Ankkuri klubi is an intimate evening spent on board the restaurant boat Kathrina, docked at the main market square in Helsinki city centre. The main perks are the warm atmosphere of the low-ceilinged wooden cabin and the fact that tasty salmon soup is available to buy throughout the evening while you are being entertained. There’s also own-brand beer, which the bands were keen to advertise and I was given the very insightful advice that it ‘tastes like beer’.
In keeping with the enclosed space, both bands had an acoustic feel, though the sound was still lively and rhythmic. Acoustic sound filled the cabin completely; anything heavier would have been too much.
First up was Nok Nok, who specialise in heavily lyrical music. Songs are in Finnish and tell stories, with humour and insight, about life close to home. The use of Finnish language is inventive and poetic, in the best tradition of Finnish song writing. The most recent songs to be written have a more rhythmic quality and I really like the direction the band is taking. They’re getting better and better. An old favourite of mine, “Punaviini ja nostalgiaa” (Red Wine and nostalgia) has been replaced by “Parempi” (Better), with it’s catchy chorus, ‘Better for me, better for you…’.
As an example of Nok Nok’s lyrical ability, here’s a familiar song… kind of. This is “Kallio Kriipi”, a specially localised cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. It was the only cover in Nok Nok’s set, but it’s a good sample nonetheless.
You can check out some of Nok Nok’s earlier demos on Soundcloud, but to hear the more recent work you’ll have to go to one of their gigs. Upcoming dates are:
05.04 @ Helsinki, Kustaa Vasaa (Katriinamiesklubi)
20.04 @ Helsinki, Club Liberte (Live Garage)
Caroline won points from me by starting off the set with a cover of T. Rex’s Bang a Gong (Get It On), which immediately clarified where some of the inspiration for lead singer Tommy Gun’s glam outfit came from. The get-up included a particularly awesome pair of star-spangled leggings. The band wasn’t all-glam; each band member had their own individual style of dress and performing – there were only three of five members in the line up for this acoustic gig. Caroline’s set was a mix of covers and own music, 60s-70s rock with a blend of UK and US influence. The singing in particular was strong and vivacious, great quality, and really made the performance. My video doesn’t really do it justice, because live it was louder and the acoustic tone of the guitars was a lot less obvious.
On Caroline’s rather popular Facebook page, you can listen to non-acoustic incarnations of their tracks. They also have one event listed in April:
13.04 – Myyrmäki, Molly Malone’s Toppari