May 07, 2004

Shouting Finns On The Big Screen: Mieskuoro Huutajat
(Originally aired 7th May 2004)

Huutajat.jpgThe Sydney leg of REAL:Life, an annual travelling documentary festival, kicked off at the Chauvel last night. Skimming through the programme, I noticed two music-related docos that should definitely be worth checking out - Channels of Rage, which is about the vexed relationship between pro-Zionist Israeli rapper, Subliminal, and his Palestinian protege, MC Tamer; and Screaming Men, which is about Mieskuoro Huutajat, The Finnish Shouting Men's Choir.

Hailing from Oulu, a provincial town in Northern Finland (which is also home to the World Air Guitar Championship), Huutajat Mieskuoro was formed in 1987 by a couple of guys in the local punk scene who decided it might be amusing to get 20 men in black suits and rubber ties, and have them shout over the top of popular Finnish songs. (Why shout? Well, basically because Finns have a tradition for being quiet...)

From these humble, tongue-in-cheek beginnings, Huutajat have gone on to become the toast of the European music festival circuit, and have even scored a Top Ten hit in their homeland. Recently, it was reported that they planned to perform on the frozen Baltic Sea for the crew of a stranded ice-breaker.

If you can't make it to the film (which is screening on Saturday) and you'd like to hear a sample of Huutajat in all their bellowing glory, there are a couple of mp3s from their 10th Anniversary Concert CD on their website. The CD itself can be buy through Finnish label, Bad Vugum. (For more background on the group and its eccentric hometown, check out this article from The Age.)

Posted by Warren at May 7, 2004 06:59 AM | World