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Shiraz Lane “Studio Retreat Party” (Tavastia)

When we saw that our favorite young rockers from Shiraz Lane were having a bit of a party at Tavastia in Helsinki to say bye to their fans, we knew we had to be there. Don't worry if you were thinking that they're stopping the band: they're just going to retreat to the studio to record their second album... And 'till that album is done, there won't be much chances to see them live anymore (except for a few festivals here and there), so we were ready for this party!

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As the opening act and support band for the night, they brought along their friends of Blue Eyes Sons (****). The Helsinki-based rock outfit brings their take on the blues rock from the sixties and seventies. I did not know any of their work on beforehand and they left me thoroughly impressed by their performance. Singer Joel Hellström had quite the presence on stage, bare-chested with shoulders, upper back and chest covered in black smudges that somewhat made me think of the feathers of a black crow or raven. He went back and forth from the main stage area to the little ledge that was build to be closer to the crowd, his overall stage behavior and pose reminding me somehow of Jim Morrison of The Doors. His vocals were loaded with passion and damn impressive. To me those vocals sounded very close to yet another one of those seventies greats: Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin. Backed by a bunch of skilled musicians they brought back that groovy and bluesy sound of the old days and that's something I can only applaud. They've only just released their second EP Animals, but I have the feeling this won't be the last we'll hear of these hard rockers...

 

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After the already impressive opening act, you'd think it would be hard to top that, but luckily main act Shiraz Lane (****1/2) knows how to take over a stage. Known for their always high energy act, to me it seemed like they stormed out with maybe a tad more energy than usual. They've been working hard on their follow-up album for For Crying Out Loud the past months and will spend plenty of time on it in the time to come. So it's not only a wonderful thing for the fans to get to see them that one last time before they lock themselves up, but probably awesome for them to be able to let all the energy go of being cooped up in the studio. They kick off with the title track of their debut album and the atmosphere is immediately one of fun and excitement.

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Hannes runs, jumps and dances around like he has ants in his pants as usual, which raises the energy and party through the roof from the start. And of course Joel on bass and the guitar tandem Jani and Miki throw themselves completely into the music. Not to forget Ana on drums, who somehow reminds me a bit of a young Jussi 69 being a bit of an animal behind the skins. Throw on top of that some classic smoke pillars to fancy up the show a bit and some of their already classic songs like Momma's Boy, Begging for Mercy and Wake Up and you end up with one hell of a hard rock party! They were also so nice to let us hear a bit of a sneak preview of their upcoming album, which sounded like their music writing skills only got better than it already was. Simply a great show by a great band that consists out of great guys...

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And as the proverbial "cherry on top" they ended the gig with a cover of the classic Led Zeppelin song Rock 'n' Roll, which perfectly embodies what they're all about. That song turned the stage into one big party as the guys of Blue Eyed Sons joined them with Joel Hellström (proving again that he's a near perfect match with Plant's vocals) sharing the vocal duties with Hannes and the rest of the band dancing and jumping around to the music. A nice farewell to get our last fix of Shiraz Lane 'till they're back with their sophomore album, we're all looking forward to what is to come next...

 

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For more pictures of the rock 'n' roll show, go check out our photo coverage here.



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Vaim

Music addict - DJ - Editor-in-chief/Journalist/Photographer/Gatekeeper @ GRIMM Gent - Suomi lover - Geek - Science nut - Nature worshiper/Pagan