Misc News

Stratovarius: the end

Timo Tolkki forms new band

One of Finland’s best known metal groups, Stratovarius,
is no longer. After a long time of speculation, leading band member
Timo Tolkki announced on Wednesday that he has pulled the plug on the
legendary Finnish power metal band.

He officially announced the split on his own website after
a long period of silence, citing among other things many and persistent
differences of opinion within the band.

Tolkki is forming a new band called Revolution Renaissance “to continue the legacy of Stratovarius“. The band does not have a permanent line up yet, but will release its first album ‘New Era’ on the 6th of June. The album contains songs written by Tolkki initially meant for Stratovarius.

Stratovarius was formed in 1982 by Tuomo Lassila, Staffan Stråhlman and John Vihervä under the name Black Water. Tolkki joined the band in 1984, the year after the name change, replacing Stråhlman on guitar and also taking up vocals.

After many successful yet turbulent years , with many internal
conflicts and different line-ups, the band broke up in 2003. Tolkki
soon afterwards was hospitalized after suffering a severe nervous

The band members eventually temporarily patched up their differences in 2005 and released one more studio album, simply called Stratovarius. The atmosphere inside the band just would not return to normal any more, however.


In a long on line statement Tolkki explains some of the tensions that let to the split and that he informed the other band members already in October last year that he was
"stopping the band". According to the guitarist, he had to wait with the
official announcement because of "legal reasons".

Stratovarius managed to put out 14 albums, with combined sales
totalling nearly three million copies. During six world tours the band
played over a thousand concerts around the world.

Official announcement by Timo Tolkki

Video: Stratovarius live at Wacken 2007, Germany
(The band playing the so far never released song Last Night On Earth. It was during this concert that Tolkki, left, dressed in black, "fully realized that this band [was] over".)

Tolkki's call for band members for Revolution Renaissance

Stratovarius: Official | MySpace

Timo Tolkki
Timo Kotipelto
Lauri Porra

Misc News

Sex Pistols and Elton John to play Helsinki

CONCERT NEWS Legendary British punk band The Sex Pistols will come to Helsinki at the end of the summer. The band will perform at the capital’s Jäähalli (Ice Stadium) on the 23rd of August in the original line-up with vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, Glen Matlock on bass guitar and Paul Cook on drums.

Also Elton John, legendary in his own way, will head to the
Finnish capital later this year as part of his Red Piano Tour. The man
responsible for among others such varied hits as I’m Still Standing, Rocket Man, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me and Candle In The Wind will play at the Hartwall Areena on the 1st of December. Tickets will go on sale via Lippupalvelu on Monday, the 7th of April.

Elton John last performed in Finland in November 2005. The Sex Pistols
played at a midsummer festival in the Finnish city of Lahti in 1996.

Misc News

Bob Dylan to play in Finland in June

CONCERT NEWS Bob Dylan will return to Finland later this year. The
versatile American singer-songwriter/musician will play at the Hartwall
Areena in the capital on the 1st of June. Tickets for the concert will
go on sale next Monday (31.3) at 9.00 via Lippupalvelu and cost 69
euros a piece.

The veteran American folk/rock/country/blues artist, whose career spans
almost fifty years, returned into the spotlights last year after the
release of  the unusual,  award-winning biopic I’m Not There, in which
six actors (including young black actor Marcus Carl Franklin, actress
Cate Blanchett and recently deceased Australian actor Heath Ledger) play
different characters based on Dylan during different stages of his life.

Last October also saw the releases of  the triple CD retrospective
album Dylan and the DVD The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at
the Newport Folk Festival 1963-1965

Dylan, who is also a gifted author, poet and, of late, disc jockey, has
played in Finland several times before, the last time being in October 2003.
Since the start of his career, he has played over 2000 concerts, made
500 songs, and released 44 albums.


Bob Dylan

I'm Not There

Misc News

Turbonegro gigs cancelled – guitarist fallen seriously ill

CONCERT NEWS The Finnish gigs by Norwegian 'homoerotic death punk band' Turbonegro have been cancelled after the group’s guitarist Euroboy fell seriously ill. Also the rest of the group’s Volcom Tour has either been
cancelled or will be rescheduled. U.S. bands Valient Thorr and Year Long Disaster, the other acts scheduled to perform during the tour, won’t be coming to Finland either.

Turbonegro have so far not publicly given any details as to what  Euroboy is suffering from other than that it’s a ‘serious illness’. [full statement below]

At this stage there is nothing certain about any future replacement dates. Ticket holders can return their tickets for the gigs on April
7th at Tampere’s Pakkahuone or April 8th at Nosturi in Helsinki to
Tiketti or Lippupalvelu ticket outlets, depending on where they bought

The band have released the following statement:

Dear All,

Due to serious illness with Euroboy, Turbonegro will be unable to perform on the forthcoming European Volcom tour.

We will work on rescheduling the dates to some point later in the year.

Euroboy has asked that we relay to you that he is very sorry that he's unable to do the dates, and looks forward to seeing everyone later in the year, when he is well again.

We'll do our very best to keep everyone updated as to how he is doing, but would ask that his privacy is respected at this time.


Earlier this month [8.3.2008], Turbonegro announced that it had asked drummer Chris Summers to resign from the band, after he had been absent for six months “due to a damaged foot, personal priorities and a focus on other projects”. He  was officially replaced by former The Yum Yums and The Wonderfools drummer Tomas ‘Caddy’ Dahl, who had been filling in for Summers at 60 gigs already.


Album review: Turbonegro – Retox

Turbonegro: Official website | MySpace

Volcom [Volcom Entertainment]

Valient Thorr: Official website | MySpace
Year Long Disaster: Official website | MySpace

Tomas Dahl: MySpace

Misc News

Hannes Heikura Press photographer of the Year

Hannes Heikura Press photographer of the Ýear

PHOTOGRAPHY Helsingin Sanomat photographer Hannes Heikura has been chosen Finnish Press photographer of the Year 2007. His photo, taken from a helicopter, of a boat sailing through a thick layer of blue-green algae in the Gulf of Finland was voted Press photo of the Year.

The picture is part of a series of ten taken in different parts of the world, with subjects ranging from weather phenomena in Finland to a poppy field in Afghanistan. It also got an honorary mention in the category News photo of the Year.

Heikura, who won the title Press photographer of the Year three times earlier (1992, 2005 and 2006), also won this year's public vote.

The jury voted a photo by Niklas Tallqvist News photo of the Year, one by Timo Pyykkö Portrait of the Year, and a photo by Jaakko Avikainen Sports photo of the Year. Freelance photographer Henrik Malmström is being awarded for the best domestic reportage. Aamulehti newspaper’s Rami Hanafi gets the prize for Foreign Reportage of the Year.

The year’s best press photos were for the first time chosen in Tampere. 111 photographers took part in the competition with over 2600 photos.

A selection of the best photos is on display at the TR1 gallery (Väinä Linnan aukio 13) in Tampere until the 16th of April. In May part of them will move to the gallery (Albertinkatu 16) in Helsinki.

More photos by Hannes Heikura can be seen at the Finnish Museum of Photography at the Cable Factory in Helsinki until May 18th.

Press photos of the Year 2007 (in Finnish, with info in English)

The winning photos by Hannes Heikura (Helsingin Sanomat – captions in Finnish)

All the winning photos (HS, captions in Finnish)

TR1 gallery
, Tampere gallery, Helsinki (in Finnish)

Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki

Art Exhibitions

Julie Myers: to travel somewhere

{mosimage}The Kunsthalle Helsinki Studio (Nervanderinkatu 3) hosts until March 30th the results of a very interesting project developed in 2007 by Julie Myers.



o travel somewhere was developed as a phone/walking project involving San Francisco, Cambridge and Helsinki, where the artist started a journey by asking passers-by about their favorite places in the city. Following indications that directed her to swimming pools, bars, parks, museums, markets Myers collected images, videos, sound files and texts on her mobile and developed itineraries for the three ciries. the material was then loaded onto the project website ( ) and given GPS coordinate so that the itineraries could be traced on a world map.


The result is a vivid emotional portrait of each city, and the chance to discover places through the memories of other people, a portrait that reveals what we consider important marks in our daily life environment and landscape. The exhibition comprises the seven videos taken in Helsinki and the website, where the walks in the other cities are visible, thus offering the possibility of discoverig emotional similarities among the three quite different cities.

Kunsthalle Helsinki (, until March 30th


Misc News

Nightwish and Lauri Täkhä biggest ‘Finnish Grammy’ winners

MUSIC Nightwish were the big
winners at this year’s Emma-gaala, Finland’s equivalent of the Grammy
Awards, on Saturday (8.3). The symphonic metal band fronted by Tuomas Holopainen
took home the awards for Best-selling Album (about 110,000 copies),
Album of the Year and Metal Album of the Year for their comeback album Dark Passion Play, their first with new Swedish vocalist Anette Olzon. They also received the award for Band of the Year.

The second biggest winners were Lauri Tähkä ja Elonkerjuu. The Finnish folk(lore) rock band won in three categories: Public’s Favourite Artist of the Year, Pop Album of the Year (Tuhannen riemua) and Finnish DVD of the Year (Kerjuuvuodet 2000-2007).

The big surprise winner at this year’s award ceremony was former girlband (Gimmel) singer Jenni Vartiainen.
She snatched away two awards  (more than many better-selling artists):
Debut Album of the Year (Ihmisten edessä) as well as Song of the Year
for the title song of the album.

Rock band Apulanta and pop/r & b singer Anna Abreu,
who were each nominated in five categories, had to make do with one
award, although in rather good categories: Apulanta for Rock Album of
the Year and Abreu for Female Solo Artist of the Year. The award for
Male Solo Artist of the Year went to actor/musician Vesa-Matti Loiri.

Young rock band Sturm und Drang from Vaasa were chosen Newcomer Band of the Year. Pop / rock band Sunrise Avenue were rewarded with the Export Emma for their enormous succes in Central Europe.

Special Emmas were presented to Finnish singer-songwriter (and current Centre Party MP) Mikko Alatalo and to Finnish living rock legends Hanoi Rocks.


Album review: Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

Interview: Lauri Tähkä & Elonkerjuu

Album review: Jenni Vartiainen – Ihmisten edessä

Interview: Apulanta
Album review: Apulanta – Eikä vieläkään edes ole ilta

News: History made during Sturm und Drang performance

Album review: Sunrise Avenue – Live in Wonderland

Album review: Hanoi Rocks – Street Poetry
Interview: Hanoi Rocks

Emma-gaala (in Finnish)


Misc News

Fans cue for ‘kuoleman varjelukset’ at sub-zero temperatures

In downtown Helsinki, book chain Suomalainen Kirjakauppa had organized
a programme that included books, magazines, films, games and food, to
make the waiting circumstances a bit more pleasant. There was also a
line in front of the Academic Bookstore in the capital’s centre.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the last part in the Potter saga. It was translated into Finnish by Jaana Kapari-Jatta, who also did the Finnish translation of the other six parts in the series. Illustrator Mika Launis is responsible for the covers of the Finnish Potter books.

Misc News

Fewer visits to Finnish theatres

Fewer theatre goers last year

THEATRE Fewer people went to see performances at professional theatres in
Finland last year. According to the Association of Finnish Theatres,
its member theatres lost over 81,000 visitors overall compared to 2006.
The big stages lost the most visitors.

The Finnish National Opera saw the biggest drop in visitors last year:
over 68,000. The second biggest decline was for the Helsinki City
Theatre: over 40,000.

Helsinki’s Svenska teatern and the Lahti City Theatre gained the most visitors (both about 17,000 visitors more than in 2006).

Most of the professional theatres in Finland, 42 in total, belong to
the Association of Finnish Theatres. In all, the interest and employer
organisation’s member theatres had 2.4 million visitors last year. Last
year’s drop in visitor numbers is part of regular visitor number
fluctuation, according the Association.

Association of Finnish Theatres


Misc News

Teräsbetoni to represent Finland at Eurovision Song Contest

EUROVISION 2008 Melodic metal band Teräsbetoni will represent Finland at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Their Finnish-language song ‘Missä miehet ratsastaa
won 38.9 percent of the viewers’ votes in the so-called ‘super final’.

In this last stage in the two-part final, held at the Kulttuuritalo in
Helsinki on Saturday night (1.3),  the three candidates who got the
most votes in the final-of-14, competed.

Finnish crooner Kari Tapio came in second with 33.9 percent of the votes cast , with near-drag act Cristal Snow ending in third place with 26.5 percent.

The winning song was written, composed and arranged by Teräsbetoni's bass guitarist and vocalist J(arkko) Ahola.

Watch the winning performance [YLE Areena]

Misc News

Second KISS concert, Def Leppard date changes

concert in Helsinki has been confirmed after tickets for the first gig
on the 28th of May sold out in record time on Tuesday. The rock band
led by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley will come to
Finland one day earlier in order to also perform on the 27th of May.
Ticket sales for the extra gig at the Hartwall Areena will start next
Monday (3.3), via Lippupalvelu.

The Helsinki concert by Def Leppard, which had been
scheduled to take place on the same date, has been moved forward to the
4th of June. As a consequence, tickets for the gig at the Ice Stadium
(Jäähalli) will go on sale one week later than initially planned, on
Monday the 10th of March, also via Lippupalvelu outlets.


KISS tickets sold out in record time

Misc News

KISS tickets sold out in record time

Concert organizers started negotiating a possible second gig in Finland for the American rock group right away.

second concert has been confirmed. KISS will come to Finland one day
earlier in order to also perform on the 27th of May. Ticket sales for
the added gig will start next Monday (3.3), also via Lippupalvelu.

KISS celebrates its 35th anniversary with an enormous European tour.
The  KISS Alive 35 Tour spans 17 European countries and includes major
festivals and first-time performances in St. Petersburg, Moscow and


KISS (a)live in Helsinki in May

KISS: Official site | MySpace

More foreign acts performing in Finland: Coming to Finland

Misc News

Def Leppard and Misfits coming to Finland

CONCERT NEWS The Finnish concert by English hard rock legends Def Leppard has been confirmed. The legendary band from Sheffield will rock Helsinki’s Ice Stadium (Jäähalli) on Tuesday, the 27th of May.  Tickets for the gig will go on sale next Monday (3.3) via Lippupalvelu.

UPDATE: The Helsinki concert by Def Leppard has
been moved forward to the 4th of June. Tickets for the gig will go on
sale one week later than initially planned, on Monday the
10th of March.

Also punk pioneers the Misfits will come to Finland. The
band, formed in New Jersey in 1977, will play on Vappu eve (30.4) at
Nosturi in Helsinki. The gig is part of the Misfits’ 30th Anniversary
Tour and coincides beautifully with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Live Music Association (ELMU ry.), the organisation behind the Nosturi venue. Tickets
sales for the gig start on Wednesday (27.2) via Lippupalvelu and
Tiketti ticket services.

Also check: Coming to Finland

Def Leppard: Official website | MySpace

Misfits: Official website | MySpace

Live Music Association ELMU ry. / Nosturi

Misc News

Eurovision Song Contest again in Finland this year?

Teräsbetoni and Cristal Snow through to national final

EUROVISION 2008 Metal band Teräsbetoni and near-drag act Cristal Snow are the latest to go straight to the final held next Saturday (1.3) in the national contest that will decide who will represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2008.

Meanwhile, there is talk that the Song Contest may not be held in the Belgrade this year after all, but again here in Finland, last year‘s host country.

European Broadcasting Union decides next month

The recent unrest in the Serbian capital that broke out after the Kosovo region proclaimed independence has made it less certain that the massive European event will be held in Belgrade this year, as planned.

Next month the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will discuss whether it is safe enough to hold the Song Contest in Serbia in May. If not, the event could return to Helsinki, the city with the most recent experience in hosting the huge event.

The previous time the EBU was considering moving the event to another country was early in 2005 after political unrest had broken out in the 2005 host city, the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Back then the event went ahead as planned.

More about the recent unrest in Serbia and the possible consequences (YLE News)

National final

On Friday (23.2), the last national qualification round for this year’s Finnish representation at the Eurovision Song Contest was held. With 51.7 percent, metal band Teräsbetoni won the televote with their song "Missä miehet ratsastaa". Cristal Snow (27.4 percent) came second with “Can’t Save Me”. Both will go straight to the final held at Helsinki’s Kulttuuritalo next Saturday.

Tango Queen 2007 Jenna (“Sinua varten”) and actress and (former Ultra Bra) singer Vuokko Hovatta (“Virginia”) are amongst the group of six that will get a second change to make it to the final next Saturday.

For sure in the National Final (1 March)

Kari Tapio []– ”Valaise yö”listen (Choose 'Kari Tapio' in player)
music & arr. Pertti Haverinen | lyrics Ilkka Vainio – Pertti Haverinen 

Movetron [MySpace]– ”Cupido” listen (Choose 'Movetron' in player)
music Jukka Tanttari | lyrics Timo Löyvä | arr. Jukka Tanttari – Timo Löyvä 

Mikael Konttinen [MySpace] – ”Milloin”listen (Choose 'Mikael Konttinen' in player)
music & arr. Kerkko Koskinen | lyrics Kyösti Salokorpi

Kristian Meurman [] – ”Jos en sua saa”listen (Choose 'Kristian Meurman' in player)
music & lyrics Kristian Meurman | arr. Kristian Meurman – Tapio Niemelä – Imre Szabó

Teräsbetoni [MySpace] – ”Missä miehet ratsastaa” listen (Choose 'Teräsbetoni' in player)
music & lyrics & arr. J. Ahola

Cristal Snow [MySpace] – ”Can't Save Me”listen (Choose 'Cristal Snow' in player)
music, lyrics & arr. Cristal Snow – Heikki Liimatainen – Jimi Constantine

Second chance to a place in the national final:

Hanna Marsh [MySpace]– ”Broken Flower”listen (Choose 'Hanna Marsh' in player)
music & lyrics Hanna Marsh | arr. Lennart Östlund

Crumbland [MySpace] – ”Pleasure”listen
(Choose 'Crumbland' in player)

music Crumbland | lyrics Jonas Genberg | arr. Crumbland – Mikko Raita

Ninja [MySpace] – ”Battlefield Of Love” listen
(Choose 'Ninja' in player)
music & lyrics Susan Nova | arr. Susan Nova – Jani Saastamoinen

Jippu [MySpace] – ”Kanna minut” listen
(Choose 'Jippu' in player)
music & lyrics Jippu – Markus Koskinen | arr. Markus Koskinen

Jenna – ”Sinua varten” listen
(Choose 'Jenna' in player)
music & arr. Risto Asikainen | lyrics Ilkka Vainio – Risto Asikainen

Vuokko Hovatta [MySpace,] – ”Virginia” listen
(Choose 'Vuokko Hovatta' in player)
music & arr. Kerkko Koskinen | lyrics Anna Viitala

Misc News

KISS (a)live in Helsinki in May

CONCERT NEWS For those who have been longing to see KISS
live in concert once again, the waiting is over. Their previously
reported gig in Finland has been confirmed. The legendary American rock
group (formed in 1973) will play the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki on the
28th of May. Tickets costing 69 and 63 euro will go on sale via
Lippupalvelu next week on Tuesday (26.2) at 9 a.m.

The KISS Alive 35 tour is KISS’s first European tour since the Psycho
Circus Tour in 1999. It will include major European festivals and cover
17 countries, taking the band for the first time to Moscow, St.
Petersburg and Verona. In Finland, the group has played five times
before, the last time at a sold out Hartwall Areena in 1999.

Also check: Coming to Finland