Takahuone.fi is Finnish music website but this one I wanted to write in English so everybody in the world could have a chance to read this. I want to tell you how great band Biters is. I really love real, honest and true rock music. My absolutely favorite bands are the Finnish group Hanoi Rocks, Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott, The Doors, Lemmy’s Motörhead, AC/DC with Bon Scott, and Hurriganes, also from Finland. But those dream bands of mine are all gone, and I have been searching for new bands that play rock ‘n’ roll as it is supposed to be played. I’ve found some good groups, but now, finally, I have seen live a new band that really touched me. I almost cried in the audience when Biters from Atlanta, Georgia played an absolutely phenomenal show in Helsinki, Finland, in a rock club called Tavastia in March 2016.
I think rock is all about having a good time, but I like the feeling of danger too, the feeling that anything can happen on the stage. In this concert the band played well, but this gig also included a beer drinking contest for fans and stage diving from the Biters front man and singer Tuk Smith, and the band kept on bringing vodka and beer to the audience—a strategy that surely can never hurt. The band kept joking with the audience, and at one point an older man who, as Tuk Smith said, looked like Crocodile Dundee of rock ’n’ roll with his leather hat and leather vest almost puked on stage after finishing his beer during the drinking contest. Infantile? Yeah. Fun? Hell yeah! (Okay, so maybe you had to be there to appreciate this particular moment.)
Tavastia Club has been the top venue to see rock bands in Finland for a long time, and it has seen a lot. Basically everybody from rock ‘n’ roll has played there. From Johnny Thunders to Dee Dee Ramone, from Nikki Sixx to The Black Crowes, for example. (During that Black Crowes show the guys from Guns N’ Roses were watching from the balcony.) Tavastia is the home of Finnish bands like Hanoi Rocks, HIM and The 69 Eyes. And now Biters have played there.
Biters music is melodic and catchy rock ‘n’ roll with great hooks, and in my mind, it’s where Hanoi Rocks meets Thin Lizzy—about the highest compliment I can give. They have many great songs, and they played them all in Tavastia. My personal favorites are 1975, The Kids Ain’t Alright, Heart Fulla Rock’ n’ Roll, Restless Hearts, Electric Blood and Loose from the Noose. All these are from their debut album Electric Blood, and they sounded great live too. Tuk Smith is a good singer and guitar player, other guitar player Matt Gabs looks and sounds like young Ronnie Wood, or that one Spinal Tap member too!
Drummer Joey O’Brien is a hard hitting, badass rock drummer and bass player Philip Anthony is the pretty face of the band with Smith. He looks like young Joe Perry from Aerosmith, and he seemed to be having a good time too at Tavastia. When Biters finished encore after playing the Kiss song Strutter with stage full of partying fans Smith and Anthony were talking to a fan on stage, then Smith reached out for a microphone: “Do you want to know what this guy said to me? He said that he is not a motherfucker, he is a fatherfucker!” And as you can imagine, just like that, Tavastia was laughing out loud. At the end of the show Smith said to Finnish fans that because they travelled to Finland from the other side of the world they wanted to make impression. I sure am impressed.
Text: Mikko Korvenkari