of the show. Well, it must have been intended...
The songs of the setlist mostly range between "Spanish Sounds" and "Globalista", laced with "Balkan Beats". As in the case of Tundramatiks, it sounds exotic but although both acts are not really my kind of music, I have to admit that the first band have pleased me a bit more than the main act. While the music of Tundramatiks makes you smile every now and then, Mad Juana starts to be annoying very soon. It is just too much; too many musical instruments are involved.
To their luck, I might be only one of a few concert visitors who see it that way; the majority likes it and is partying the hell out, especially during the final Mary Hopkin cover "Those Were The Days"...
Yeah, Hanoi Rocks, those were the days! How about another reunion, Sami?