keskiviikko 14. huhtikuuta 2010

Horns up, Finland!

After an 18-month world tour, Children Of Bodom took a well-earned break at the end of last year, before beginning work on their seventh studio album. As Henkka reported recently, the band now has a new rehearsal space, which allows them to rehearse whenever and for as long as they wish, and they're currently enjoying getting together and jamming Alexi's latest ideas. The studio is booked for early summer, but before then, there was a treat in store for COB's Finnish fans, when, to prove they were not forgotten in all the recent globetrotting, the Hate Crew took to the road in April for a 3-date Finnish mini tour.

Kicking off, fittingly perhaps, on Alexi's birthday (the crowd, of course, sang Happy Birthday to him while he sipped a celebratory drink!) the first stop on the tour was at Pakkahuone, Tampere. The band were relaxed and enjoying the occasion: "they were all in a good mood; Janne was telling jokes about the Tampere dialect ... he put on a granny-style bra and commented that he was worried that some grandmother somewhere would be shocked to discover her undies had been stolen".

Happy Birthday to me! Alexi toasts himself onstage

Janne gets in touch with his feminine side

At one point, Alexi managed to confuse the band by introducing a song in the wrong order: "Blooddrunk and One Day You Will Cry were played in a different order ... I was standing next to the FOH table and had seen the setlist. The next song was supposed to be Blooddrunk, so when Alexi began introducing 'a song that has never been played in Tampere before' I was confused. There was a tiny, silent moment on stage ... then Janne told Chiddy to play the intro to the next song, One Day You Will Cry, because 'suprisingly, Alexi messed up the setlist'!

Of course, not having played live for a while, the band may not have been quite as tight as usual, but in Jaska's case at least there were additional mitigating circumstances: "Jaska told the audience that he was really nervous before the gig because his back was operated on 5 months previously, and he feels that his legs are not yet functioning as well as they should".

Some felt that it wasn't the band's finest performance ever: "I must say the gig wasn't COB's best ... they didn't play that well, but in Jaska's case I understand", while for others "the gig in Tampere was freaking awesome ... it really was one of the best I've seen. The band looked like they were enjoying it and so did the crowd." And certainly the setlist found universal favour:

"They played Kissing the Shadows, which they'd never played at Tampere, and also Chokehold (Cocked N' Loaded) which isn't played much anymore. I was very pleased when they played Everytime I Die. I hadn't heard it live in years. It was a nice surprise, too."

"Nice setlist ... good to see Silent Night Bodom Night back in"

"The setlist was great ... I was quite surprised about some of them, but in a good way"

"I loved the setlist: Kissing the Shadows, Downfall, Silent Night Bodom Night, Hate Me, Angels Don't Kill ... all my favourites were there"

As K-Man commented, "the show went exceptionally well and the guys really had a blast". The general concensus certainly seems to have been that it was "an awesome show".

Onwards then to Oulu and Vuokatti, the latter being virgin territory for the band. Here the response from the audience was somewhat underwhelmed - "kinda lame crowd, and not just for us, but all the bands, but the boys had a good time", and for K-Man the Oulu show, as far as the crowd went was "the best (wow!)" - respect, Oulu!

So, mini tour over, the band boarded their orange Nightliner bus back to Helsinki, and now we wait ... summer's coming and that means the new album gets a little bit closer. Henkka has promised some studio diary updates and in the meantime there'll be those summer festival appearances to look forward to ... good times!


Photo credit: Celeb

Photo credit: Sergey

Special thanks to K-Man, and to valkokukka and Celeb (COB Forum) and Ronja for their on-the-spot reports and info

Intro: Studio Julmahuvi's Roudasta Rospuuttoon
Outro: Mötley Crue: Girls, Girls, Girls

Musikmesse 2010

Alexi took time out from writing COB's forthcoming new album and travelled to Germany last month, to take part in a signing session for ESP Guitars, along with Gus G from Firewind and Michael Paget from Bullet For My Valentine, at the annual Musikmesse trade fair, held in Frankfurt.

Photo credit: ESP Guitars

Unlike its US counterpart, NAMM, Musikmesse is open to the public on the final Saturday, and there were plenty of fans waiting in line to get the frontman's signature and photo. And after the session, a little partying at Champs Sports Bar was in order for Alexi and friends, as our pictures show.

Photo credit: ESP Guitars

Thanks to Kristen Mulderig for permission to use these photos

Hungary for more

Children Of Bodom have been confirmed to appear at one of the largest-scale events in Europe, the Sziget Festival, which takes place between August 11-16 on Budapest, Hungary's Hajógyár Kikötö (Shipyard) on the Danube River's Óbudai Island.

And it seems that Hungary just can't get enough of the band: an exhibition entitled From the Land of Metal Music has just opened at the Budapest Museum of Ethnography, presenting one of Finland's best-known cultural exports - heavy metal. The event focuses primarily on the bands Amorphis, Nightwish and Children Of Bodom, who, as the Museum's curator comments, create new musical styles from their own traditions and adapt international music trends in a Finnish way. The exhibition includes band t-shirts, branded accessories, CD artwork and products related to concert tours. The exhibition is connected to another held last year, entitled "What are Finns like?", and runs until 9 May.