Markus “The Toyboy” Hämäläinen
BNC-vocalist Markus Hämäläinen will take on a new role next fall: he will play The Toyboy in the Tina Turner Tribute & The Toyboy show at Viihdepalatsi (Entertainment Palace) in Tampere, together with Cookie Watkins, who is said to be the best Tina Turner tribute in the world. Markus got the part through one of the band’s regular venues – the recommendation was so convincing that no audition was needed. Markus is thankful for the confidence: “Clearly I’ve done something right”.
By now he has sang also for the press. “I was pretty much left alone”, Markus laughs about his experience with the reporters – the also presented featuring artists of other Viihdepalatsi-productions are, for now, more widely known by the Finnish public. Markus is not too familiar with Turner’s material beforehand, but his background, including years spent in the United States with his missionary parents, makes him appropriate for the role – his accent is native and his musical roots American.
The show challenges the experienced musician far from his comfort zone. He’s nervous about choreographies and the flirting pertinent to the Toyboy role, but excited about the opportunity to perform with the 8-member-orchestra. He will sing duets with “Tina” as well as songs – not only by Turner – he’s chosen for himself. One great ballad will highlight also the backing vocalists.
The premiere is on September 3rd, and the show will run every Wednesday through Saturday until October 8th. The concerts start at 7.30 p.m. and before that a three course dinner is served. Show tickets without the meal are also available, but Markus recommends dining: “The food is really good!”.
Tina & The Toyboy on Viihdepalatsi’s site (includes links to ticket sales).
During the concert series, BNC will play their gigs with Markus’s brother Elias Hämäläinen as the lead vocalist.
Interview, text and photo: Leena Ikonen
Markus is on vacation for a few weeks, and his brother Elias Hämäläinen will take his place as the leading vocalist for BNC until the end of April.
Elias is known as the best street musician in Helsinki as well as the one and only Finnish X factor winner, and has performed with BNC before, so the band is surely in good hands. Take this as an opportunity to enjoy a slightly different BNC set during several gigs at Rymy-Eetu and Molly Malone’s (dates on the gig list).
Markus handles gig sales during his vacation, too, so inquires are welcome (contact information on the right).
BNC’s year 2015 started and ended on a cruise ship. As you can see from Markus’s smile, there have been plenty of great moments in between. On Saturday we’ll continue at the very familiar Rymy-Eetu at 10 p.m. See you there! Thanks to everybody came to listen, and Happy New Year!
BNC just returned from a three day gig cruise on Viking Grace. Elias Hämäläinen was the guest vocalist for the second time – in June BNC accompanied Idols-winner Martti Saarinen on the same stage. BNC feat. Elias can be heard on Grace again on November 13-14th 2014(cruise info and bookings www.vikingline.fi).
Next, BNC will perform on the Raffaello terrace in Helsinki on Aug 2nd, and at Kymijoki Beer Festival featuring small breweries in Kouvola on Aug 8-9th. On Aug 16th the band will return to Rymy-Eetu after the summer break, with five gigs there already in August-September. Other venues include Shamrock in Vantaa, Grönan in Hanko, and Molly Malones in Helsinki, where BNC will play a whole week before Christmas. With some additional duo gigs and a New Year’s cruise to Tallinn, the band is looking forward to a very busy fall. See you at gigs!
A few live clips from BNC’s Rymy-Eetu-gigs have been published on the Setlist-page. The next opportunities to hear the band live are August 10th and 23rd, again at Rymy-Eetu. During August 30-31st the band plays on Viking XPRS cruising between Helsinki and Tallinn. For those who like mellower acoustic sounds, the BNC duo will play in Porvoo on August 16th, and on M/S Maria docked at Hakaniemi on September 5th. See gigs.
Brand New Classics now has their own web pages, after residing the past year at Elias Hämäläinen‘s website. BNC-vocalist Markus is involved in the process of making his brother’s solo album, and the band also still cooperates with Elias – either jumps in to accompany him, or Elias can be booked as BNC’s featuring artist. Other than that, the party band is moving forward on its own, led by big brother Hämäläinen.
Brand New Classics @ Circus Helsinki 2.2.2013
Brand New Classics played on the biggest stage of their career at the Circus
in Kamppi, at the after party of the motor cycle fair 2.2.2013. Especially the big wonderful sound system made the gig an awsome experience, but the band is ready to return to more intimate stages, making people dance, for example, on the tables of Rymy-Eetu