Gutter Island Festival | Bar Loose Helsinki | May 10th to 12th

This coming weekend, Helsinki will welcome the best of Scandinavian garage rock when Bar Loose hosts the Denmark-based Gutter Island Festival. Held for the first time in 2000 at the Masnedø Fort on the island of the same name south of Vordingborg in Denmark, the Gutter Island Festival has grown steadily to become the biggest music festival of garage rock in the Nordic countries. Over the years it has attracted bands like The Hives, New Bomb Turks, Wild Billy Childish, Baby Woodrose, Ricochets, The Flaming Sideburns, The Fleshtones, Black Magic Six, and many, many more.

This will be the first time for the Gutter Island idea to take form in Helsinki, and already signs are that it will be very popular – so much so that an extra night has had to be added on Thursday, with the label Gutter Island Pre-Party! Anderz Nielsen, of Gearbox Agency in Copenhagen and one of the original organizers of the festival, says that Gutter Island’s core idea is to find and bring out new bands and to spread the vital Nordic Garage rock ‘n’ roll gospel.

The order then is as follows:

On Thursday the 10th is the Pre-Party when Danish psychedelic garage rockers Baby Woodrose will be supported by Finnish band Death Hawks. The festivities are rounded out by Norwegian Djs Farbror Fuzz & Joao Caveira. Tickets are €13 in advance or €15 on the door.

On Friday the 11th Baby Woodrose once again are the headline act. In fact, it was their popularity that led to the extra night. They’ll be supported on the night by The Flaming Sideburns, a band that have been around for years and have built a loyal fan base in Finland. Before that there’ll be a performance by the all-girl power trio Heavy Tiger (named for a Flaming Sideburns song?) from Sweden, and opening proceedings will be The Country Dark. Once again the Norwegian Dj combo of Farbror Fuzz & Joao Caveira will keep the dancefloor rocking all night. Tickets are €18 in advance, and €20 on the door – although I very much doubt there will be any tickets left by Friday.

Saturday the 12th sees the excellent Swedish band, The Nomads, headline ably supported by Hola Ghost, from Denmark, with Finnish bands The Souls and Disgrace filling the opening slots. Djing for the night will be Lord Fatty & John Wayne who will be well known to the audience. Once again the tickets are €18 and €20, and once again I’d recommend buying in advance as this is very likely to be sold out.

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