Sunday, February 24, 2019

Remu & Hurriganes - Last Call / Live In Helsinki - No. 202

Remu & Hurriganes -Last Call / Live In Helsinki

Remu & Hurriganes in 2019? Well, the gig is actually from 2018 and it's Remu (and Remu), plus a few of his friends and brothers in arms in the service of Rock/Rock'n'Roll/Rhythm'n'Blues and whatnot. The Hurriganes are legend in Finland and a few years ago, Finnish parliament passed legislation, requiring every household in the country to own at least five LPs/CDs of said band. Everyone already had ten copies, so that was a shot in the oven.

Seriously, in Finland you are expected to know their works and if not, better be prepared to be shipped off on the next available airplane leaving the country. Generations of Finns have lived with the sound of the Hurriganes, from birth to death and everything in between. Just don't you dare call them average, because they are not. Bloody great band in my book and their music triggers a lot of buttons. My personal favourite is surely "Hanger", not least because of the melodic diversity on this album.

I haven't counted all releases, but I can't be far off with an estimate of around twenty albums (studio and live, except "Best Of's" - of the latter, there is a seemingly endless supply of cheap cash-in stuff, go for the originals). I believe Remu (only member flying the Hurriganes flag throughout their entire career and beyond, and their drummer and sometime singer) wasn't the only one standing for the band, but there are tragic stories buried in the past.

The Hurriganes have ceased to exist a long time ago already and Remu has had a low profile career carved out of the band in later years. Still a big name in Finland, but I believe his stage appearances were few and far between. No wonder, the guy is now, what, 70 or thereabouts? So, that's supposed to be then end then!?

The LP does have this kind of innersleeve that actually damages your records (offgassing and leaving marks), I don't know how this can still happen when every average record collector these days knows better. My advice, remove the inners at once and replace it with decent sleeves (even though the damage is already done). Just wanted to throw this in, before I forget the point. About the sound quality: I heard better, mainly this has a bit of a dull sound (and I have Infinity RSM speakers which overemphasize highs) and more crackling than is good for a brandnew, factory sealed record. The album is also available as a CD with a bonus DVD (not included in the vinyl version).

BUT the album rocks and rolls and is a joy to listen to despite the shortcomings. What you get are tracks that are ingrained in Remu's DNA (what else?) and the band sounds tight, which is remarkable enough for a one-night stand. And one or two of my favourites are on the LP as well, "Honey I'm Leaving", "Tallahassee Lassie", "I Will Stay" (what is it now, "Should I Stay Or Should I Go", please make up your mind) and many more. I did watch some videos on YT and was surprised to see Michael Monroe playing sax. News to me. But then, Hanoi Rocks is not my go-to Rockband (but I might have something by them). Not knowing anything about the state of Remu's health, he looked quite frail in these videos, but he seems to have made a stand with whatever strength he has and the performance wasn't for sissies.

This "Last Call" is a goodbye in style from a legend (I know, I said it before) and I wish Remu all the best. My only gripe is, I didn't know the music of the Hurriganes during their heydays, but better late than never. Remu & Hurriganes rock.



P.S.: The innersleeves do look like overstock from the 60s/70s (yellowish and already used). I'm talking about a factory sealed LP!!!

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