Horns of Balkan sound on the beach

”If you don’t go crazy then you aren’t normal!” yelled the star of the Rento Stage to his audience, and you have to admit, it ended up being well and truly crazy. I have to admit that I haven’t seen so many normal people in one place at the same time, and this is Finland we’re talking about!

The big horn section of Goran Bregović and His Wedding and Funeral Orchestra blasted Slavic and Romani tunes to the heavyhanded accompaniment of the bass drum. The vocals were mainly left to the clear-voiced commander of this rhythm company. Dressed in a shiny cream-white silk suit, the star of the orchestra handled the singing, the guitar and the rabble rousing with the sure and steady routine of a thousand bar gigs.

I guess he played all of his hits. I couldn’t say for sure, since my own experiences with Goran Bregović are limited to his film scores. The show had mainly fast-tempoed Slavic-Romani songs with catchy horn melodies. There was one audience participation song, which had a melancholic mood that resonated audibly with the Finnish festival crowd.

While the show on the stage was wild, the same could be said of the Rento Stage beach. Packed almost shoulder to shoulder in front of the stage, the audience was one big dancing mass, with moves that you definitely won’t see in any glitzy night club. I don’t know how familiar the audience was with Bregović’s music, but it didn’t seem to matter. The main thing was that the horns were playing, the drum was beating and everybody had a great time! More vodka and dancing bears, take it away Goran!

Text: Pekka Naakka
Photo: Terhi Hytönen
Translation: Jaakko Suvanto

Aihe(et): In English.