It has to be said, when I travelled to Finland in order to see Finnish doomsters Kuolemanlaakso play a show in Kuopio, I certainly wasn’t expecting to chance across an Anathema date taking place the day after in Helsinki, as they’re a band that’s practically local in comparison (Liverpool to my North Wales). Since my flight wasn’t until the early hours of the morning after, it would have been pretty rude not to attend – and what a show it turned out to be!
Something seemed a little off as the set began, as only three members of the band took to the stage in fairly casual attire and started proceedings with an acoustic rendition of The Lost Song, Part 2, but things were soon cleared up with an explanation as the closing chords rang out. With the band insisting that they weren’t trying to start a new trend by coming onstage wearing pyjamas, it was explained that their gear and personal belongings hadn’t arrived at the venue in time, however not wanting to cancel, they’d rented some instruments and were going to play a special acoustic show. As I’d missed out on their Liverpool acoustic show due to some unfortunate circumstances, it was great news to me – even if it wasn’t good news for the band’s gear and stage outfits!
There’s something beautifully poetic about witnessing an acoustic Anathema show; their music translates perfectly into a rawer acoustic form and it sounds even more emotional and heartfelt, somehow, so it was incredible to be a part of the wonderful atmosphere and indeed, the band even commented on how good the atmosphere in Helsinki was, and how it was always a pleasure to play to Finnish crowds.
For A Natural Disaster, the band once again requested the lights in the room to be dimmed off, with everyone holding up their phones and lighters to provide the light in the darkness and it made the song all the more atmospheric and ethereal as a result, and I’m sure that I’m not the only person in the crowd who got goosebumps from it all.
Anathema rounded up the set with a rendition of Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here , with them requesting everyone to sing along because it was “something we all knew” and although the roof didn’t quite get lifted with the sound of everyone singing along, there was still a considerable response to the closing track and the applause for the performance rang out long after the song came to a close.
What a show. What a night. Anathema made the best of a bad situation and shifted it into something magical.