Tina & The Toyboy

Markus "The Toyboy" Hämäläinen

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

Live and videos

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.

New webpages

BNC_promo1_2Brand 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.