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Next to Michael Monroe shows also the biggest tattoo event in Finland - "Helsinki Ink." - took place on this weekend, including aftershow parties at Bar Bäkkäri. We made it there just on Sunday evening, thinking that the Santa Cruz acoustic gig had already taken place. But to our surprise, two young men suddenly appear around 1 o`clock and take their seats on the black leather-covered stools on stage...
Their names: Tommy Gun (Vocals and Guitar) and Ville Vainio (Guitar), better known as 2/5 of the Finnish rock band "Caroline". I have heard the name several times before but not the music, and judging from a recording, I would rather expect a guy who has emptied whiskey bottles and smoked like a chimney for a few decades, because of Tommy`s coarse voice. Yet the Caroline frontman is just 22! Unbelievable! And if you have such a coarse voice like this, an Elvis cover song ("All Shook Up") is inevitable, which is well-done. The highlight of the whole set, however, is another cover version: "Taxi Driver", by Finland`s most legendary rock band Hanoi Rocks. Obviously, this is a weekend where their spirit is omnipresent...
The only annoying thing during this acoustic performance is the fact that 80% of the huge crowd just continues blabbing, the noise level is accordingly high and therefore Caroline are degraded to background music. As one of Ville`s guitar strings breaks, the gig is over quite abruptly... What a pity!
We don`t know if Santa Cruz have actually played, but as Caroline were not announced and Ville appeared to read his guitar notes from a note on his knees, we assume that this gig happened at short notice. Against great odds the skill of this band was noticeable and we are looking forward to see them again under better circumstances – we´ll keep our eyes (and ears) on them!