Aug 31, 2012 / 10:06 pm
If you have been reading my column on a regular basis, you have noticed that I am of the mind that the European music scene is much healthier than that of North America. It is more diverse, a healthier Live Scene and better support from the Music Industry. However, with all of that being stated, it is sometimes still very difficult for Artists to make a lasting career out of their music. This group from Finland is one such group: with a debut album some seven years ago, “Prayer” have just released their second effort, and a strong one at that. “Danger In The Dark” marks this quintet’s sophomore foray:
PRAYER - Danger In The Dark (Escape Music)
We can look at this release as a re-introduction to the talents of Finnish musician Tapani Tikkanen and Mika Pohiola! Mika produced and mixed this effort, and Tapani has written the piece. Although still under the moniker of Prayer… ”Danger In The Dark” arrives seven years after their debut, “Wrong Address”. This second effort marks a strengthening
of the group. Now a five piece, ‘Prayer’ is still led by this duo and comes with a harder, fuller sound. A record that showcases the Rock attitude of its creators. Tapani has written each musical passage as well as sung them. “Danger In The Dark” is majestic in its presentation, (a positive nod to the production skills of Mika), a depth contained in each song that is seldom heard, and not sacrificing melody for potency. As one progresses through the ten tracks, you are opened up to a broad spectrum of music… Constantly rich and diverse. Each musical creation will touch upon many Rock stylings from such influences as City Boy, Pink Floyd, and Mott The Hoople. Each piece is an instantaneous classic! Tapani plays and sings in the grand tradition of the great English Rock and Progressive Rock musician, and writes grand story telling lyrical compositions that hold you close. Hopefully ‘Danger In The Dark’ is just the beginning for this revitalised group of seasoned Artists.
Bruce Atkinson MRF
Many things can happen between a group’s first and second album, however “Prayer’s” situation seems to be self induced, here is what founding member Tapani Tikkanen has to say about the latest Work and the length of time between records:
Question: I would like to begin with talking about the first go around that you started in 2005… An album entitled “Wrong Address”… Was this the actual debut of Prayer?
Answer: Yes, it was. Before that I had done many things with many different bands and projects, but “Wrong Address” was the debut for Prayer. It all started with a high school band in 1976, we played Dr. Feelgood, Stones and stuff like that. First album was “Anyway You Want It” with ICROCK in 1982. We also did another album with that band called “Hard Beat”: 1984. After that, the band broke up and I started a new one with TANNA in 1985, we did three albums and hundreds of gigs all over and it was fun and we were doin´ okay. I also recorded another album in1993 with Tanna, but the line-up was not the same. Years went by, I became a family man and I did all kinds of demos and recordings every once in a while, until 2004 Prayer was formed. We were not supposed to make an album, we just went to Soundmix, to record some of my songs. It all went well, and we thought... Why not to send it to someone? We had nothing to lose anyway. So, I sent one copy to Escape Music, they liked it, and that´s how it all got started.
Q: I realise that ‘Prayer’ is a vision of yours, Tapani, so the question must be asked, why so long between recordings?
A: After the first album the feeling was good. We got good reviews and pretty soon we started rehearsing new material, but little by little things began to change. We recorded another album, mixed it, we even had the lay outs and covers and everything ready... But I decided to pull the brakes. I don´t want to go in to all childish details, I don´t think that is important now, afterwards all I can say is that it was the right thing to do. We had so many clashes and different opinions and point of views that it was impossible to go on for me. It is funny how some people change, when they get their name or picture on an international website or magazine... Unbelievable in this case. After that, it took some time to get things straight, and after a while I contacted some of my fellow musicians, for example Jukka Ihme, he was born in the same small town as me, I trusted him 100%. And now he plays on the new Prayer album! I was in no hurry, I thought that the songs ain´t gonna disappear anywhere, we rehearsed every once in a while and did some demos and so on. I also wrote new songs all the time, spent a lot of time with my kids and my family. But like they say, it always feels when you look back that the time flies so fast. All and all, I want to thank Escape Music
for their understanding and patience, thanks guys, really!
Q: “Danger In The Dark” your new album, does it represent the ‘ideal’ band for you?
A: All things considered, at the moment, yes. I have known all these guys a long time, we all know where we´re coming from. I’ve know Mika for some thirty years, he is the only hopeless one... hahaa, but like I said, I knew that already! We all have our families and jobs and everything under balance and to make music is just an extra privilege
and we really appreciate that. We are very fortunate that we could accomplish this and we respect each other and their talents. These guys are not “the new kids in town”. And we don’t care how many people like us or not, it´s just a record after all, nothing more, we have no pressure what so ever.
…an eye-opening conversation! Kudos to Escape Music for waiting in the wings! And thanks to Tappani and Mika for ‘hanging in there’, so we music lovers can enjoy such excellent musical creations in “Danger In The Dark”…showcasing the power and beauty of ‘Prayer’!
Under The Lights
Upcoming Club/Concert Highlights:
The Blue Gator:
Crosstown Bus: August 31st /Sept. 1st Young ‘Uns: Sept. 7th/8th Rann Berry’s Random Act: Sept. 14th/15th Jimmy Leguilloux: Sept. 21st/22nd Moni Funk: Sept. 28th/29th
Doc Willougby’s: Acres Of Lions: Sept. 15th
Minstrel Café: Cheeky Monkeys: August 31st Blue City Trio: Sept. 8th Broken Mirrors: Sept. 14th The Rowdymen: Sept. 15th Fighting Orange: Sept. 21st/22nd Maria Muldaur: October 4th
The Pheasant & Quail Pub: Steppin’ Out: Sept. 7th/8th Diamond Road: Sept. 14th/15th Sherman Ducette & the Blues Duet: Sept.21st/22nd Donovan Sweet: Sept. 28th/29th
Kelowna Community Theatre: Andre-Philippe Gagnon: November 9th Colin James: November 12th
Level: ’Carnival Of Death Tour’ Featuring: Obituary Broken Hope Decrepit Birth Jungle Rot and Encrust September 22nd
Prospera Place: John Fogerty: Sept. 27th Journey/Loverboy/Night Ranger: December 1st
“Rann Berry and the One Hit Wonders” are set to encore their fabulous show on September 21st, and again at the
Kelowna Community Theatre! Tickets are available at all usual outlets.
‘Notes & News’: Notice that the ‘Rock n’ Roll Revival Canadian tour with Loverboy, and Journey now has Night Ranger as Special Guests!!----Summer is rapidly winding in to Autumn, and the cross-country tours and festivals are coming to an end. Next week we will look at the great Canadian Artists that toured heavily across the West, including such Legends as: Kenny Shields, Harlequin, Prism, Jerry Doucette, and others! Now, for your enjoyment: here is a song that is eclipsing the European charts and making in-roads to North American radio:
Read more Under the Lights articles
- Black Star Rising (Part Deux) May 10
- Black Star Rising (pt.1) May 3
- One Hit Wonders A Go! Apr 26
- Spring Flu Apr 19
- The Wonderful World Of Music Apr 13
- Spring Renewal Apr 8
- A New S.U.N. Is Rising Mar 29
- A Swedish Invasion? Mar 22
- Blues Rules Mar 15
- Swedish Hardcore Mar 8
- Reloaded/Revitalised Mar 1
- Second coming, of sorts Feb 22
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