It’s the Wednesday Finn Classic! This time I bring you Ultra Bra, a rare kind of pop band that was founded in 1994 and disbanded in 2001.
And It’s rare because of it’s style. It involved vocal arrangements with 4-5 singers and an eight-member band. It also had roots in a type of political music on the left, and the group was actually formed when it participated in a music competition arranged by the Finnish Democratic Youth League, a youth organization for an alliance of socialist parties in Finland, nowadays called the Left Alliance.
Doesn’t sound like your everyday mainstream pop band, does it? But these guys were very successful and topped the Finnish charts. Two of their albums have sold triple platinum, one has reached platinum status and one (the first album) “merely” gold status.
I saw them once on the main stage at the Provinssirock festival in Seinäjoki in 1999 and it was truly something to see and hear. The whole audience knew the lyrics and sang along, which made the experience that much better, and the performance of the band was superb. Much better than Blur that was the main act on that stage later that night.
The reason I pick up Ultra Bra now is because of the news that they are doing a comeback, if only for a night, to gather campaign funds for the presidential candidate Pekka Haavisto of the Greens of Finland. There’s an election on in Finland you see, and the second round, between Haavisto and conservative candidate Sauli Niinistö is in about two weeks. Oh, and the former main songwriter of Ultra Bra is the current party leader of the Greens; Anni Sinnemäki. It all fits together, see?
The concert will be held on January 30th in the Helsinki Ice Hall and it’s a pretty safe bet it will be sold out.
The song posted here is called Tyttöjen Välisestä Ystävyydestä (= About the friendship between girls) and it actuallly competed to be the Finnish Eurovision Song Contest-candidate in 1998. It didn’t win, but went on to be a big hit during that summer. Check out their Eurovision-performance in the YLE Archive (YLE = The Finnish Broadcasting Company).
BTW, sorry about the quality of the music video in this post. It’s hard to find Ultra Bra-videos with good quality out on the web. Hopefully someone will upload a better one sometime soon.
I was there at Provinssi in 1999 too. It was beyond wonderful