15th-17th July 2011 Joensuu, Finland


Paint the town blue

Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass! The last time Ultramariini performed at Ilosaarirock Festival was as long as six years ago. True, the band was on a break for some years while the singer Matti Johannes Koivu released successful solo albums one after another. The quiet spell finally ended last autumn with a wistful new band record called Ydin, and from the very first notes, it was clear that a hiatus had made this great band even better. Ultramariini, the band that keeps releasing its self-produced albums on a minuscule independent label, is still stubborn and self-reliant as ever.

Ultramariini's music is guitar pop that grows slowly and takes you over one song at a time. There are recognisable hints to 80s' British indie bands and even some flirting with electronic music, yet the sweetly melancholic atmosphere of the songs and Koivu's heartfelt interpretation make the band fit nicely to the historical continuum of Finnish pop music, where powerful expression and plaintive tunes have never been shunned. And they fit very snugly to the Sulo Club, which has been celebrating Finnish-language pop and rock music from day one. Welcome back to Joensuu, Ultramariini, we've missed you so.

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