Vappu 2009 – May Day 2009 – Systematic brain cell destruction in Southern Finland with The Spyro

Vappu (May Day) is a big festival time in Finland. Teekkarit – or Technical University engineering students – are professional party animals, who start their bacchanals a week or two before the actual day and usually continue for several weeks. For teenagers May Day is often a party where they get drunk for the first time, as did yours truly. Whole Finland is reborn again and the land is full of balloons, serpentine and empty bottles. Ladies may were short skirts after long and dark winter and dedicated stalkers may get their first glimpses of legs and thongs and lucky lads may get even further in the gloom of the night.

After Vappu, Finnish people crawl back in their holes for few days to tame hangover. Roger Moore (The One and Only 007 for me) came to Finland after this years celebrations and was surprised to see only empty streets in city of Helsinki.

The Spyro was to give two shows for drunken celebrators. The first gig was in Espoo in a venue called Dipoli, where the engineering students have their annual Vappuparties. Also another band, Carmen Gray had been booked for the gig. We set up our equipments to the stage which was so far the biggest for this band: huge light system, a fog machine, professional PA-system and big appearance hall were pleasant surprises for us. For the first time we had our own backstage room with a toilet, a mirror and fridge full on beer. SWEET!

Before show time we enjoyed refreshments backstage and gave an interview for OUBS (Otaniemi Underground Broadcasting System) which is a TV-channel run by the students themselves. We gave the interview in the backstage for two pretty interviewer girls. The girl who asked the questions from us was so nicely equipped that it was hard to concentrate and difficult to remain eye contact. We all answered to the questions and we´re keen to see the final cut. It´s in the hands of the editor now...

About 22.30 when we started to play, the hall had about 30-50 listeners, not us much as there would be later, but we gave it our best shot. Olli jumped down from the stage to the riot barriers twice and gave records to the eager listeners. The Spyro played about 45 min, doing a total of 12 songs.

It felt good to be on a big stage where you could move and run and dance yourself to sweat. After applauses we headed off to the backstage for refuelling. Simo had called a cab and with the cab we transported our gear to his house which was quite near. At Simo´s place we had time to cool down and taste some Absinth while analysing the gig. In the late hours of night we headed back to our homes to recover for the days to come.

Next day, the first of May is official picnic day where people gather around to the parks and market places to celebrate the May Day. So did the Spyromen. Weather was nice, Champagne was chilled and there was a gig to be next day.

Gig no 2: SPYROCK vol. 1 In Turku, Club S-osis

SpyRock is a rock event organized by The Spyro. We had reserved a club from Turku University students and booked four other bands to perform in the first SpyRock. Toni had done lots of work to sign the bands for evening. The others had been booking hotel rooms, designing the posters and flyers, and doing promotion work for the happening.

SpyRock ad Sun was shining; spring was coming when we started our journey to Turku. Turku with it´s beautiful Aura-river and even more beautiful women wished us welcome. We started to make the arrangements for the evening. There was a lot to do: sound checks for five bands, ticket selling and booze drinking. We had to make sure the audience bought a certain amount of drinks from the bar to cover the expenses of the night.

When the doors opened there wasn´t very many people around. The first ticket buyer got himself The Spyro promo-CD. He was male so we decided to give also CD for the first lady to enter as well. First Band was Exploding Heads from Helsinki, as second act played Turku´s own Mystons. Even though two days of celebrating the Vappu is too much for most of the people, the boldest could handle the third day and the crowd was starting to grow.

Total control over the rocking band We were the third act to take the stage. Luckily the crowd had grown just enough for us to put up a decent show. This time we played only a 30 minute set, leaving more stage time for the last two acts. The stage was lot smaller than in Espoo and we ended up beating each other with guitars and microphone stands.

Next band was Clarkkent, who had just released their first album. The boys are from Helsinki and Espoo and they gave quite nice performance with their American style power pop/rock. As a last band was Manboy, originally from Pori but nowadays from Helsinki. They had released their fourth album in March, and play their Indie rock with the experience of years. The bar was about to close and we had to signal to the band that their playing time was almost over. Luckily they managed to give a proper length gig for the SpyRock audience.

Gig well played, time to relax!Evening was full of good bands, obviously, because we picked them ourselves :) In general the evening went great. There were just enough people to make a wonderful crowd, to rock and to drink enough beverages.

After we left club S-osis we got lost in Turku but finally we managed to found our way to Dynamo club. After Dynamo we ended to the Omena-hotel and continued the partying with Manboy and Clarkkent. And that´s about all we can remember.

Next morning we carried our amplifiers to the cars and headed for home after having some tasty Indian food. See Ya!!