Bigger punk events are relatively rare in the mostly metal dominated country of Finland, so when I notice an interesting event popping up, I just have to try and be there. Helsinki Punk’n’Roll Day 2018 was such an event! A couple of Swedish punk decided to take their concept from Stockholm and bring it over here to Helsinki. With them they brought Swedish punk band Puffballs, a handful of talented and experienced Finnish bands and as cherry on top, the UK punker legend Anti-Nowhere League! Elmun Baari in the Nosturi building was the place to be and that was the place that I’d be for a night…
Due to a combination of bad weather and time schedule confusions, I sadly as good as completely missed The Scum Orchestra. What I did hear from them while I was entering the venue sounded like some really fun folky punk rock. I’ll be looking forward to catch them at HVNK PNKRCK 4.0 where they will be playing as well during Spring 2019!
Then it was time to see my first band of the day with The Shrieks (***1/2). This Finnish band brought one of those genres in the punk scene that always gets me going: psychobilly! The 3 gals and temporarily replacement on guitar played a very lively set that rocked ‘n’ rolled like there was no tomorrow. Bouncy guitars, rumbling contrabass, driving drums and a frontwoman that was jumping around as if she swallowed some springs, all translated into a high energy show with a shitload of fun! Too bad that besides the one guy that danced like a crazyman, not a lot of people in the small crowd present seemed to be too invested in moving.
When The Pistones (***) were about to start, the amount of people clearly grew a bit and there were noticeably more skinhead styled punks hanging around. The band played a nice set of easy-going punk rock/Oi! music rooted in emotions and anger. It wasn’t anything too crazy special, but definitely well-crafted and executed music. Wouldn’t mind seeing them again some time!
The Swedish organisation of this little festival brought their countrymates of Puffball (***1/2) with them. Not knowing what to expect, we were blasted by energetic, fast and raw yet melodic punk music. One of their old releases is called Swedish Nitro and that actually seems a spot on description of the music! With vocals that at times sounded like a mad dog barking in the mic and actually almost seemingly swallowing the microphone regularly and a guitarist that just couldn’t stand still for a second, they went through their set like madmen and left us stunned at the violence that hit us.
But the violence and speed of Puffball only prepared us a little bit for the raging storm that was Ratface (****). This Finnish band brings some of the most aggressive and fast hardcore I’ve seen to this point with some tracks maybe lasting 10 seconds. Vocalist MC Respektor was the most active of the bunch, running back and forth on the tiny stage, jumping, kicking, rolling over the floor and even do some kind of a crab walk, all adding even more energy to the whole gig. They really left me and presumably quite a part of the crowd dumbstruck and with an open mouth about what the hell just raged over us all.
And finally it was time for the band a lot of people were looking forward to the whole night: the legendary UK punk band Anti-Nowhere League (****1/2)! This street punk outfit has been around since the early eighties and has a huge cult status in the punk scene. The only original member is vocalist Animal, who doesn’t seem to have changed one bit from the early days, except for having aged a little. They’re still tight as fuck, they don’t like the government, society or Metallica (who made their song So What rather famous), they easily rock the place to bits and are an absolute delight to behold. If you feel the need to experience some of the good old days of the UK Oi! and street punk scene, this is a must see!
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