Foto Lauri Eriksson
Pepe & Saimaa, Põhja Konn
Pepe Willberg and Saimaa come back together in the summer of 2023 for two concerts
Pepe Willberg and Saimaa come back together in the summer of 2023 for two concerts to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their modern classic album Pepe & Saimaa.
The birth process of the album was long: the first single “Lyhyenä hetkenä” was released already in 2011 and found its final form two years later in 2013. The ambitious work of art by Pepe Willberg and the album’s producer, Saimaa frontman Matti Mikkola, finally saw the light of day in May 2014. One the milestones of Finnish music in the 2000s, Pepe & Saimaa went straight to the top of the Finnish charts in 2014, selling gold. The singles “Tällä kadulla” and “Aivan sama mulle mä oon onnellinen” live on as evergreen favourites.
Critics loved the album, too. In late 2014, the editors of Soundi magazine and Radio Helsinki, Ilkka Mattila of Helsinki Sanomat and others named it the best album of the year. The album was also a success at the Emma Gala, winning the Rock album of the year and Critics’ choice awards. Willberg also received the award for Male artist of the year and Mikkola for Producer of the year.
Pepe & Saimaa have previously performed together only twice, in the summer of 2014 at Huvila festival tent and Ruisrock. And it is going to be a rare treat this summer, too, since Pepe & Saimaa will only perform at Huvila festival tent and Pori Jazz. The orchestra for the performance is the Vantaa Orchestra.
The opening act is the Estonian progressive rock band Põhja Konn, whose playing is influenced by jazz, classical music, funk and pop. Drawing inspiration from groups like Genesis, Ruja, In Spe and Beardfish, the band spices up old-school prog rock with some fresh colour. The band was awarded Band of the Year and Rock Album of the Year at the Estonian Music Awards.