Three memorable gigs in Helsinki

1. Tarharyhmä, ca. 1995. That was Maija Vilkkuna’s old band, an all-girl punk outfit that played everything double fast (if you have eMusic, look up Jenny Choi and the Third Shift, “My First Time” – that’s what they sounded like). My neighbor Paulina T. was in a Finnish class with Maija and we hung out with her in the lobby of Tavastia before the show. It was before anyone knew who she was; five years later she couldn’t walk into a classroom without everyone feeling the silent frisson of rockstar.

Between 1996 and 2003 I was doing the hardest part of my graduate work and didn’t really get out much.

2. Steel Wheels and J.M.K.E., ca. 2004. Two Soviet-era punk bands from Estonia, come to Senate Square to play at a celebration welcoming Estonia to the EU. J.M.K.E. is more famous but I mainly heard Steel Wheels, who I was told at the time were J.M.K.E., and who played an Estonian version of the Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen” with the lead singer prancing around wrapped in a Union Jack in the Estonian colors.

3. The Lucksmiths, this evening. “… One for Steve … yes, Steve the Crocodile Hunter Irwin, dead today from a stingray barb through the heart … yeah, big fucking surprise… the guy wrestled snakes … only a matter of time, really … he went the way he wanted to go … actually, his first choice was an adder bite in the balls, stingray was only number two … we’d like to thank you all for coming out on a Monday night … Monday, what is this, don’t you guys have school tomorrow?”

No, I’m all done, thanks. But yes, I kind of do, in the sense of having things of no direct utility that I need to get up and do in order to have a better life later.

At some point this entry will have links and also a picture of the Lucksmiths fridge magnet which was as Anth said a bargain at 1€. The fuel to fly it here probably cost more than that.

Posted on by Diana ben-Aaron
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