Trash Fest @ Gloria Club (Helsinki, Finland) - 18-19 April 2008

In the middle of April, Helsinki rock city was full of rock fans and rock musicians from all over the world which created special rock and roll atmosphere. Long awaited Trash fest organized by American promoter Mama Trash a.k.a. Jo Sheldon took place in Gloria club. It wasn't about trash metal, no, not all. It was all about rock music, its great power and magic that unites people in the whole world. It had over thousand visitors in two days and on the second day the audience filled the house completely. There were rock fans from Italy, Germany, USA, Austria, Netherlands and Latvia to name but a few.

The festival featured 8 talented bands from Finland, Sweden and Italy. It was a great showcase chance and breakthrough for several bands. The fest was hosted by Acey Slade, who has been famous for his bands Trashlight Vision, Murderdolls and Wednesday 13. Actually he was also DJing and performing at the festival. He was like a real rock icon there. The fest also presented DJs like Skinny from Deathstars, Darin from Dope Stars Inc, Hot Rod and Tin Star from Gemini Five, as well as two music journalists from Finland and England. There were also many special guests Jyrki, Jussi and Bazie from The 69 Eyes, Henry Lee Roots from Sonic Roots, Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks and Linde from HIM. The festival presented mainly hard rock bands such as Gemini 5 and Violent Divine from Sweden, Private Line and Stereo Junks from Finland and industrial rock bands Sexydeath from Sweden, Dope Stars Inc. from Italy, Vanity Beach from Finland and Indie rock band Iconcrash.

Violent Divine was the opener act of the festival and was one of the best bands at the festival. They created a truly positive impression. Highly influenced by such bands as Mötley Crüe and Kiss, they delivered their music in a heavy rock n roll style to all the thirsty rock souls in the audience. There was something divine in their performance. The whole band has certain charisma and has its own way to perform. The guys were in a good mood and surely knew how to put a spell on girls. They put on a great show, but something was missing, maybe there could have been more action on the stage and better backing vocals. They kindly dedicated a song to Mama Trash and during one of their songs called Helsinki the capital of the Vampire Empire, which was the name of their most gothic-themed song. All in all they performed nine songs: 3 from their self-titled debut album released by American "Chavis Records" and 6 songs from their upcoming album which will be released in autumn later this year.

SexyDeath at the festival was mostly hailed by young screaming teenage girls. The band was appealing both visually and musically. Their musical performance seemed to be concentrated on industrial sounds, but according to the band they don't want to put their music into certain frames and want to try out different genres and mix them. Sexydeath performed with an energetic and well-received set that included such great songs as Chemical Rabbit and Smells Like Dystopia. Sexydeath is a right name for the band, as it carries a combination of two powerful words. Whatsoever their music is based on sexuality; singer's vocals include sexy whispers and gasps. He was dancing and rocking on the stage, splashing water on himself and the audience. He surely knew how to attract the attention. All of the guys were really active on the stage and during the show the singer managed to call girls as sexy bitches which seemed to be the way to show off. The attitude to the audience was a bit vulgar at times. However the hit of their show was the duo song featuring Henry Lee Roots from Finnish band Sonic Roots, where Henry and Alex sang together "If you ever fall in love again".

Stereo Junks had a blowing fire show as intro for their performance, which was exciting for the audience. It made an impression that the singer might be an adrenaline junkie. It was dangerous, but magical ritual. Then everyone could hear their live music with the influences of punk rock, which is not surprising as a well known fact is that the singer Anzi is a great fan of Dead Boys and New York Dolls. He even has got two tribute bands Evil Boys and Thunderbombs, where he sings cover songs together with some guys from Private Line. Stereo Junks played junky rock and roll with a heavy dose of raw punk that you can get addicted to and they put a great show easily as the singer always knows how to move and behave on the stage to create unforgettable rock and roll atmosphere.

Italian band "Dope Stars Inc" was unusual, because it was easy to notice the difference delivered by hot Italian guys. Finnish girls love them. They had a different style of performing and their attitude to the audience was surprisingly reserved at times, but musically they were really good. They had been looking for a drummer, but haven't found one until today, so they had to play drum parts by phonogram, but in return they have got very active and good keyboard player who plays everything live. The guys played a few songs from their album Gigahearts and some from - Neuromance. They also performed a great cover version of Motörhead famous hit Ace of Spades, but it was a disappointment that they didn't play their famous HIM cover "Right Here In My Arms".

Finnish band Private Line and Swedish Gemini 5 were the festival headliners and put amazingly good quality shows with a lot of good attitude. There were many rock fans at their shows, more than at any other concert during the festival. Both bands are very experienced live performers and are well known in many countries. The frequent change of the guitarist in the band Gemini 5 is surprising, they have been looking for a guitarist for a long time and now they have found previously unknown, young guitarist Dany Douglas, though during their last tour they had Cat Casino from Deathstars. As well as Stereo Junks had Juhani a.k.a. Spit as a bass player in their band before, but at the particular event they had Miki from Finnish band Vanity Ink.

This festival was the right place where music business people met new bands, where rock musicians met new fans and groupies met musicians. Music, drinks and talks about rock n roll until the morning - that is the essence of rock n roll reality. It seems like Helsinki hadn't seen it before - so many provocative girls with elastics and hosiery on, sexy mini dresses and opened bottles of sparkling wine in one hand and lipstick in another. The reaction of Dope Stars Inc. guitarist La Nuit was logical to all these scenes, he was confused and had two girls in his hands at one time and didn't know who to choose next and who would be the best to kiss first. It is incredible, how drunk all of the musicians were in the end, but still they looked so good and could seduce any woman.

On the first day of the festival everyone had a chance to see the famous drummer Jussi 69 performing Mötley Crüe song Live Wire together with Private Line guys, but on the next day the great vocal talent was demonstrated by Jyrki 69 who performed Alice Cooper cover song "I'm Eighteen", which was amazing as the singer's voice even sounded like Cooper's one in the eighties. According to Jyrki, the song was his personal choice and before the performance he dedicated the song to himself.

All of the bands put on great live performances and it was obvious that for every band it was something special to take part in Trash Fest. The final performance by Mama Trash All Stars was the biggest jewel in the crown. We could see on the stage many musicians from participating bands and all the guest musicians. They performed 3 great cover songs from such legendary well known acts as New York Dolls, Alice Cooper and Mötley Crüe. In the end everyone could jump on the stage, whether it was a rock musician or a rock fan, so a few extremely brave fans took the enthusiasm and climbed up to "Shout At the Devil" too. Everyone seemed to be having fun and all stars made their fans to rock their socks off. It was like a great 'rock and roll family party.' I will tell you for sure, this kind of atmosphere you will not experience anywhere else in the world.

by Dana Skallio

Photos by Daphne D.

Visit the Violent Divine Website

Visit the SexyDeath Website

Visit the Stereo Junks Website

Visit the Dope Stars Inc Website

Visit the Private Line Website

Visit the Gemini 5 Website

Visit the Iconcrash Website