The best gig ever

Yes, yes, I know, we\’ve all seen this before. Finland\’s biggest ever gig.

This is 1993. We\’ve still got tanks in Moscow, firing live shells at the commies.

And in Finland we\’ve the Red Army choir singing the Finnish national anthem. Followed by It\’s Only Rock and Roll. And some of those Army musicians can really play: that horn section\’s been playing a lot of very unsoviet stuff to sound like that.

5 comments on “The best gig ever

  1. Correction: this is not the Finnish national anthem. It actually was the national anthem of Biafra.

    It’s originally “Finlandia” by Sibelius:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finlandia
    which is a symphonic poem composed in protest against the Russian chauvinist developments during late 1800′s. It’s an important song for Finns, but it’s not the national anthem.

    In 1967, the Republic of Biafra adopted Sibelius’ composition as their national anthem with the name Land of the Rising Sun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biafra
    Alas, the independence of Biafra did not end well. The bloodshed of Nigerian civil war and famine was on a totally different magnitude than the current-day conflicts in Middle East etc.

    The Finnish official national anthem is a slightly adapted German pub song, put on paper by Fredrik Pacius, a German immigrant in Finland, lyrics by J.L.Runeberg (“Vårt land” in Swedish, later translated to Finnish as “Maamme”).

    The same composition then also became national anthem for neighbouring Estonia, just with different lyrics (“Eesti hümn” or “Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm”). Silenced by Russians in 1940, revived in 1991.

    Otherwise, I quite agree that the Total Balalaika Show was the biggest gig ever. It’s actually more significant than what it were if they’d been singing the national anthem; “Finlandia” is specifically targeted against Russian pan-slavic imperialism which seems to be rising its head again.

  2. Also, that theme from finlandia is used in the Anglican hymn, “Be still my heart”, now rarely heard in churches.

  3. Welcome to Helsinki. Alas, no, the Cowboys is not playing here now. They still have gigs, but not on a daily basis, more like a dozen per year, and they’re all over Europe. And not with that big choir I think.

    But there are rock clubs all right.

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