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Kumpulan Kyläjuhlat 2012

Stadt / City Helsinki 
Land / Country FIN 
Web www.kumpulankylajuhlat.fi
Datum / Date26.05.2012 

Even after three years living in Helsinki, you still discover the one or other annual event you have never heard of before. The "Kumpulan Kyläjuhlat" [in English: "Kumpula Village Festival"], a block party in the Helsinki district Kumpula, is such an example. (There are many of such small local festivals with quite well-known acts in late spring and summer in and around Helsinki, most of those don´t even charge entrance fees, so it´s worth to keep checking the local event calendar!! the ed.) In 2012, the theme is "Helsinki - 200 Years As Capital", and next to gigs on various stages you can find a large flea market, food and drink booths, workshops and on top of that loads of sunshine. Finally, summer 2012 has arrived Finland!

Perhaps Mr. Jones, the lead guitarist of Muddy Bones, has had the same idea and spent a few extra minutes in the hammock; at least he arrives too late to his own gig. Well, we don`t want to resent him for that `cause thanks to his late arrival we are able to see Cherika - whose actual gig we unfortunately missed - with their song "Reach Out".

Then Mr. Jones arrives, and as soon as Muddy Bones start with "Whiskey", this certain Mr. Jones rocks and poses at the edge of the stage as if he was Slash himself. Well, this young guy has charisma, so that he simply can afford it. Next to their own songs, e.g. "Devil Woman" and "Shootin` Gun", the blues rockers around frontman Pete Waters also play some cover versions by The Rolling Stones ("Jumpin` Jack Flash") and Chuck Berry ("Johnny B. Goode"). During the latter, even the Hare Krishna hippies in front of the "Nuorten lava" ["Youth Stage"] start headbanging. The only downer: Although the "STALKER Fresh Act July 2012" is the last band performing on this stage, they don`t play any encores, "because of the delayed start". The audience would have been happy to see and hear more...

For us, it continues about three hours later with the programm on the "Juhlalava" ["Festival Stage"] where the Barbe-Q-Barbies offer a truly grandiose Rock`n`Roll performance. Is it because of front woman Niki Rock, now with blonde short hairstyle, the guitarists Kaisa and Ekkis, the bass player Minttu or drummer Niina, the other new blonde in the band, that some men in the audience take the title of the opener "Aggression" literally and tear down the barrier tape between them and the stage, to be closer to "Finland`s hottest girl rock band"? In any case, the ladies don`t get distracted by that, and with songs like "My Salvation", "Spell", "Saturday", "Twisted Little Sister", "Rockstar" and "Love Machine", they play one smash hit after another. Currently, the successor of the debut album "All Over You" is in the making at the "Sound Supreme Studio" in Hämeenlinna. During the performance for the homonymous title track, one male fan manages it to get closer to the stage than anyone else - but he doesn`t want to get into the girls` pants; he encourages the audience to rock along by headbanging and clapping like hell. The crowd follows suit and London, the next station of the girls, can really look forward to a wild party. Already for this one gig, the whole "Kumpulan Kyläjuhlat 2012" would have deserved 10 points out of 10...

It`s getting quite empty before and during the performance of the Cone Village Band. Also our main focus is on the announced special guests, Caroline front man Tommy Gun and Eduardo Martinez, front rocker of The Flaming Sideburns. The latter doesn`t show up at all and it seems that no-one wants to comment on it. All the more Tommy is rocking like there is no tomorrow with his two cover versions by Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Suzie Q") and The Rolling Stones ("Jumpin` Jack Flash"). He inspires the fans so much that they start again to tear down the barrier tape in front of the stage, like they did it during the Barbe-Q-Barbies gig. After the wild Rock`n`Roll action of Tommy, it`s even harder for the actual front man of the Cone Village Band, Marko Lehtinen, to return on stage. Now, people are booing continuously. A less glorious final for our last gig today...

Conclusion: A block party with a quite colourful programme, great gigs including a lot of "Jumpin` Jack Flash" and "barrier tape action", and even more sunshine. Although you can never count on the latter beforehand, you should have the "Kumpulan Kyläjuhlat" on your list of events which are worth to be visited every year...

+ photos: Stefanie Singh

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