Christmas is coming, but it’s not quite time Christmas song season yet. Instead, we headed out to Vernissa on Saturday, December 17th, 2022. The culture center run by youth services in Vantaa offers a steady stream of grassroots rock and pop shows often organized by VELMU, a live music organization at Vantaa. VELMU was behind Saturday’s Indie Fest V, an evening for less-known indie acts organized for the fifth time.
This time the line-up had four bands: JUNE FOREVER opened the evening with their pop-rock approach; KOPRA followed up with a nice mix of pop, funk, and blues – also the only band of the evening singing in Finnish, by the way – third up was THE HALOPHONES with their raw garage rock energy; and the evening was finished up by CESSNA, a veteran indie pop group whose first recordings date back to the late ’90s.
The evening had a nice rising intensity to it. JUNE FOREVER and KOPRA were still happy to perform their music to a sitting crowd. Of the two openers, JUNE FOREVER had a more serious approach, trusting their melodic style to enchant the audience in their seats. KOPRA, on the other hand, added a twist of humor, albeit seen through a dark lens.
The latter half of the show turned up the heat. THE HALOPHONES have been making a name for themselves with their super energetic live shows and they delivered at Vernissa as well. Singer Atte Nordberg is a great head for the band, jumping, twisting, and demanding the audience to take part. Unfortunately, the seated audience did not best serve the band, who could have harnessed the drive from a more active crowd. Nevertheless, it was easy to see why THE HALOPHONES have emerged as a name to keep a close eye on. The songs are catchy, the musicians know their stuff, and the band sounds balanced and plays as a tightly-knit unit – and their live act provides the finishing touch.
The evening was closed by CESSNA. The indie-pop act recorded on small American and Japanese labels in the ’90s and have sometimes been referred to as “the godfathers of Finnish indie pop.” The show had a cool, relaxing, and easygoing feel from the start. Usually it would be annoying for bands to start their shows by tuning their guitars, but in a way, it started this one with the right kind of uninterested, out-of-this-world feeling. Their music provided the perfect counterpoint for THE HALOPHONES, as there was no show-acting, just beautiful, melodic, and wistful music. And there was no need for anything more.
See the photos from Indie Fest V below.