A weekend in Helsinki for me means squeezing in the chance to see five bands in one night, some familiar from earliear blog posts and others completely new to me. Two of those bands were playing at Bar Liberte, and I was able to listen to their full sets and get a little video to share with you.
Lucy Was Driving (acoustic)
Having never heard this band before, an acoustic set featuring only two band members was probably not the best place to start. The set consisted entirely of tales of heartbreak, sung in English. The nature of the set was country in spirit, if not in music. The audience of course chattered all over them, that being the peril of being the first band of the night and having a relatively quiet acoustic set.
As I listened, I came to wonder what the full band sounded like and whether any of the tracks were acoustic versions of their own material; I’m of the opinion that the songs might have had something extra in them if they were unusually emotional versions of the usual electricity-fuelled tracks. I wasn’t quite prepared for how extreme the difference between the usual line up and the acoustic set was. As you can see from the two videos below, there is no resemblance whatsoever and I have to admit, I feel a little sad that I missed the chance to see the full band play. I’ll have to try again some time.
One nice thing I noticed while looking into the band, is that they have a good website, with lots of current news that happens to be in English. They seeem to have been active in collaborating with others – there’s news of the recently released “Rock in Finglish” compilation, a concept born of the desire to promote Finnish bands who perform in the English language. Bands on the album include Fumble, The Spyro, and even the incredibly young and energetic rockers Dawn, who I remember from the Global Battle of the Bands competition last spring.
We interviewed Tom Morgan in spring of last year, around the time when Caroline Street was being built into a full band. The interview contains a video of the first acoustic performance of the ‘Tom Morgan Trio’, but the band’s full lineup is twice the size and it was this that I finally got the chance to listen to at Liberte.
Tom reported himself that he has been looking to play at Liberte for quite some time, and also that it was their drummer’s last gig. I think that these factors combined with a year of practise together, and a short UK tour all contributed to the way that the band exploded onto the stage with a punch and put out an excellent performance. I’ve long suspected that I would enjoy the full band performances of Tom’s songs. Whenever I’ve heard him play solo I am left with the ghost of ‘the band that could be’ lingering in my ears (cue strange mental images) and am glad to report that the full band do indeed live up to that phantom promise.
The set played was a run through of their debut album, Salt N Vinegar, which is on sale now from the band’s website. The song I managed to wrestle onto video from the venue’s terrible lighting is the second track, “Bus Stop Rolex”.
The Spyro were due on stage next, but due to the usual habit in these parts of bands playing later than advertised, I didn’t get the chance to hear them – I had a date with a UK-based to band, who had been flown over to Finland to perform. That’s something for my next post though, stay tuned – and follow us on Facebook. We’re not spammy.