Live @ Svenska Talande Klubben

April 21st, 2007

As you have probably noticed by now, we are not the most hard-working people when it comes to writing here. So, apologies for the delay in posting this journal and for all the coming ones. But now, let us get to business. We played our first ever gig in Helsinki, and it was also our first radio live show ever. Svenska Talande Klubben was organized by Yle Radio X3M and it was held on the 4th of April 2007.

As usual, we started by packing our vehicles (as usual, cars) with the small amount of equipment we had: only the instruments, two amps, cymbals and a snare drum. It’s nice to go on a trip without the whole nine yards of stuff. Jouni came along from Salo, from halfway, and amused us with really bad jokes for the rest of the trip to Helsinki.

Our asse(t)s.

We had a traditional coffee break somewhere in the middle. I was a bit surprised that Jouni didn’t buy a giant hamburger meal or something like that, with dessert of course. You wouldn’t believe how much that man can eat.

A hungry watchman guarding our gear.

And as you can see from the picture above, Jouni was a bit disappointed from the lack of food. But he managed to survive. Like bears waking up from their winter hibernation, hungry bassists may be angry, so approach them carefully, if you can’t avoid contact with them.

Little joy of life
Johannes and the little joys of life.

Johannes on the other hand was happy as ever. He managed to grow a thumb made of chocolate, so he had every reason to be happy! I settled for bottled water, I’m not the most demanding guy when it comes to nutrition (someone could disagree on this, though).

Kids, not like this
Who is driving with a broken head light??

We got to Helsinki pretty fast, or at least it felt like that, not a lot of traffic, though we expected it. We managed to drive past Korjaamo, but thankfully Johannes noticed it in time, so we could turn back. That’s what you get when you put me to read the map…

When we got to Korjaamo, Captain Murphy was already checking sounds and the sound crew was working. Captain Murphy sounded awesome already in the sound check, all the vocals sounded pretty darn good, backing vocals in pitch and so on, something really nice to listen to. They had cranked their amps, as Spinal Tap teaches us, to 11, and the decibels were something like 110 at the mixing desk, and the guitars weren’t on the PA at all… But yeah, we waited for some time for our turn, and actually got to set up our equipment and to check sounds a bit earlier than we were supposed to. Sometimes the schedules do work, and everything is not late.

The hungry madman

Our gear
Johannes with our gear. And yes, we had only this much equipment.

For once, we had loads of time to check the sounds; over an hour. And we didn’t have to set up the PA ourselves or mix ourselves, always a big plus, I might even get used to it… A bit off-topic, but for instance at Basso we had no one to mix us, and I couldn’t hear guitar on my monitor at all, so Jouni jumped behind the mixing desk in between songs, and raised my guitar volume, a bit of drum roll here…on to Johannes’s monitor. So the result was that I still didn’t hear my guitar, and Johannes didn’t hear anything else but it. But that’s enough for that, back to the story itself. Since the show was aired live, there were three sound checks in practice, one for our monitoring, one for the live sound at Korjaamo, and one for the radio listeners, so it was a good thing that we had time. It comes as no surprise to anyone, that the monitoring wasn’t superb, but I am beginning to be convinced, that this is because of us, not the equipment. Oh, I believe I lied a bit, if I’m not mistaken Johannes heard himself pretty well, but then again, so did the rest of us. Hear Johannes I mean, and that’s pretty much all we heard. I guess some things in life are just too hard.

After the sound check it was time to eat, obviously. There was a tapas table at Korjaamo, good food! And enough to eat too, it’s always nice to eat something other than pizza or hamburgers. The sound engineer had maybe the biggest portion I’ve ever seen. I don’t know how he managed to carry the plate to the table, he must work out a lot. He later told that he had just spent a few weeks in Egypt, and had pretty much no money, so he had to eat as much as he could. With our stomachs full, it was time to be amazed by the backstage area. The whole upstairs (the walls and floor were covered with red fur, nice and soft, probably a top choice for everyone who’s allergic to dust…) was reserved to the bands, and in addition we had a conference room to ourselves. When we got over the amazement, it was time to take a nap before the hardest part of the trip; the interview, in Swedish. None of us speaks Swedish as a native language, but still we had decided to try to speak as much Swedish as we could.

I take my food seriously
You better not touch my food, punk!

After eating, it was time to relax a bit. Sleeping beauties.

I, Jouni and Johannes did the live interview, and we were nervous as hell. I was all shaky a few minutes before the interview, and swore to myself that I would never do this again (after our live set, there was another interview scheduled). The interview went pretty well actually, we managed to stay on our chairs and speak mostly Swedish, only a few words of Finnish got out in the open air. I listened to the interview afterwards, and it went surprisingly well, one could even with a good imagination think that I actually do speak Swedish, so we are proud of ourselves. I somehow managed to mix up facts so that I said we were founded in the beginning of 2005, though it is not the case (we were founded in the beginning of 2006), but fortunately it is not a big mistake. I’ll put that one on the nerves.

The interview
Us just seconds before the live interview.

It’s useful to tune the instruments before the show begins.

Waiting for the show to begin…

Since the show was aired live on radio, the schedules were tight. We started at 9 P.M. sharp. Isa & Petski from Yle Radio X3M gave us last minute pep talks and introduced us, and we started our set immediately after they’d left the stage. We only had 20 minutes to play, so we focused on playing instead of speaking (though we did the speaks in Swedish, a “papukaijamerkki” for us). There were not that many people in the audience yet, but the ones that were seemed to enjoy our music and energy. As I said, we had 20 minutes time, and since we are punctual people, our set lasted for 19 minutes and 20 seconds, that’s pretty well done! After our set Isa & Petski spoke the next song in (probably no one is interested, but the next song was Christina Aguilera’s ”Candyman”). Petski seemed to be genuinely surprised by our set, he probably thought that we would suck, but we didn’t. =) The gig went pretty well, besides the monitoring problems. There were a few delay/reverb -effects in the broadcast, but unlike some of our friends thought, they were not made by us. I don’t have an effects processor built inside of me, a bit of a shame though, it could be useful sometimes.

On stage
Notice my theme-fitting t-shirt!

When we were carrying our equipment off from the stage, designer Stefan Lindfors was interviewed. He was a sort of commentator there. He had a few ideas how to improve ourselves musically, but overall he really seemed to like our performance. We only talked a few minutes with him, but he seemed like a really nice and smart guy.

After the gig we quickly carried our stuff from the stage, and hurried to the second interview. I gave away Will Smith’s Willenium to “Musikmete”, and got Takida’s “…Make you breathe” in return. Yeah! It’s a shame that Radio X3M doesn’t organize events in Turku, the record angling thing was fun. At 10 P.M. Captain Murphy started their set and then it was our turn to relax and concentrate on listening and drink a few cold “Pommacs” we had backstage. They actually started a bit early, there was still some song playing in the broadcast, but the radio listeners didn’t miss more than a minute or two of Captain Murphy’s set. They had monitor problems too, so I guess we are not alone with this problem.

Our conference room, equipped with Wine magazines and a few “Pommacs”.

Ever Since The Day and Captain Murphy
Us with Captain Murphy. Jouni looking mean as hell.

Before we started our drive back to Turku, we had a chat with some of the X3M workers, as I said before, really, really nice people. We took a few posters about the event to put on our rehearsals space’s wall and archives, and then headed back to Turku. It goes without saying that we stopped to eat on our way back, obviously.

Isa, Petski and us
Isa, Petski and us. “Look mom, we’re on radio!”

The road back to Turku
And the road becomes my bride…

Thank you Yle Radio X3M, “Ylen ulkotuotanto” and all the listeners at Korjaamo, we had a blast!