One of the few highlights in the summer of 2011 were the three DJ sessions of The 69 Eyes frontman Jyrki69 at "Alakerta". "Zombie Love Summer Club" was the name of the events series and after the summer was over, the same applied to the relaxed happening. But according to the club advertising, "only one man can save Rock`n`Roll", and as this mission is a one you have to take care of the whole year, the word "Summer" has been removed from the name. So from now on, we can admire the "Helsinki Vampire" on a monthly basis at the turntables and, indeed, he plays a varied mixture of music which I so far only knew from his bandmate Jussi69 - and therefore really appreciate it: From Gothic to classics like The Doors to Rockabilly to Sleaze, Glam and Hair Rock really everything is covered in the playlist! But to save Rock`n`Roll for real, you have to come up with more than just DJing; supporting new talents from the underground, for example. And that`s what Mister Linnankivi is doing now additionally - and already his first live-act in September 2011 impresses us so much that we are going to crown her as our "Fresh Act" for October 2011 right away...
By choosing Irma, Jyrki69 not only proves his good taste in music once again but also courage as the young lady represents again a total different genre, namely "Singer / Songwriter". Maybe that`s the reason why the lobby of the "Nosturi" is opened in addition to the "Alakerta" - but, unfortunately, the big run doesn`t take place tonight, despite the musical diversity. As usual, the audience mostly consists of Goth Rock and The 69 Eyes fans who partly came all the way from Germany this time. With Elvis` "Blue Moon", Jyrki69 tries to get the club in the right mood for Irma and, indeed, when she enters the stage with her black acoustic guitar, takes a seat on the stool and starts her set with "Wanted", the audience is deadly quiet and spellbound by her acoustic performance. Well, except that one table with the fans who travelled all the way from Germany to Finland: They just continue their conversations vociferously like there isn`t any gig going on. The rest of the club bid them be quiet repeatedly, first politely and then insistently. Nothing changes until paper balls are thrown on them. Finally they are silenced - but now, songs like "No Fear", "Lost" and "In Vain" has been performed already. It`s truly a pain in the proverbial if inconsiderate club-goers spoil other people`s concert experience by such a disrespectful behaviour. As Irma will tell us later in the interview, she herself didn`t noticed those occurrences at all as she was too focussed on her vocals and her guitar. After a while, we can smile again and forget the incidents, also thanks to funny comments like "Is that Whiskey?" when Irma repeatedly grabs her glass of water. "Such a strong voice doesn`t appear from nowhere, does it?"
The feedback in "Alakerta" is so positive that Irma is asked to come back on stage after her regular set, to play three further songs as encore. One of them is "I`m On Fire", a coverversion by Bruce Springsteen. The audience is on fire, too, and heap praise on Irma after her gig while Jyrki69 returns to the turntables. One of the few chances to see Irma live on stage still in 2011 is on 25th October at "Siltanen" in Helsinki as the Finnish-Georgian artist will spend the rest of the year mainly in the studio to record her first album, together with none other than Johnny Lee Michaels. So the prospects for 2012 are promising already by now...
Setlist: 01. Wanted
02. No Fear
04. In Vain
05. Swimming With The Sharks
06. Black Box
08. Like Others
09. Run (Runaway Run)
10. I`m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen cover)
11. Take Me Home