On a dark and gloomy night in October I was making my way to Ravintolalaiva Wäiski on the shores of Hakaniemi. It was already nearing nine PM and the event I was making my way to, SUB's Band Night, had supposedly started at half past eight. Whoops. Still, down I went to Wäiski, making my way through the wardrobe and down the stairs.
As luck would have it, I had yet to miss a single act, as the first performer, Aatu Liimatta, was only just about to get started with his set. After a brief introduction by the master (mistress?) of ceremonies, Pilvi Kirppu, Aatu went on to play a set with just him and his keyboard. His set, a series of songs both melancholy and uplifting, some his own and some borrowed from others, was a nice start to the evening, while it did suffer from problems with Wäiski's sound system: it was oftentimes hard to make out the music from under the general hubbub of people talking with their friends. Still, a solid performance all in all.
The evening's next performance was from singer-songwriter Peter Tierney with backing from two members of Inuit Kunt by way of drums and guitar. Peter's performance was a melancholy yet oddly energetic form of pop rock, described as "A hybrid mix of Shaggy (not as black), Dylan (not as good) and Pogues (more teeth, less drunk)" with a heavy dose of self-deprecation in his song introductions and general banter with the audience in between songs. Unfortunately it was during his performance that I had to depart the venue for a while to get some cash from the nearest ATM, as my over-reliance on my Visa Electron proved to be my failing that particular night. However, I was able to make it back to the venue just when he was getting to the end of his set to hear his absolutely inspired song titled, to my understanding, "Fuck You." A very direct and sincere greeting to trolls on the internet, the song was absolutely fantastic and a great way to bring his performance to a close.
The evening's penultimate act was Drebin, undoubtedly the greatest band with members studying English Philology at the University of Helsinki with a name taken from a character played by the late Leslie Nielsen. Their first song of the night was a slow and almost ethereal bit of art-rock which elicited the reaction of "This is so Twin Peaks!" from one of my colleagues. The comparison to the David Lynch TV show only held water for the first song, as after that the band broke into a set of extremely energetic and simply fun indie rock. Containing their old songs from last year's band night and some new ones along with some covers, the set was a riot to watch and listen, in spite of the aforementioned problems with the sound systems that made it quite hard to hear singer Klaus Nuotto's voice over the loud music. Still, good times were had by all.
The evening was brought to a close with a performance by Inuit Kunt, another band that had their debut performance at last year's band night. Playing a very dirty and fresh style of punk rock, the band started their set unannounced, but left nobody in doubt of who was playing. A set of fun, raw and fast punk rock ensued without the technical difficulties that had plagued the previous performers, largely due to the fact that singer Marty channeled his voice into a very loud punk rock growl. The band was supported on some songs by a saxophonist, but to my disappointment his input into the many songs was simply to punctuate the rest of the music at odd intervals. I would've personally liked to hear the saxophone being put to more use, because if there's something that there's always more room for in punk rock it's experimenting with instruments outside the normal set of guitar, bass and drums. Still, the saxophone was a nice touch and the performance in all very entertaining, even inspiring many people to take to the floor and dance.
All of that having been said, SUB's Band Night was again a resounding success and one can only hope that next year will bring forth even more SUB members' bands. Come on, we know you're out there, there's no need to be shy!