Soffa Rock: Day One

Recently we enjoyed a long easter weekend, and easter means SoffaRock at Cafe Mascot.

Soffa Rock is an Indie Music weekend organised by Soffa.TV and Lucky Productions that has been running since 2010 (when the headlining act was Paleface). Some of the best bands to perform at Mascot over the previous year are invited to fill the usually quiet Easter weekend with music and bring Kallio to life. This weekend is off to an amazing start with the Friday night line up of bands, all of which were superb:

MC Venakko & Kielipeli

MC Venakko and Kielipeli

The event started at 19:30 with “Evening coffee” (Finnish for casual sex). If you believe in maturity ratings, then this duo falls in the 18+ or 21+ category. In fact, they’re certainly illegal in any conservative country. The names should give it away, ‘venakko’ being slang for a Russian person in Finland; kielipeli, which translates as ‘language games’ or ‘toungue games’, is self-explanatory.

The problem with recording video from this set is that it is guaranteed to break all the rules of sites like YouTube. The set ranges from songs that explicitly tout the benefit of 20-year-old male lovers to advertisements for feminine sexual management products. The rapping is humorous and skilled, the statement is makes – explicit rap from the female point of view, for a change – is a strong one. As one who doesn’t understand a lot of the highly educational Finnish language in the songs, one of the most entertaining aspect of watching MC Venakko & Kielipeli perform is to watch the audience reactions, particularly if there are people watching who have no idea what they are letting themselves in for.

If you’re not easily offended or better, if you’re not offended by anything at all, or if you happen to possess an very politically incorrect sense of humour, then this is the group for you.

Rust & Diamonds

The rust is the gravelly, sexy tone of singer Heidi Kiviharju and the diamonds are in the performance. The audience were well and truly captured from the start of this set onwards. I’m very much looking forward to editing the footage of this for Soffa TV. If I asked you to come and see a Tom Waits cover band with a female vocalist, assuming you were wise enough to accept the invitation, you’d still never have guessed it’d be so damn good.

This was the only video or sound footage I could locate for you, do enjoy it (starts from 20 seconds in):

And check out their ridiculously under-liked Facebook page too.


Pop and punk had three baby girls, and they were all called MIAU. Hear what they’ve become:

MIAU are really kicking off at the moment, and rightly so. Their EP-release party is at Bar Loose (Helsinki) on Tuesday 17th of April as a warm up for Russian group Messer Chups. They’re sure to warm up the stage well – they were so kicking at Mascot that the owner was worried about the noise – but who cares? – The audience didn’t mind at all.

Bon Jouni

Bon Jouni

After all of the previous excitement, a little time to chill out and cool off was just what was needed. Bon Jouni provided, with a rich set of alt-rock ballads, guitar and violin combo and male/female vocal blend. I was surprised by how much I liked this set, because cool, calm music doesn’t often get to me. However, the sound in Mascot was rich and full and violin often wins me over; this time was no exception. There was a particularly good performance of the duet in the set, with a simple repeating lyrical theme that plays back and forth between Jouni and the accompanying female vocalist.

The video above is another I particularly like. Continuing our adult theme, it contains strong lyrics, something that I am in two minds about. I find in this style of music it really snaps me out of the mood, but it also adds something different and interesting that differentiates the songs from other ballad-style music. The above video is one song in which it works best. Other’s can be found on the official website.

St. Rasta

St. Rasta at Soffa Rock

Big band baltic hip hop (?!) is perfect to move your feet to and this is the point in the evening where the dance floor filled up. You can check them out here on SoundCloud. The live performance of Kalteva Torni was sweet, but the highlight of the set was the beatbox solo by one of the drummers (pictured above), which we did capture for Soffa.TV. If we don’t use it there I’ll try and get the clip to use here. It’s hard to film when you want to dance, I’ll tell you that – and even harder to film when the musicians are overflowing the stage and mingling with the dancers on a  packed floor.


Aprox has all the dirty beats, and he’s not afraid to use them. As a headliner, it’s interesting to have one man on a stage with his computer, particularly following on the heels of several groups that filled the stage. Julius Valve, the man who is APROX., can pull it off. He pulls it off by going crazy on stage and leading the dance floor riot that inevitably breaks out. Soon there’s no room to watch the performance, because there are too many dancers in the way. Then you dance. It’s a good way to end a late night.

If you want to check the beats out, you can do so from the artist’s Facebook page, but remember to turn it up loud and imagine it’s midnight.


EDIT: Updated with MIAU’s new official music video 20.05.12


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