Concerts Features Music

Historic presence for Finland at Tallinn Music Week 2024 

Tallinn Music Week (TMW) is thrilled to host the collaboration between the Finnish partners Oulu2026, Music Finland and Music & Media Finland at the upcoming festival on April 3rd – 7th. An all-time-record number of Finnish artists, a dedicated showcase night of cool Nordic contrasts and visions of shared FinEst home market opportunities between Estonian and Finnish music & creative sectors will be presented at the event.

TMW 2024 line-up is one for the history books also because a record-breaking 21 Finnish artists have been booked to showcase their music. The acts are spread out to various events that include a showcase night by the European Capital of Culture 2026 Oulu, the collaborative night between the Finnish festival Blow Up and Estonian Damn.Loud Agency as well as Fenno-Ugria Night which reveals the common roots of our nations.

“Over the years, TMW has developed into one of the major European music events, where a large number of Finnish artists and industry professionals are present,” says Mikko Manninen, Executive Director of Music Finland. He adds, “At the same time, the Finnish and Estonian music markets have converged significantly, forming a natural common market area. As Music Finland, we naturally want to be involved in supporting this development even further. Close cooperation with TMW creates a great platform for this.”

The biggest and wildest city in Northern Finland, Oulu, will be the European Capital of Culture in 2026. To give a taste of things to come, Oulu2026 presents a selection of cool Nordic contrasts from the edge of Europe at TMW in club Uus Laine on Friday, April 5th. Among the performers of the night are avant-jazz vocalist Selma Savolainen, genre-expanding sound explorer Knife Girl, dark folk project Iterum Nata from Tampere, acclaimed experimentalists Musta Huone from Rovaniemi and the rising indie rockers The Southgates from the future culture Oulu.

Henri Turunen, Executive Producer of Oulu2026 says, “The City of Oulu is preparing for its European Capital of Culture era as a cultural laboratory, going wild for Europe, showcasing Northern talents on international stages. TMW is an important forum for connecting urban development themes with music and culture, which is central to ECoC initiatives. Therefore, it is natural to be involved in inviting all professionals and visitors to experience Northern culture on the edge of Europe.”

Finland and Estonia are more than neighbours, being related by language, culture and joint visions. The history of collaboration between Estonian and Finnish music sectors has also been tight – especially since the year 1991 when Estonia regained its independence.

Helen Sildna, Founder & Director of TMW: “One of the main inspirations and role models in launching TMW in 2009 was Finland’s industry convention Musiikki & Media, whilst Music Finland’s export and business development strategy inspired the launch of our own music export office Music Estonia in 2014.” Sildna adds, “We feel that the time is right, not only to collaborate but look at ourselves as an extended home market: the FinEst area for music and culture. Let 2024 mark the beginning of a new era in the collaboration between our music and creative sectors.”

Finland at TMW 2024

April 4th at 16:30 – 18:30 TMW 2024 Opening Reception, co-hosted in collaboration with Music Finland and Oulu2026

April 5th Oulu 2026 presents showcase at Uus Laine

April 4th – 6th: 21 Finnish artists across various TMW 2024 showcase nights
April 5th – 6th Joint discussion panels at the TMW 2024 conference co-hosted with Music Finland, Music & Media Finland and IndieCo.

Notable Finnish speakers at the TMW conference include Innovation and Business Development Executive at Music Finland Turo Pekari, Head of Agency at Live Nation Finland Annika Oksanen, Executive Director of IndieCo Katja Vauhonen and Managing Partner of Nordic Music Partners Riku Salomaa.

Finnish artists at TMW2024

brutus the one that got away
Dome Runner
Iterum Nata
Jesse Markin
Johanna Juhola Trio
Kadi Vija Key Project
Kaukolampi / LRXY
Knife Girl
Mr. Dad
Musta Huone
Otto Iivari
Ruissalo Amping
Sekret Teknik
Selma Savolainen Horror Vacui
Sophia Mitiku
The Southgates

Concerts Features Music

SLASH Announces S.E.R P.E.N.T. Festival:

Following the announcement of his highly anticipated sixth solo album Orgy of the Damned, due out May 17 on Gibson Recordsthe iconic, GRAMMY®-winning guitarist and songwriter SLASH, has confirmed a North American tour in celebration of the Blues this summerSLASH’s newly announced S.E.R.P.E.N.T. festival, an anagram that stands for Solidarity, Engagement, Restore, Peace, Equality N’ Tolerance will kick off on July 5 in Bonner, Montana, and travel to Los Angeles, Denver, Cincinnati, Toronto, New York City, Boston, Atlanta, and many more cities. S

SLASH has curated an all-star Blues lineup to join him on the inaugural S.E.R.P.E.N.T. festival this summer, including Warren Haynes Band, Keb’ ‘Mo, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Robert Randolph, Samantha Fish, Eric Gales, ZZ Ward, Jackie Venson, and Larkin Poe. On all dates, SLASH will perform alongside his Blues band featuring bassist Johnny Griparic, keyboardist Teddy ‘ZigZag’ Andreadisdrummer Michael Jerome, and singer/guitarist Tash Neal. SLASH formed the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. festival which stands for Solidarity, Engagement, Restore, Peace, Equality N’ Tolerance to bring fans together to celebrate the spirit of the Blues, and to perform with other Blues artists he admires who share his love of the genreSLASH also has a strong desire to give back to charities that he has supported over the years, as well as to help lift marginalized communities that share his restorative focus of elevating lives for the benefit of all.

A portion of the proceeds from each VIP package and S.E.R.P.E.N.Tfestival ticket sold will directly benefit the following charities that SLASH has selected The Equal Justice InitiativeKnow Your Rights CampThe Greenlining Instituteand War Child. S.E.R.P.E.N.T Festival has partnered with PLUS1.ORG to support these charitable endeavors. “The S.E.R.P.E.N.T. tour is a celebration of blues and rock ‘n’ roll music, and a celebration of unity and togetherness in these uncertain and divisive times,” says SLASH. “S.E.R.P.E.N.T is a vehicle to help support and uplift people and communities suffering from the injustices of racism and equal rights violations, as well as to support children adversely affected by war and poverty across the world. So, we are contributing a portion of every ticket and VIP package sold from the tour to those ends. S.E.R.P.E.N.T. will also provide an environment where folks can get together for a day of great music and hang out and have a good time.” 

General on sale for tickets begins Friday, March 15 at 10am local time. For pre-sales, visit A limited number of S.E.R.P.E.N.Tfestival VIP packages are available now which include access to watch SLASH’s soundcheck before the show, hand-signed vinyl of Orgy of the Damned, and more, go to:
S.E.R.P.E.N.T Blues Festival 2024 North American Dates:
* Warren Haynes Band, Samantha Fish, and Eric Gales** Keb’ ‘Mo, Samantha Fish, and Jackie Venson# Keb’ ‘Mo, ZZ Ward ,and Jackie Venson$ Keb’ ‘Mo, ZZ Ward, and Robert Randolph^ZZ Ward and Robert Randolph+ Larkin Poe, ZZ Ward, and Robert Randolph^^Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, ZZ Ward, and Robert Randolph
SLASH’s Orgy of the Damned cover art.
SLASH’s star-studded debut blues album, Orgy of the Damned, is a collection of 12 dynamic songs that shakes up and revitalizes blues classics with a stripped-down, instinctive approach, creating a singular expression that pays homage to the blues

Celebrating both well-known and largely undiscovered songs, SLASH offers a nostalgic nod to the past while reinvigorating the songs with his inimitable guitar playing and the spirit of collaboration. For Orgy of the Damned, the acclaimed guitarist reteamed with storied producer Mike Clink and enlisted the album’s diverse guest vocalists, which include Gary Clark Jr, Billy F. Gibbons, Chris Stapleton, Dorothy, Iggy Pop, Paul Rodgers, Demi Lovato, Brian Johnson, Tash Neal, Chris Robinson, and Beth Hart, in a similar way to his 2010 self-titled solo LP Slash.

Rounding out his band in the studio and on the road, SLASH reunited with two of his bandmates from his Blues Ball outfit in the 90s, bassist Johnny Griparic and keyboardist Teddy ‘ZigZag’ Andreadis, and brought on drummer Michael Jerome and singer/guitarist Tash Neal. The first single “Killing Floor,”–which features Brian Johnson of AC/DC on vocals, and Steven Tyler of Aerosmith on harmonica–is an electrifying, raucous and gleefully unbridled take on Howlin’ Wolf’s 1964 Chicago blues standard; stream “Killing Floor,” now HERE.

Watch/share the new video for “Killing Floor,” which offers a first look at SLASH and his Blues band recording the song in the studio HERE. Although he grew up in England, SLASH’s American grandmother turned him on to the blues early on, and he was immediately taken with B.B. King. At the same time, his parents raised him on a healthy diet of 60s British rock ‘n’ roll, from The Who to The Kinks. Once he moved to Laurel CanyonSLASH found himself surrounded by rock and folk singers like Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Neil Young—all of whom eventually inspired his playing and songwriting.

It wasn’t until he began playing guitar himself that SLASH realized all of his favorite musicians had been influenced by the same B.B. King blues records he’d listened to as a young kid. Orgy of the Damned encompasses a broad range of styles within the blues genre, veering from an upbeat, rowdy take on Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads” to a plaintive, twanging rendition of T. Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday.” Some of the songs, like Steppenwolf’s “The Pusher,” Charlie Segar’s “Key to the Highway,” and Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign,” had been performed by Slash’s Blues Ball, while others, like Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City,” were long-time favorites for SLASH“Hoochie Coochie Man,” written by Willie Dixon and made famous by Muddy Waters in 1954, showcases the in-the-moment nature and unrestrained energy of Orgy of the Damned, with Z.Z. Top’s Billy F. Gibbons stepping in on guitar and vocals.

The group went into a rehearsal room in North Hollywood and began hashing out soulful, rollicking takes on the classic songs. Everything was played live in the room, with an emphasis on improvisation which resulted in a collection of dynamic, energized songs that are immediate, raw, and distinctly familiar. A vibrant homage to the Blues, Orgy of the Damned is a landmark moment in SLASH’s career and a rare opportunity to bring to the forefront a rollicking musical journey through his Blues inspirations that have long been in the background of his illustrious career. SLASH’s Orgy of the Damned is available digitally, on vinyl and CD via Gibson Records for pre-order HERE. Preview the album HERE, and for more information, go to
SLASH Photo credit: Gene Kirkland.
Albums Music

Hidden music gems albums: Anneke van Giersbergen & Danny Cavanagh – In Parallel [2009] 

Features Music Videogames

Megadeth Heads to Wargaming Metal Fest

Wargaming is proud to announce an electrifying collaboration with iconic metal band Megadeth. A multi-product music in-game event, called Metal Fest, will bring the thunderous power of metal to four popular products: World of Tanks Modern Armor, World of Tanks Blitz, World of Warships, and World of Warships: Legends. Scheduled to kick off on August 28th, the Metal Fest will be a celebration of the genre, featuring an exclusive voicer over by Dave Mustaine, the frontman of Megadeth, James Lomenzo, Dirk Verbeuren, Kiko Loureiro, and an array of Megadeth-branded in-game items including tanks and warships, in-game missions and quests, integrated songs and much more.

The highlight of this collaboration is the introduction of the band’s iconic mascot, Vic Rattlehead, who will be making his debut appearance in video games with a stunning 3D representation and unique voiceover.

“This is the first time our images have been immortalized in video games! Moreover, our mascot has unleashed its own roaring voice, adding even more metal mayhem to the games. We’ve laid down over 350 mind-melting voice lines, and players will feel the thunder as we command during the battles. We have tanks, we have warships, and we are ready for Wargaming Metal Fest!” said Dave Mustaine, the frontman of Megadeth.

Join Wargaming Metal Fest here:

Concerts Music

Vilnius Announces Two Headliners for Biggest Summertime Festival—Bastille and Clean Bandit

Six months into the 700th anniversary, Vilnius is hosting the biggest event of the year—an open-air urban festival As Young As Vilnius on July 21-25. The festival will reach its apex with a free concert in one of the greenest spaces within the city, Vingis Park. The park will become an international music arena for the night that will host the most prominent Lithuanian music stars and an exciting main act for British pop rock and electronic music fans—Bastille and Clean Bandit.

The artistic lineup will feature representatives of classical, electronic, dance, contemporary pop, rock, and other music genres. Last year’s festival, which celebrates the day of the patron saint of Vilnius, St. Christopher, was a major hit: the Scottish music star Lewis Capaldi was the main act, and there were over 45K spectators in attendance. The urban festival is also another big celebration of the city’s 700th anniversary—the official birthday and the accompanying Vilnius Light Festival were held on January 25th.

700th-anniversary surprise—two headliners

As a way of creating a night to remember for the concert’s attendees and marking the 700th anniversary, Vilnius has invited two headliners to share the stage. Bastille, a British pop rock band, has special ties with Vilnius as it filmed parts of a video clip for Things We Lost In The Fire in the capital ten years ago. The band has captivated global music enthusiasts with tracks like No Angels, Good Grief, and Of The Night, while its major hit Pompeii has 730M views on YouTube. Bastille does not shy away from difficult topics in their music—politics, classical mythology, and movie themes.

Another cult favorite—Clean Bandit—fuses electronic, dance, classical, R&B, and pop music genres and invokes the motifs from Mozart, Beethoven, and Dvořák musical pieces. One of the band’s top performing tracks Rather Be featuring Jess Glynne, has received a Grammy while Rockabye featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie toped most popular song lists for nine weeks in the United Kingdom. In 2018 Clean Bandit received two nominations at the prestigious BRIT Awards for Solo featuring Demi Lovato.

Blend of orchestra performances and contemporary A-listers

As Young As Vilnius festival’s program will consist of three parts. The first one will be run by the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre symphony orchestra, conducted by Maestro Ričardas Šumila. Popular arias performed by the Lithuanian opera stars Edgaras Montvidas, Kostas Smoriginas, Ieva Prudnikovaitė, and Aušrinė Stundytė will be an ode to the city’s deep historical roots and contemporary musicians that have reinvented the age-old genre.

The second part of the program will highlight some of Lithuania’s most-renowned musicians. Many A-list bands and singers will make an appearance as duos. For instance, Benas Aleksandravičius, the lead vocalist of the intense alternative rock band ba., which captured the hearts and minds of the young internet generation in just a few years, will join Monika Liu, Lithuania’s former entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, who charmed audiences worldwide with her jazzy and sultry lounge track Sentimentai. The duos will perform popular songs as well as new renditions of the old classics.

The third part will be dedicated to the key performances of the evening by Bastille and Clean Bandit. 

The city’s visitors coming to Vilnius in July will get the chance to attend other 700th anniversary events—Lithuania’s first-ever Vilnius Biennial for Performance Art on July 23-August 6, Midsummer Vilnius festival on July 17-28, exhibition Pavilion: Vilnius 200 Years Ago open at the National Museum of Lithuania till October 15, or an exhibition Vilnius Poker: The Exhibition available at the modern art MO Museum till January 14.

Albums Music

Norwegian cinematic ambient / post-punk act LIGHTS A.M presents all new 3-track single incl. live track

Norwegian cinematic ambient electronic project LIGHTS A.M. (aka Erlend Eilertsen of ESSENCE OF MIND) presents to us an all new quite dark and eerie ambient single featuring “Not Ready For This” with layers of synths and some tribal almost ritualistic percussions, while “Afraid To Let Go” is more organic and enchanting although it remains very melancholic, ethereal and dreamy (and this especially expressed through the live bonus version on this EP).

The first previews of a new sonic voyage where the listener creates their own journey.

This is how Erlend himself perceives it: “Both these tracks have some of the same emotions, though in different ways. “In Not Ready For This” I see fog, a challenge, and fear of going through it, while in “Afraid To Let Go” the challenge is to let go of something which doesn’t serve you, but still being afraid of what will happen after you let go. So it is basically fear, sadness and melancholia blended together, quite dark yes…”.

The new EP acts as a new teaser for the project’s upcoming new album “Stories Without Words Vol. 2” which is on pre-order now via Bandcampand on CD via the Alfa Matrix website. Add to this you can also get the new album in a package with all 3 Lights A.M releases plus the new Alfa Matrix compilation “A strange play vol.2 – an alfa matrix tribute to The Cure” 2CD. 

But attention, this special package is only available during the pre-sale period.

Watch the video for “Afraid To Let Go (live)”

Features Music

Sweden and Ireland are the most successful Eurovision winners of all time!

Eurovision 2023 took place and the winner of this year’s contest was chosen – Sweden is now leading the ranking of the most successful Eurovision winners of all time alongside Ireland with a total of seven wins. Finland, who came second this year, ranks 6th with one win so far. 

Online travel agent, weloveholidays has analysed the most successful Eurovision winners since that start of the contest in 1955 and with the help of social listening tools the most passionate fans are being revealed. 

  • Sweden and Ireland have won the most Eurovision contests, with 7 wins! 
  • Finland ranks 20th, with a social sentiment of 27.9 % positive conversations
  • Portuguese fans are the most excited across Europe

These countries love Eurovision the most 

  • Online travel agent weloveholidays reveals Eurovision’s biggest fans and the countries that have won it the most
  • Ireland is the most successful Eurovision winner of all time with 7 wins
  • Portugal is the country with the most enthusiastic fans

With 161 million people (1) tuning in to watch Eurovision in 2022 there is no doubt that fans are excited about this year’s song contest, which is being hosted in the UK on behalf of last year’s winner, Ukraine.

The most enthusiastic Eurovision fans

RankCountryPositive Sentiment in %
8San Marino30.2
10United Kingdom30

Looking at social listening data, Portugal is home to the biggest Eurovision fans with a positive sentiment of 37.7%, closely followed by Italy (36.6%) and Belarus (36.4%). The winner of last year’s contest, Ukraine, secures fourth place with 33.1%.

Even though Australia is not part of Europe, it is still home to some passionate Eurovision fans (33%). The country was invited to join the competition in 2015, having competed every year since and almost winning in 2016, eventually coming in second.

Check out the most successful Eurovision winners of all time:

RankCountryTotal wins
2United Kingdom5

With a total of seven wins, Ireland secures the first rank as the most successful Eurovision contestant. However, their successful years were between 1970 and 1996, and the country has failed to qualify for the song contest from 2019 to 2022.

Sweden ranks second with a total of six wins. Up until now, their most famous winners are global superstars, ABBA, with their hit song “Waterloo”. This song not only led to international fame, but also secured the country’s win in 1974.

Surprisingly, not just one but four countries share the third rank, with five wins each – France, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, which are all then followed by Israel with a total of four wins.

Similarly, Denmark, Italy, Norway, and Ukraine all share the fifth spot with three wins each. The latter has a very impressive track record, as Ukraine has only participated 19 times since the beginning of the contest.

Dr. Jan Kuklinski, Managing Director at weloveholidays, comments on the research: “The Eurovision Song Contest is not just a televised music festival but also evidence that different countries, nationalities, and cultures can come together to celebrate each other’s differences. Some may even provide inspiration for your next holiday in Europe.”

Concerts Music

Within Temptation in Metro Areena, Espoo 20.10.2018


Raise Your Banner
The Reckoning
Endless War
In The Middle Of The Night
Stand My Ground
All I Need
Shot In The Dark
The Promise
Mercy Mirror
The Heart Of Everything
Mother Earth
What Have You Done
Stairway To The Skies

Articles Concerts Misc Music

Trip hop pioneer Tricky to headline Station Narva festival

Trip hop pioneer Tricky will headline the music and city culture festival Station Narva along Echo & the Bunnymen and Actress. The first edition of the Station Narva festival will take place in the easternmost Estonian city Narva on 21st-23rd September. From today, 27th August the single-day tickets for the festival are available for purchase for 25 euros.

The festival is dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia and powered by Telia.

Tricky, one of the most influential trip hop artists, will perform in the post-apocalyptic surroundings of the grand industrial architecture complex of Kreenholm Manufacturing Company on Friday, 21st September.

Tricky, real name Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, is a trip hop pioneer from Bristol, UK, currently residing in Berlin. A quarter-century after his first appearance on wax, and collaborations with Beyoncé, Yoko Ono, and Grace Jones, he still possesses a sound that he made entirely his own – a blend of hip hop, ragga, rock and disembodied lyrical threats, reconstructualising samples and slices of both the most respected black music and the tackiest pop. Tricky began his career as an early collaborator of Massive Attack before embarking on a solo career with his debut album, Maxinquaye, in 1995. The album went gold in the U.K and was nominated for Mercury Prize; the critics spazzed out and David Bowie himself wrote a prose poem about the artist for Q magazine. In 2017 Tricky returned with his 13th album, “ununiform“, a delicate, storming and intricate album that saw him take perhaps his most radical step yet – a journey into happiness and contentment, confronting his legacy, history, and even death itself. Four tracks of the album were recorded in Moscow, featuring Russian rappers Scriptonite, Vasily Vakulenko (Basta), and Smokey Mo.

The live music hotspots of the festival will be the Kreenholm Manufacturing Company and the cultural hacktivists’ headquarters Art Club Ro-Ro on 21st and 22nd September. Along Tricky the headliners of the festival are the grandmasters of nocturnal pop Echo & the Bunnymen and the cerebral electronic music producer Actress, both from the UK.

Station Narva music programme by day:

Friday, 21st September: Tricky (UK), Actress (UK), Jenny Wilson (SE), Una Bomba 50 + (EE), Zahir (EE), Grechka (RU), View (FI), Beebilõust (EE), RSAC (RU), Shortparis (RU), Propazha (EE)

Saturday, 22nd September: Echo & the Bunnymen (UK), Gazelle Twin (UK), 12EEK Monkey (EE), Mart Avi (EE), Joensuu1685 (FI), Fever Dream (IS), Sõpruse Puiestee (EE), Электрофорез / Electroforez (RU), Indrek Spungin (EE), Tam i Tut (EE), Eksponatika Clan (EE) Guesthouse (EE), PTF1987 (EE)

Besides the two-day music programme, the whole city will come alive with various interactions during Station Narva. On Sunday, 23rd September, Narva will receive the annual title of the “autumn capital”, followed by a public get-together meal at the long table on the shores of the River Narva. A trilingual stand-up performance will take place in cooperation with Comedy Estonia, and the European Commission Representation in Estonia will arrange Speak Dating sessions. Narva Art Residency will offer art activities and host public talks under the umbrella of the Narva’s BAZAR opinion festival. Station Narva’s info desk along with DIGIX Games Café will be open in the Narva College of the University of Tartu. The full programme of Station Narva will be announced in the beginning of September.

Station Narva 2018 Festival Passes are on sale at Piletilevi web shop and sales points across Estonia for 39 euros. Single Day Tickets for music programme on 21st and 22nd September can be purchased for 25 euros.–the-bunnymen-uk-tricky-uk-actress-uk-jt-58198/

The festival pass and day ticket are not valid for the Comedy Estonia stand-up show on 23rd September at Ro-Ro Club.

Concerts Music

Anathema at The Circus in Helsinki, concert on November 9th

Helsinki likes Anathema and Anathema likes Helsinki. The British band visits often the Finnish capital during their “The Optimist” tour, having increased the capacity of their gigs from Tavastia to a middle size venue as The Circus is, during their last appearances here. A tour that certainly has been packed with a lot of dates in just a few months, the day before Helsinki the band had also performed at Pakkahuone in Tampere, so they are really pushing the pedal with not much rest for several months in a row.

Even when being a cold Thursday and with the concert starting at a late hour after 22 p.m. the Finnish audience once more was faithful with a packed venue (although many people did not stay for the last songs of the Encore as probably they needed to head home for an early start at work next day Friday).

We will save here from commenting the gig of the opening band, the French metallers Alcest, as we just arrived on time to see the main performers, but they have been receiving quite a positive praise along this extensive tour, so we hope we have a chance to check them out later on.

With some minutes of delay after 22, Anathema, the band from Liverpool, took finally the stage appearing in their positions one by one slowly while the instrumental theme San Francisco sounded in the background.The 3 Cavanagh brothers taking the front of the stage with Portuguese drummer Daniel Cardoso supporting from the drums and the always unmistakable beautiful female voice of Lee Douglas to support the band through most parts of the show.

What came next was one of my favorite moments in the whole concert, the amazing 2 parts of “Untouchable“, a really epic work of melodic metal. Later on the setlist that followed was maybe not the best one for my taste, I would have expected a few more classic themes (for example the setlist of their release live concert Universal filmed in Bulgaria with an orchestra is superb for my taste) and we have to be honest with the weak reception of their latest album, as for many fans is the worst they have released in many years. But understandably, the band was touring with that new album, so the setlist had to be adjusted.

Some funny moments with guitarist Danny Cavanagh being very talkative to the audience “are you calling me a prick?” asked with some dose of British accent or “if you consider me a good songwriter, and I think I am ok, I hope you like next one” while his brother, vocalist Vincent Cavanagh jumped from one place on stage to the next hyperactive and cheerful, singing or hammering drums, spiking up the good energy levels of the show for the Finnish fans.

The show ended as traditionally with a powerful version of “Fragile Dreams” with a very tasty intro of Shine on you Crazy Diamond from Pink Floyd, so I would dare to say that, without diminishing the rest of the show with some pearls like “The Lost Song” or the crazy utopia of “Closer“, the start and the end were the best parts of the gig. See you soon Anathema!


San Francisco

Untouchable, Part 1

Untouchable, Part 2

Can’t Let Go

Endless Ways

The Optimist

The Lost Song, Part 3


Looking Outside Inside

Thin Air



The Beginning and the End

A Simple Mistake




Distant Satellites


Back to the Start


Lost Control


Fragile Dreams
(with Shine on You Crazy Diamond/See Emily Play intro)

Concerts Music

The Sounds at Allas Pool, Helsinki

Indie music label Fullsteam celebrated its 15 year anniversary with a very special gig at an amazing location: Swedish band The Sounds playing at Allas Pool in the heart of Helsinki in Katajanokka district.

Finnish music scene has a lot to thank the irruption of Fullsteam in the business in Finland, a company that brought fresh air to a scene dominated mainly by heavy metal bands and has gained the hearts of a new generation of music lovers with a more diversified taste for pop rock style. To put the cherry on top of the cake, they organized a very pleasant event at Allas Sea Pool.

Allas Pool is a new public swimming pool that opened last summer in the heart of Helsinki, in front of the presidential palace, in a very exclusive great scenario just close to the sea where you can have a swim while watching the big ferries departing to Tallinn and Stockholm. From the Swedish country came the main act of the night, The Sounds, with Mira Luoti previously opening as performer the summer night where miraculously the weather respected and did not rain until the show was over.

The concert was a pleasant way to start a Friday evening, young hipsters Finnish fans were mixed in the crowd with some more older followers, almost everybody with a drink on their hands to warm up a weekend night out in the Finnish capital. The concert itself can be considered as a warm up for the incoming Flow Festival that will take place this next weekend with a great array of artists for all tastes, a festival that closes symbolically the music summer season in Helsinki (yes my friends, winter is coming…and summer did never fully arrive this year).

The Sounds delivered with their easy going attitude and happy music and put everybody’s mood in high levels, with their attractive blonde singer Maja Ivarsson hyperactively moving from one side to the other of the stage, teasing the audience constantly lifting her summer dress to show those long legs that turn crazy both men and women in the audience. Mood got at its highest with their huge hit Living in America, and although alltogether with the encore, the concert did not last too long, everybody seemed to be leaving the venue satisfied in search of night adventures or for a good rest before Flow Festival comes to town.

15 years of Fullsteam and hopefully another many more to come to continue bringing a fresh breeze to the Finnish music scene!

The Sounds Setlist at Helsinki Allas Sea Pool 04/08/2017

Song With a Mission

Queen of Apology

Shake Shake Shake

The Darkness

Seven Days a Week

4 Songs & A Fight

No One Sleeps When I’m Awake


Living in America

Dorchester Hotel

Rock & Roll

Night After Night

Painted by Numbers

Tony the Beat

Hope You’re Happy Now

Features Interviews Music

Interview with Anneke van Giersbergen at Helsinki Tuska Metal Festival

Dutch metal singer Anneke van Giersbergen has been undoubtedly a reference as one of the most talented female metal voices for more than two decades, since her early beginnings with the band The Gathering.

Having a special relation with Helsinki where she visits and performs often, and with a wide list of collaborations with amazing bands and projects such as Moonspell, Within Temptation, Anathema, Devin Townsend Project or Ayreon, Anneke loves Tuska festival in Helsinki, and Tuska festival loves her back.

Anneke was the queen of the opening Friday day at Tuska performing live 3 times during a busy evening, with her new band Vuur, in a short acoustic solo for some lucky winners of a competition and closing the night as special guest together with Devin Townsend Project. An excellent opportunity for the Finnish fans to enjoy once more her amazing vocal skills, special energy on stage and perennial charming smile.

Before that, FREE! Magazine had the chance to sit with her for a few minutes in the backstage so she could share with us her impressions about Vuur, her visits to Finland and the future plans ahead:

Thanks for your time Anneke! You come to Helsinki quite often, and this time is with your new band Vuur. Can you tell us a bit more what the fans here in Finland can expect from the incoming gig?

Thanks to you too! Yeah, it has been a long time since I made a true metal album, cause I have been all over the place and I love all kind of different styles of music, I just love singing. But I felt when we were working on The Gentle Storm like I wanted to continue making a solo album with these same guys, the live band of The Gentle Storm, cause they are so good! I was very inspired by them, so I thought that if I wanted to make a metal album on my own, I had to do it now and with these guys, so I did! And it turned out even better than I expected, there is a good vibe around it and people are excited anticipating it!.

If I am not mistaken there is already released the first official track. How are the plans for the release of the album?

We are doing one or two more tracks before the album gets released in October and we will do some summer festivals anyway where we play new songs, so there will be new songs online, in Youtube etc.

Do you feel easier now with the new technologies and social media to reach your audience?

Yeah, I think is great to have Youtube, Spotify and the whole thing. It is easier to get our music out and to get people to the shows. Of course maybe you sell a bit less Cds than 20 years ago but it does not matter, we need to be creative!

You are going to have a busy day today right? After Vuur concert you will make a small solo acoustic show and Devin Townsend is playing later, are you gonna join them?

Yes, I am going to join them. 3 shows today, but I am looking forward to all 3!

I remember that you were here in Tuska last time 2 years ago when you came with The Sirens, I saw that show. What memories do you have?

I just love Tuska festival, it is a fantastic festival and I love it every time since I came here. I wanted to come back with Vuur very much and I was on the trousers of Jouni (Jouni Markkanen, Tuska Festival promoter) to bring us here. He booked us even without listening to the album! So he believes in me and in the band and that is so cool! It is great to have a few festivals before the release of the album.

Do you find the Finnish audience having special features compared to other countries? Sometimes other artists have told me that they are more silent but you can feel how they are enjoying the music deep inside…

Yeah, that’s the thing about the Finnish, like you said, they are collected and quiet but there is so much fire and passion, and you can see it, you know. But when the song finishes, they are loud. It is a crazy thing about Finland.

I remember in 2010 for example when you came with Anathema, not sure if you have memories of that day, but the people were really crazy at Tavastia Club!

Totally! As the Finnish say of themselves “we are quiet people” and I know that there is a bit of a reservation there, but still you have a lot of passion for arts, music, artists…

I also wanted to ask you about the special concert you gave 3 years ago for the 25th Anniversary of The Gathering with all the previous artists. How did it feel?

It was great, it was very peculiar cause when we talked about it, and with some people I have not seen them for 8 years, and then we talked about the reunion and then we started rehearsing and it felt like yesterday that we played these songs together, it is crazy, and it was 8 or 9 years ago when we did, but it felt like at home. I was at The Gathering for most of my young adult life and the influence that you get at this age period is very big.

I think you wanted to make clear that it was just a one time special occasion, so only 1 special show…

Yeah, of course promoter said “you could go on tour” and I am sure we could have made a lot of money, etc but we said “let’s keep it special”. We never say never for a next time, but you have to keep it exclusive and is more special that way. Plus I am busy with everything else I do.

After such a fruitful career in music and having participated in so many nice collaborations with talented artists and bands, do you feel lucky to have made good friends in the music industry?

Yeah, totally! The only friends I have!! Hehehe, no more social life, most of my real friends are in music and then apart I have one or two girl friends that I know from the time before music, but at that period I was just 14! So my life and my family and everything, all has to do with music. But musicians in general they get each other, they understand the lifestyle, the weird hours, the passion, the way you are always busy with music and with creating something.

You seem to have a busy rest of the year 2017, touring with Vuur, doing some more solo acoustic concerts, sharing tour with Epica, the new album getting released. How do you face the incoming busy months?

I like busy, the album is done and is almost on the shelf waiting for release, we are doing the promotion for the album with festivals and gigs, and in October we are going on tour. We have some really nice things coming up. I like it as I have not played so much for a long time since we were at the studio and I wanted not to do 10 projects at the same time, I was really focusing but that means that you are not playing a lot and I start to miss it. I love being at home and doing laundry, etc it gives me peace, but when I am not playing I get restless. I kind of need it, but is a good balance on and off. I know a lot of people who tour all year around every year and they get a little bit off balance.

And after that, do you have plans in the longer run for the incoming 2018 or so far just focused on 2017?

Well, I think for the moment playing with Vuur and at some point writing for an incoming new album. I will do also some solo stuff next months in Holland, theater shows and a classical show with orchestra. And I like that, active but not too much, like before with The Sirens and a new album incoming and you know… usually 5 projects at once and that is insane, so I try solo, acoustic and Vuur as my focus now.

As the time for your show with Vuur is coming close, I do not want to take more of your time so you can prepare. Anything else you want to add for the readers and the Finnish (and foreign) audience here?

Well, I am here in Finland around two times per year, they invite me so many times that I feel a bit like being my home away from home, I have great friends here and I love this festival. I am looking forward to playing here again!

Concerts Music

Rockfest in Vantaa 2017 – 5 things that rocked and 5 things that not!

Vantaa celebrated a few days ago the first edition of a new festival in Finland: Rockfest (even when some artists would not know understandably the difference between Vantaa and Helsinki and would just salute to Helsinki from stage, but we can forgive that, right?).

As every time that a new event takes place, there are always good things and bad things to highlight. FREE! Magazine has been bringing you news in English about the music scene in Finland for the last 10 years, and once more we were accredited there to check the best festivals and venues in the country. Here are our top 5 things that we really enjoyed in the festival and the top 5 that maybe deserve some improvement if organization decides to repeat in following years the experience:

Things that rocked!

1. Rammstein

The Germans are always a safe bet for any concert organizer in Finland. Finnish fans love them, and they love the country back, visiting often this Nordic country. They headlined the festival the first day on Friday, and together with the sunny weather, brought a huge mass of spectators to enjoy the show. Their live performances never let down and can be surely counted as the best visual and music experience to enjoy in the last decades. Although the sound quality was not the best, they delivered what people wanted, straight to the point without wasting time in speeches, one hour and a half of strong music that hits like a straight bullet to the head.

2. Easy to arrive by train

The venue was located just in front of Vehkala train station, so even when was a bit far from Helsinki centre, transportation was very convenient to arrive. Another different story was when leaving at night…

3. Great selection of food.

Many stands with different choices of food for all tastes and other entertainments so the audience would not starve during the long hours of the evening.

4. The weather

Everybody living in the capital area of Finland knows that this summer has not been the best weather related so far. Pretty much, you could see the sun for a couple of hours and then follow up by 5 days cloudy, cold and rainy. However the gods of metal sent a wink to the festival and for 2 days one could enjoy in just shorts and T-shirt the music around. The audience responded, overall on the first day on Friday, going massively to enjoy the chance to hear music, drink beer and get some tan.

5. Guano Apes

This is more of my personal choice as I used to follow the band 20 years ago and never had the chance to see them live. It was quite exciting to be able to finally seeing Sandra Nasic singing some rock anthems like Big in Japan or Open your Eyes.

Things that did not rock!

1. The rocks scattered all over the festival venue

Yes, we know the name of the festival was Rockfest, but it felt a bit unnecessary to have to step all over big stones in most of the surface of the festival. I am sure more than one assistant ended up with the ankle twisted there. We also like Tuska (Pain) festival, and that does not mean we want to be whipped when entering the venue. Some grass areas to sit would have been truly appreciated instead of the choice between rocks or mud.

2. The drinks prices and the long queues on Friday

Of course festivals need to make money, but paying 7 euro (one euro gets returned if you give back the empty can) for a 33cl beer or cider is a bit too excessive. Not that the price would matter to many Finns who were decided to spend hundreds of euro to get wasted on Friday at literally any price. But still, too much, specially when we add queues of half an hour to order a beer or one hour to order a burger. If organization wants to put those ridiculous prices, at least they could beef up with more manpower to speed up serving.

3. Leaving the festival

At night security decided to close Vehkala station and make people walk a couple of kilometres until the next station in Vantaankoski where people could take buses, taxis or trains. At least organization could have let know of this in advance as most people got surprised the first night about how to reach back home.

4. The general list of bands performing

Painful to say, but the simple truth is that the festival did not have the quality to keep up for 2 days. It is true that the first day Rammstein attracted a big bulk of fans, but on Saturday assistance was maybe one third in comparison. Being honest, for much that Evanescence is a nice band to watch, it was not enough to headline the second day (practically all the audience left after their show without even waiting for an encore). The festival missed at least one more big name to headline for Saturday, so many people decided just to buy a one day ticket or simply not to come back for Saturday concerts.

5. The tent of the secondary stage was too small

Some people complained that they could not see a shit there like in the show of Kotiteollisuus that is quite a popular Finnish band. If you want to have a second stage, at least make it accesible and big enough for the spectators to enjoy.

Articles Features Misc Music

Eurovision 2017 Predictions: Shock, Controversy, and Politics

If anyone tells you that it’s impossible to predict a Eurovision contest – they’re wrong. As we’ve seen throughout the 61-year history of the show, the one thing that you can always count on is for the unexpected to happen.

The guaranteed excitement that comes hand in hand with that volatility is what makes Eurovision one of the most exciting events of the year to follow. In fact, the tension surrounding who will win is so high, that it’s actually one of the most frequently wagered contests on the entire calendar.

A lot of people use the ease of placing bets on online gaming sites to take a shot at predicting the winner. And even if you aren’t sure about the outcome, placing a wager on your favorite artist is just a fun way to show your support. Gambling at can make the betting experience even better, because it offers you a whole range of other betting opportunities that add even more action to the event.

Who is the favorite to win Eurovision 2017?

Given the thrilling and controversial finish to last year’s contest, it’s safe to say that politics will once again be playing a role. Remember, Ukraine will be hosting Eurovision 2017 just one year after Ukrainian singer Jamala took down the title with a song that many believe was anti-Russian. It’s widely expected that the ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia will have consequences in this year’s voting as well.

The shifting musical tastes is another important factor to consider when trying to predict the winner. Although music with a more contemporary sound does occasionally win, oftentimes something fresh and different will come out on top – like when heavy metal band Lordi took down the title in 2006 for Finland.

Another factor to consider is the televoting rules, which seem to have been controversial in one way or the other ever since their introduction in 2009. The jury/televote ratio has always been 50/50, but this year the Eurovision Broadcasting Union (EBU) has reserved the right set the ratio at its own discretion. This is another reaction to the huge disparity in national voting that many see as being politically motivated rather than about the quality of the performances.

So who is the favorite? You can never be completely sure, but given the fact that Eurovision is watched by over 200 million people and has developed a bit of a cult following in Europe, the stakes will be very high for the contestants. In the end, whoever brings the right combination of talent/song choice, is able to win over both the jury and crowd, and can steer clear of politics will take down the title.

Features Music

Two Estonian artists at Eurosonic this week

Estonian artists NOËP and Tommy Cash are performing at the biggest European festival for new talent, Eurosonic Noordeslag this week in Groningen, Holland. Music Estonia leads the delegation of Estonian music industry professionals.

This year’s festival line-up includes two Estonian artists – original rap superstar Tommy Cash performs at the Vera club on 11th January and in Groniningen’s Platformtheater on 12th January, whilst the indie-electro-pop artist/producer NOËP takes the stage at Mutua Fides club on 12th January.

In addition, the festival offers daytime conference programme featuring 175 panels, keynote speakers, interviews, workshops, and dinners, as well as pitches, parties and meetings covering the latest developments in the international music, media, production and interactive industries.

Among the conference panelists is also the founder of Tallinn Music Week, Helen Sildna who will participate in the discussion of “Music Moves Europe” initiative on 12th January. Launched in 2016 and bringing together more than 50 music organizations around the European Commission to shape the EU’s music agenda, this cycle of high-level discussions has proven very promising. Now, Helen together with other influential players in the European music industry will voice their position on the subject, through a dialogue with representatives from the European Commission.

Eurosonic Noorderslag is the key exchange and networking platform for European music, with a proven track record for helping to break new acts on the international live music scene. Selling out each year, the event attracts more than 4,000 professional delegates, including representatives of over 400 international festivals. Each year, Eurosonic Noorderslag presents 350 showcases alongside a conference program covering the latest developments in the international music, media, production and interactive industries.