Saturday, May 10, 2008


Shopping in Helsinki a bit, I have found a perfect pair of shoes. I have actually always liked these particular type of sneakers. I have never been into typical feminine-style shoes, and you will never see me wearing high heels; that's just not me.

These particular sneakers possess several functions. They are comfortable, they fit almost every way of dressing, from skirt to trousers, they are all in black, and for sure they signify an identification with a certain musically-related subculture. Yet there is more...

To make these shoes, not a single trace of leather has been used: they consist of canvas and rubber only. Thus, I can also show my vegetarian compassion to the world. For the production of my sneakers, no animal had to suffer, no animal has been killed for my pleasures. The only living thing that has possibly suffered was some kid, working in poor conditions for a very little money in some factory somewhere in Asia; but hei, who cares about that?

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Where the silence you hear is the prosper we shared
The only blade is a razor sharp smile...

Flogging Molly: (No More)Paddy's Lament

The story of Flogging Molly and me started three years ago. It is connected with Nanbudo seminar in Spain, which also leads to my fascination with Finland. As I am no longer in touch with the one that introduced me to both, Finnish culture and Flogging Molly, I also cannot share the news with him, despite this time I would like to. Nothing special for Finnish audience that is given several excellent bands at least within one of their summer festivals, not to mention all the gigs during the year, however, for me, this wa
s really a great event. And also a kind of natural development of my bitter-sweet Finnish story that has started in summer 2005. I have seen Flogging Molly live!

First of all, a few words about the band. They are originally from America, yet they have Irish roots. If you are into lively punk-rock, blended with strong elements of Irish folk and atmosphere, featuring lyrics about exile, Irish national identity, critical bitterness, fight for one own's rights and troubled life, but also on happiness, drinking and fiery love - then I suggest to check out Flogging Molly. Well, I suggest this band anyway; just click here, and listen.

For some reasons the band has never reached Slovenia. However, Flogging Molly is very popular in Finland. They have visited the country many times, especially during summer festivals. Nevertheless the place of the event, Tavastia in Helsinki, was full; the band actually decided to make two gigs as the original date, 7th of May, was sold out within some hours. However, I was able to get my ticket for Tuesday 6th of May - and all that was left was the (rail)road to Helsinki.

As there is about 270 km between JKL and the capital, I decided to spend more time in Helsinki; luckily, I was given a friendly place to stay, free of charge. Thus, I traveled on Monday morning already, and I hoped for a couple of relaxing days. Finally, those two days turned out tense, as I also had some health problems again, that flu be damned, but still - to the gig I went. And the gig was just... wow.

Tavastia gig, 6th of May 2008

Flogging Molly's music, inspired with traditional Irish jig, probably reminds Finns on their own humppa, and that might be the reason the audience here goes so crazy when Molly plays live. I guess there was a slight truth in Dave King's, Flogging Molly's frontman, words there were only one folks that were as crazy as the Irish - the Finns. Sure we were a crazy audience, and with such a professional band on stage, there is no problem to go wild.

The main theme was the new album Float, but of course they had to play some of their older songs. Good for me, newcomer to Molly's gigs, thus I could hear some of my favorites, too. Paddy's Lament and Float from the new album, and then older material like What's Left of the Flag, If I Ever Leave this World Alive, Whistels the Wind, Within a Mile Home, Selfish Man, Devil's Dance Floor, and more - all the way to I guess obligatory Black Friday Rule.

So I must remain in my new adopted land
I'm doing the best, Hell I'm doin' all I can...

Flogging Molly: Black Friday Rule

Finally, I had a great two hours in Tavastia, full of good mood and flaming Irish energy. The performance feelt proper, Flogging Molly's contact with the audience opened and relaxed. For some time I wish to visit Ireland again, not just because of getting more into Irish music within the last months; anyway, I have been listening to traditional Irish folk a lot already some years ago. It was more than worth to travel to Helsinki just to attend one band's gig - and all I can do now is to suggest Flogging Molly again. Sláinte agus saol agat!

Sunday, May 04, 2008


Spring has finally reached our part of Finland, almost all of a sudden. Sun has started to shine, temperatures have risen to a pleasant mild degree, and days are getting really long. So much of light! Some three weeks ago, I was still in my winter coat; now I can wear T-shirts.

It seems as Finland would have a special character - somehow similar to mine. In a way, Finland is a land of extremes. Either nothing or everything, either black or white, either depression or euphoria; there is no middle, no grey colour, no balance. Unstable, stormy, but also fiery character. Short days and a long-lasting lack of sunlight during winter; even if there are a couple of hours of daylight, sun is usually hidden behind clouds. And then, such an extreme change. I feel as that spring does not come slowly to these places, it just bursts out from long winter, and the nature goes through more fazes simultaneously.

So I sit in the center of JKL, catching that bright sunlight, people passing by in light clothes, holding their hands, they seem much more joyful than in winter, a lot of us is eating ice-cream, and spring already feels like summer. I observe those young beginnings of what will soon become a full-grown leaf on the tree... and I think...

... When I see young leaves growing, I already think how they will turn yellow in autumn.
... When I feel the warmth of the sun, I already think of forthcoming cold.
... When I am joyful, I am aware I can be easily
depressed again .
... When I observe days turning long, I remember they will start to retreat back into darkness.
....When a love starts, I am already afraid of the time when it will end.