Monday, November 28, 2005

Regina Vs. OK Pop

Tampere's up-and-coming synthpop band Regina has already gained success on Finnish music papers and radio stations. Now Regina has released their first album Katso maisemaa (it means approximately "Look at the landscape"). The official record release party was on Saturday at Klubi; with Tanssikerho, an offshoot of Poppikerho, run among all by the Regina people.

The place was filled with all Tampere trendies and the local "In-crowd"; virtually "everyone" was there; I even talked with Minna Joenniemi of TV's Runoraati (and formerly of the Tampere lounge-pop band Super). I've seen Regina once before, when we arranged for them a gig at September's manSEDANse, and they were nice enough to send me the promo of their single 'Olisitko sittenkin halunnut palata' ("Would you have liked to return after all", or something like that), so I more or less knew what to expect.

The Regina show was nice, melodic synthpop with the girl vocalist Iisa; a friend of mine compared them to Stereo Total, though the lyrics about small everyday events made me even think about someone like Ultra Bra... only the sounds could have been better, I think, not having enough dimension and space in them.

Often the trouble with electronic acts is that they sound excellent on records, but their live sound leaves something to be desired with their dynamics and so (I'm not a tech sort of guy myself, so unfortunately I can't have further arguments to support this): is it because the guys behind the mixing desk usually don't quite understand what it takes to make an electronic act sound good live, having only experience with rock bands?

After the gig I headed to Yo-Talo, my traditional Saturday night watering hole. Tampere has been called "the largest village in Finland", and it was easy to see that at Yo-Talo, the club being half empty because "everyone" was at their rivalling Klubi to see Regina. You see, that Saturday night Yo-Talo hosted a disco night called OK Pop, hosted by DJs Antti Lähde and Antti Koivumäki (who also used to be in our Club Telex Noise Ensemble, playing keyboards and a vacuum cleaner!), but their normal trendy indiepop clientele I mentioned above had forsaken OK Pop for Tanssikerho. So, it was a question of bad coordination, should I say; there's no point to arrange two similar clubs in the same night for the same audience in a town size of this -- unless the competition in this case was intentional? We are living very interesting times...