Lost In Music Festival @ Tampere (Finland) - 23rd-25th October 2008

This was truly an ocean of music to get lost in and to be found on the shore...

The variety of clubs, concerts and bands was surprising as I arrived to Tampere to see one of the most interesting events of the year in the city located in Western Finland. Lost in music gathered together lots of Finnish bands like Sturm un Drang, Poets of the Fall, Teräsbetoni, Hanoi Rocks, Hybrid Children, Bloodpit, Carmen Gray, The Dash, actually more than one hundred bands, as well as a few foreign bands like famous American emo rock act Aiden from USA, The Wildhearts from England and barely known The Sun from Estonia. The festival had something for everyone, as there were so many bands representing different styles of rock and metal. The festival lasted for three nights, from Thursday to Sunday, but something was happening already on Wednesday to kick off the fest; however I had the chance to visit it only for the two days. The event was organized by Finnish record company Fullsteam Agency in cooperation with Musiikki&Media and Backstage Alliance. The concerts took place in 10 different clubs in the city centre of Tampere. The event was mainly organized for showcasing purposes, as there was Music and Media conference at the same time, which gathered hundreds of music industry delegates from all over the world. This year it hosted such special guests as Seymour Stein, the president of Sire Records, and Tommy Ramone, the only surviving original member of the legendary band The Ramones. The festival was the perfect way for a band to be discovered by music industry people as they had the possibility to visit Lost in Music festival free of charge and check out all the talented Finnish acts. It is obvious that the Finnish music scene is growing bigger with every year and there are so many worldwide popular acts from Finland already, to mention a few, Children of Bodom and Apocalyptica who have been touring all over the world lately.

On Saturday the event in the main club of the happening - Pakkahuone&Klubi was completely sold out. The most popular band of the night was Hanoi Rocks, who have recently announced their break up and have started to arrange their last New Year's gig in Helsinki and a new tour for the next spring. The band who have been the inspiration for all the new rock n roll generation in Finland and abroad for many years are planning to break up and it has raised the attention of everyone.

The Friday was the night of hometown heroes - Bloodpit. The musicianship of Bloodpit has been renovated and they were able to deliver a truly awe-inspiring atmosphere on Friday's night in Klubi. There's this dark Finnish melancholy in their songs and at the same time guys know how to have fun on the stage, to keep the positive spirit and not get too gloomy. The new singer, Antti Ravin, who has been in the band for almost half a year, breathed new life into the band and they are at a good start. He is not only charismatic "all loved by girls" boy, but also a talented singer, who knows how to work with voice, vary with the vocals. I believe he could develop his voice even more and reach new heights. The music of Bloodpit could be a special musical and mental therapy in one way or another. As they are claimed to be mental doctors - soul healers, according to their new image and promotional ideas for recently released EP "Recovered", it could be really healing for most rock fans. Let's hope the EP is just the new beginning. In the new EP the band doesn't seem to be at its best, maybe it is just that covers don't always turn out to be successful. Some cover songs are really great live though. Their own songs are a complete success, for example a new song "For you to be safe" is always an excellent part of a set. Everyone should rather see them live to get the real impression about their music.

The other brilliant band of the night was Carmen Gray from Helsinki. They play some heavy rock n roll stuff and the singer surely knows how to move and groove on the stage. The band has just released a new album, called "Welcome to Grayland" and within the positive atmosphere that the charismatic singer Nicklas and the band created on stage, you could really enjoy the concert and feel welcome to their own world of music where the songs are mainly about relationships and emotions related to them.

Hanoi Rocks had a rather short set, but they managed to put all the energy in and out and deliver all high-class rock n roll. Finns can be proud of them, as Hanoi Rocks always know how to put a good quality show, act like glam rock stars, smile and laugh and cry in the rhythm of both jolly and melancholic tunes. There was Mike Monroe, still with his enormous stage man charm and ability to play harmonicas, saxophone, tambourine sing, jump and dance at the same time. There was Andy McCoy with his weird image and most amazing guitar solos you can ever experience live. There were the newest members, but not less amazing and loved by fans, guitarist Conny Bloom and Andy Christell on bass guitar for a full excitement and the new drummer, George Atlagic, who surely knew how to rock the house. People will miss they live music and energy, so it might be the last chance to catch them on the road next year. No matter what, it will not be forgotten, as many will remember with nostalgia the infancy and the termination of the greatest rock band ever.

After diving into the depths of Finnish rock and metal music, I realised it was great to see interesting new and old bands and it is for sure that many bands found new opportunities for themselves during the festival, so the Lost in Music fulfilled their mission and hopefully next year everyone has the opportunity to dive into oceans of music again.

by Dana Skallio

Photos by Dace Seja