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Finn fest comes to town again

by Eija Niskanen

Over the last few years, a Finnish rock event has come to be a fixture on the May calendar in Tokyo. This time the event, supported by the Finnish Institute in Tokyo and put together by the music agency Creativeman, will be held on May 29 at Liquid Room in Ebisu.

Getting the night off to a great start will be “Boys Evening” featuring the melodic rock band Carmen Gray, whose latest CD, “Welcome to Grayland,” was released in Japan last autumn. They are followed by Sunrise Avenue, among whose melodic ballads and dynamic rock numbers, “Fairytale Gone Bad” was an international hit. Founded in 2006 by vocalist and lead songwriter Samu Haber, the band won the European Border Breaker Prize in 2008. Rounding up the boys’ team is heavy-metal unit Naked, a top outfit in this genre that’s hugely popular in their homeland.

The evening then eases into “Girls’ Night,” with the romantic pop of Indica, then on come electro-pop band TV OFF with its hyperactive vocalist Sara and deadpan music man Markku forming an interesting duo. Rounding up the evening are Stalingrad Cowgirls, whose name pays homage to Leningrad Cowboys, the Aki Kaurismaki movie spin-off group. This trio of 20-year-olds from Lapland play energetic punk with classic Ramones-type guitar riffs.

Special presenter will be Michael Monroe of glam-rock band Hanoi Rocks, making his second visit this year following Hanoi Rocks’ farewell tour in March.

Finland Fest 09 at Tokyo Liquid Room, with DJ Top Billin is on May 29 from 6:30 p.m. (doors open 5:30 p.m.). Tickets ¥5,000, includes one drink. For more info, call (03) 3462-6969.