There is no question about fall having entered London as we write the end of October on our calendar. With foggy weather, The Lexington seems like an especially cosy hideout this Thursday night. And what better hideout is there than the Ja Ja Ja club night, we ask? Without being too impartial, we must admit to being a bit disqualified in the matter; we would say that we know the answer. No, there is no better hideout in London this evening. After all, we have Norway’s own Mikhael Paskalev, Iceland’s Ólöf Arnalds and the Finnish The New Tigers taking the stage.
The New Tigers, looking a bit nervous, are the first act out. “We’re from Finland. I heard it was snowing there today. I wish I was there. Just kidding! It is nice to be here,” vocalist Valtteri jokes before kicking of their third song. As the band swings their heads, taps their feet and seems to enjoy the music, the audience does the same. Like other bands taking a part of the Finnish indie-wave, The New Tigers has this feeling of joy attached to their music, and as they kneel down on the floor, making the most out of every little noisy guitar sound there is, you can definitely say that the cold London weather seem a little bit warmer. It might be the one beer, or the good vibe, but it is definitely enjoyable.
“I think we nailed it,” is the bands confidante answer afterwards, as we ask how they felt their set went. “It was fantastic, we had a lot of fun. And the vibe! This is a Thursday night, you don’t find this kind of vibe on a Thursday in Finland.” Well, you do in London.
With glittery tights, Ólöf Arnalds enters the stage as act number two. She is said to have a voice of magical quality, somewhere between a child and an old woman (according to Björk that is). As she shortly comment on the audience being “very serious, very focused,” she starts playing her guitar and quickly spellbind the entire room.
“She is kind of cute,” someone in the audience says, and they are indeed right. Seeing Ólöf on stage, you can do little but smile. As she piles off one good quote after the other (“Now, bring out the guns” as she introduces her ukulele) she gets the audience clapping, stamping and wohoing. “I forgot what I was going to sing,” she suddenly say, “because this is so much fun because you are all so lovely.” She stands still smiling for a moment, before continuing her last song. She then takes her bows to deafening applause.
With the Ja Ja Ja club night being sold out (!) it is no doubt that The Lexington is packed. But as they say, the more the merrier. When the night’s headliner Mikhael Paskalev enters the stage, an overwhelmingly enthusiastic audience greets him.
On stage, Paskalev is almost shaking with energy. It is this same energy that has made the rockabilly singer known for his live shows and music videos. The crown starts cheering just by the look of Paskalev’s harmonica and he laughs shyly, “I did not know I had so many friends here”. We all know what’s coming; as he sets off the familiar intro to ‘I Spy’ the crowd goes wild. By the time the second single ‘Jive Baby’ kicks in, the audience is already warmed up and the dance moves are heating up.
When Paskalev announces that “this is going to be the last song”, the audience responds with a clear “noooo”. ‘Sayonara Saigon’ starts off as a slowly goodbye before kicking in and making the whole audience join him for one last dance.
And with that we say thank you and goodbye. We had a great night. (PS. sorry for the crappy photos, this is what happens when your camera dies just before a concert.)