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Finland Puts on Best in Show at Flow

While the major acts dominated the main stage at Flow Festival, it was Finland’s new talent that really impressed.

Published: August 20, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • Finland’s Jaakko Eino Kalevi performing at this year’s festival.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • Held over three days, almost 130 acts performed across nine stages.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • A chance encounter led British music journalist Kieron Tyler to becoming a regular on the Baltic music scene.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

  • The popular annual music event continues to attract a loyal following.
    Photo: Sergey Chernov / SPT

It was to be expected that Manic Street Preachers, OutKast and The National were going to have the biggest crowds at Flow Festival, held in Helsinki, Finland earlier this month. But alongside the big international names, the almost 130 acts that performed at the festival’s nine venues across three days also showcased some of the most interesting live acts from the Finnish music scene.

The major Finnish acts included the country’s current biggest international hopefuls, folky English-language singer-songwriter Mirel Wagner — now on Sub Pop in the U.S. — and electronic musician Jaakko Eino Kalevi, who was recently signed by Domino Records in the U.K. But Flow Festival also offered a whole range of unique and exciting Finnish music — from indie folk and alternative rock to reggae and hip-hop.

The Main Stage’s program opened with Risto, a keyboard-driven, Finnish-language alternative band from the city of Tampere, described by a local as a perfect example of “Finnish psychedelia, Finnish craziness,” while the Other Sound stage — reserved for less conventional music — sported Hopeajarvi, a frenzical garage-punk quartet from Helsinki and whose very first chords sent the crowd jumping.

The day after the festival had closed, The St. Petersburg Times sat with Kieron Tyler, a contributor to the Mojo magazine and a frequent visitor to music events both in Finland and Estonia, at the Sokos Vaakuna hotel in the center of Helsinki to discuss Flow Festival and local music in general.

Q: What were your impressions of Flow Festival, specifically about the Finnish artists who played there?

A: That’s an interesting question. Obviously there were Finnish artists playing and I noticed the main stage was about the international big names —Manic Street Preachers, Janelle Monae, OutKast. Though there was a lot of Finnish music at Flow — Jaakko Eino Kalevi and Siinai (Siinai were playing on a big stage in a big tent) — it was interesting to notice that the audience wasn’t necessarily going for the Finnish names. So I was watching a band like Mr Peter Hayden, and there were some curious people in the audience, but by the time they finished playing, there were fewer curious people in the audience. However, it’s very, very good that Flow is putting on and mixing in less known Finnish names to get them in front of that mainstream audience. That’s a good thing. It can only be a good thing.

Q: Could you mention some bands that you found interesting?

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Sunday, Jan. 25


Get out your running shoes for the 46th International Road of Life Marathon. Dedicated to the end of the blockade, three runs are offered — 5, 21 and 42 kilometer runs — starting in different places outside the city. Busses leave from 13/1 Arsenalnaya Naberezhny at 8 a.m. but check complete details and registration fees on www.newrunners.ru/race/doroga-zhizni-2015



If you are planning a wedding, head over to the Azimut Hotel, 43/1 Lermontovsky Prospekt from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The day includes live music, free dance classes and vendors selling wedding dresses, accessories, cakes and services to help make your special day perfect. Admission is free.



Monday, Jan. 26


Feeling stressed by the crisis? The Northwest Coach University at 3 Ulitsa Vostsstanaya is hosting a master class by lifecoach Tatiana Almazova. She will shed light on the coaching process, the usefulness of coaching during times of economic downturn and how coaching can improve your career and business prospects. The event starts at 7 p.m. and admission is free. Pre-register by calling 424 3700.



Discover the State Hermitage Museum's collection of English painting at a lecture by art historian Yelizaveta Renne at the Prince Galitzine Library, 46 Nab. Reki Fontanki. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the lecture will be followed by a concert of arias, songs and duets by English composer Henry Purcell. The event is free of charge.



Tuesday, Jan. 27


Celebrate the 71st anniversary of the end of the Siege of Leningrad on Palace Square with a free concert at 7 p.m. Listen to WWII-era songs and the poetry of Olga Bergholz while you peruse outdoor exhibitions dedicated to life during wartime. The event is capped off by a fireworks display at 9 p.m.



Stop by the Lexica School of Foreign Languages at 73 Ligovsky Prospekt from now until Friday for a free English lesson. The classes start at 7 p.m. and cover all levels, from Beginner to Advanced. Registration by telephone on 7641692 and a desire to improve your skills are the only prerequisites.







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