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Not a single note on the web yet, but almost 300 "likes" for the band`s facebook profile - what is Sinner`s Gin about? In order to get to the bottom of this, STALKER even faced the Siberian cold of -29°C to attend the February edition of "Ruohis Rock" - not to be mistaken for the similar-sounding "Ruisrock" in Turku - where Sinner`s Gin had their first official gig. But in the end, we got to see much more than this one live-premiere...
Everything starts with Cherika and their semi-acoustic set which contains besides their own compositions "Don`t Forget" also coverversions by e.g. Bob Dylan ("Knockin` On Heaven`s Door"). For the latter, Shiraz Lane singer Hannes Kett joins Cherika on stage and somehow he and his bandmate Jani (guitar) finalise the acoustic session with the Shiraz Lane song "Too Much". Interesting structure, and in any case two bands that hopefully will be more heard of in the future.
Act number two is musically a little bit out of line: With their Pop Punk a lá Blink 182, Dawn make the audience - mainly Glam and Sleaze kids - slip off to the lobby for a while. Therefore some enthusiastic guys appear in front of the stage to simulate some punky habits such as crowd surfing, while songs like "Way Back" and "Running" are played.
It goes "back to Sleaze Rock" with BadAss Democracy whose setlist covers some reinterpretations, e.g. Michael Monroe`s "Trick Of The Wrist" - but their own compositions are almost more convincing. Just as their little jokes: By playing the intro of Reckless Love`s "Hot", the band causes confusion, but when they burst out laughing, it`s clear that they won`t cover that song seriously. Thank God!
The first official gig and right away the headliner of a festival: Hats off for that, Sinner`s Gin! On the other hand, it`s more than obvious that the majority of today`s audience was lured by the same question, namely what is it about the band around frontman Joel Nybondas. Before this is gonna be answered, we first discover a familiar face behind the drums: A certain Johnny Christer is sitting there as he did it a moment ago for BadAss Democracy, but now he turns out to be the attention whore of the evening. It`s not only his stage presence but also his professional drum improvisations to bypass technical problems later on.
All in all, Sinner`s Gin convince, from their look to the surprisingly deep singing voice of Joel. Only when it comes to the songs, only the coverversions like Hanoi Rocks` "Motorvatin`", KISS` "Parasite" and Guns`n`Roses` "It`s So Easy" stick in your mind and unfortunately none of their own compositions. Cherika / Shiraz Lane and BadAss Democracy were more convincing in this aspect. Well, things can always change, and I`m sure that Sinner`s Gin will make their way one day. As for their very first gig, the quartet has offered more tonight than many other bands that are praised as the new shit in the "regular" nightlife of Helsinki.
The same applies to the "Ruohis Rock" festival in general: This is the place where the future of Rock`n`Roll is supported, and only those who belong to it are allowed to enter the stage. Makes sense since it`s not possible to get drunk when the music is unbearable; alcohol is strictly forbidden in the youth centre. On that note, don`t miss the next "Ruohis Rock" events on 17th March, 11th April and 12th May 2012 to see what the future of Rock`n`Roll will bring...
+ photos: Stefanie Singh
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