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Gig Review: Soulfly + King Parrot in Finland – How to Steamroll Frosty Scandinavians into Happy Surrender

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Soulfly + King Parrot
Nosturi, Helsinki, Finland
9 March 2016
Review by Salla Harjula
Photos by Tomi Pohto

It’s a dark, clammy, early Wednesday night in wintery Finland. I’m standing inside Nosturi, a rock venue down at the old docks of Helsinki. There are a few hundred people inside the historic shipyard already, waiting to see Max Cavalera’s Soulfly. Australia’s own King Parrot have joined them on their huge European tour. It’s King Parrot’s first time ever in Scandinavia. People don’t know them here…yet.

The stage curtains open, slowly. They reveal the beautiful form of Slatts, shirtless, holding his bass. Then Youngy launches into his screeching and impresses the first row straight off with the sheer violence of it. By the end of a few songs, fists are rising further and further back in the audience. A dude in the middle is so smitten with Slatts, he declares his love out loud in between songs, which the lovely man accepts graciously:

” No, I wanna F*CK the bass player, that’s what you say!”

It’s a week night though, and the crowd is warming up too slowly for Youngy’s liking. He decides to wet a few crotches… Literally, starting with his own. He shoots water from his bottle alternately into the audience and down his pants. He flirts with a dude in the front row: ” What’s wrong, Helsinki? You look a bit standoffish tonight. You! You’ve got beautiful hair. Why do you have that hair if you’re not gonna use it? It’s damn beautiful hair, that. Let me wet it for ya.” Yes, that same water shoots down those blonde locks. Next song, Youngy finds another friend in the front row and as you do; moons the guy inches from his face.

There’s savage music going on throughout, much of it from the band’s latest Dead Set album. What people will remember from tonight, though, is the unadulterated attack of the King Parrot experience. Slatts does his thing with his buffoony facial expressions and overall raw charm. Squiz and Ari shred away like it’s the last night they’ll ever get to touch their guns. Toddy bashes the drums incredibly tight, all the while propelling his dreads in a circle (how do you even do all that at once?). And Youngy? Not content with bludgeoning everyone metaphorically, he dives into the crowd during the last song. My sober and reserved countrymen have got into the spirit of things slowly, but there’s no proper moshpit yet. Until Youngy makes one. He simply, single-handedly, all on his own, MAKES ONE. Slamming into people, physically dragging guys down from a side platform into the pit, running around screaming his head off.

These guys are almost too beautiful to be true.

When Soulfly finally comes up on stage, the place has already been beaten into confused submission. Max Cavalera does his Brazilian rhythmic nu-metal thing with an effortless charisma, there’s a lot of Sepultura, a few medleys, and several tribal jamming sessions that go on slightly longer than they really need to. People love every second of it. The night closes with a gleeful cover of Ace of Spades with Youngy and Squiz joining in.

While it’s overwhelmingly clear who people came to see tonight – Max and his kin – King Parrot is a name the audience won’t forget in a while. This is how you do a support tour;  even if you have to sear your crazy face into the minds of a strange crowd, you bloody do it by force.


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