in Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland, April 5, 2005

Women That Rock Tour 2005

It’s funny how some things stay the same even though they say that change is the only constant in this world. Whoever came up with that concept sure hasn’t been to a revival show. Not that Girlschool is consciously riding on nostalgia, it’s just that the band and part of the audience might as well have been taking part in some bizarre episode of The Twilight Zone where the same thing is shown happening after a considerably long time has passed. The funny, and at the same time precious, thing about it was that everyone seemed to be just as excited and happy to be taking part in it all as they were the first time around. It actually felt good to look around and see old geezers mixed with the young generation, who probably had caught the bug after raiding their parents vinyl collections.

The atmosphere was just the same as it was on the Girls’ previous visit here all those years ago when the promise of a good time to come was just as certain as the buzz from the night’s first beer. The Girls did not disappoint back then, nor did they now, even though mixed in with the buzz this time was an amazement that the band was actually really going to be playing for real and this was not a byproduct of an overactive imagination.

To add to the surreal feeling of it all, there was the hassle with the opening act Erocktica. Their “striptease on the road” show was too much for the all age audience. Since tickets to the show had already been sold without an age limit, the decision was made that the controversial opening act was going to close the show, and before their set, the possible minors were to be removed from the club. Who has ever heard this happening before? How bizarre.

Girlschool’s lineup on this tour is the same as on last year’s brand new Girlschool release Believe. The new girl, Jackie “First time in Finland” Chambers, handled the lead guitar duties, Enid “the prodigal and now returned” Williams on bass, with the legends Kim “the First Lady of Rock” McAuliffe on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and Denise “still loud and obnoxious” Dufort on drums.

Around 9 p.m. the Girls hit the stage and stormed into the lovable classic “C’mon Let’s Go.” It took half of the song to get over the amazement of actually witnessing such a lively and happy version of Girlschool doing such a potent version of this old classic. The ride that the Girls provided over the next hour had its ups and downs. The next surprise to come was how much of the vocals were handled by Enid Williams. The songs from the new album raised some doubts, and the song “Rock ’n’ Roll,” in particular, seemed to be all about the chorus.

The hiccups continued when only after five songs Kim’s guitar went out of tune. This prompted a request from the audience for a solo to entertain us while Kim and Jackie were tuning the troublesome guitar. Enid laughed and replied “No way,” but Denise kicked in a beat, and what followed was the first ever impromptu jam session at a Girschool show in which Enid sang about being on the road in Finland. This seemed to melt the ice on stage as well as off, and the rest of the set was like having a party with your best friends.

“Future Flash,” “Screaming Blue Murder,” and “Race with a Devil” were all heard along with such newbies as “Never Say Never” and “New Beginning.” The criminally short 50 minute set ended in “Emergency,” which started the vocal harmonies when all three members (not counting the powerhouse drummer) took part.

After a really short break, Denise “the reason for the deafness of the whole band” Dufort walked over to the mic and asked the audience if they were sure they wanted more, and they sure did. Jackie had changed into a t-shirt, which had a neon sign, with the text “cheers” (spelled in Finnish) flashing on it. Someone shouted a request for “Yeah Right,” and surprisingly they got what they asked. “Not that Innocent” followed, and the show was ended way too early with “Take It All the Way,” which was introduced as being the first single Girlschool ever made.

The Girls all looked good and were in gamely spirits, which was shown in the funny, in-between song comments that showed that they did not take themselves too seriously. Most things were blamed on Enid, who, in turn, tried to put the blame on Denise, and Kim actually admitted that it indeed was Denise’s fault that they were all deaf and she wondered who’s to blame for her blindness since she couldn’t actually see the set list. So even though the songs may not be that challenging to play, the charm and the warmth that these ladies carry and share with their audience while playing is something that few acts possess. That legendary charm is what keeps the audiences mesmerized time after time. The only way to find out what this means is to go and check the show out for yourself.


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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