Friday, 24 September 2010

Psychorama - Helsinki 2010

Psychobilly guy

Skinheads fighting

Missy Macabre

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The Helsinki tram museum houses old trams that haven’t been in use for over 100 years, but this weekend, Finland’s psychobillies and skinheads clamber around them, knocking back vodka and Karjala beers in irresponsible quantities.

Spirits are high and so are the haircuts of the rowdy youths of Northern Europe. Blood splattered and debaucherous burlesque dancers accompany furious slap bass and old fashioned guitar solos. The shockwaves from the psychobilly bomb that went off in 1980’s England continue to reverberate around the globe. Here in Helsinki its alive and kicking, albeit with a few gory wounds.

Highlights include London’s The Polecats, featuring Boz Boorer of Morrisey’s band, shaming amateurs with his unmatchable six string skill. Singer, Tim, leaps about the stage like an excitable child and makes you forget that its been over 25 years since these rockers were chart topping pop stars.

Sweden’s The Coffin Shakers are another favourite but in contrast to the Polecats, they hardly move, preferring instead to pose, statuesque in black clothes and dark glasses, looking like four Roy Orbison clones and sounding like Johnny Cash enduring the most morbid of come downs.

It would be a comfort to know that on the outskirts of Europe, the forgotten subcultures of Britain are still celebrated, but the existence of these booze loving psychos can hardly be described in such terms.

Published: I-D Online, September, 2010

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