Skip to main content

For Those About to Ruisrock

The train from Helsinki to Ruisrock leaves at the very unrock time of 8:43am. The platform is peopled with teenaged girls with backpacks and camping mats who are permanently on the verge of exclaiming “Omigod!”. I definitely have the right train.

Once underway, I walk along the train and discover it has two smoking cars choking with a fug of girls applying even more eyeliner. Outside the bathroom, three girls in Flogging Molly t-shirts are passing around a bottle of Bailey’s, others are plotting their day from hand-scrawled programmes. There are some boys drinking beer around the empty dancefloor car. I can’t think of a time when I’ve ever wanted to dance on a train, but maybe that’s why they’re drinking.

Ruisrock itself is set on the island of Ruisallo, so half way through a gig you can see a large ocean liner chug past on the way to Sweden. No surprise that acts are combination of Swedish and Finnish bands. I’m interviewing Mikki Von Hertzen, who turns out to be a very down-to-earth guy who has happy memories of visiting Australia with an Indian musical band he tours with when he's not fronting the Von Hertzen Bros. The other band I chat with are Disco Ensemble, a hot new band who's single "Bad Luck Charm" is everywhere on Finnish radio.

The highlight though is The Ark, a Swedish glam band who have gigs that verge on a religious experience. They open with "Prayer for the Weekend" and come out in brilliant gold jumpsuits. The faithful are on their feet and jumping almost immediately.

Sauna-o-meter: 10, had a rather nice one which included the Turkish that had a whiff of eucalyptus to it.
Best Finnish band name: Anal Thunder
False Finnish Friends: appelsini would have to be something to do with apples right? Not in this language: it means orange.