Skip to content

Finland's brash punk quartet stall in Eurovision semi-finals

Finnish entrant Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (PKN) failed to secure a place in the Eurovision song contest final.

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät
Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Finland’s unlikely ambassadors of musical unity, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät or PKN, failed to secure a place in Saturday’s final of the Eurovision song contest. Although the band’s incredible journey came to an end Tuesday night, PKN managed to shatter a few stereotypes during the course of their heady Eurovision experience.

Finland’s 2015 entry was always going to raise eyebrows among Eurovision purists, accustomed to pretty young things serving up an annual diet of mostly syrupy ballads and bubble-gum pop.

A group of grizzled adults with various disabilities, the curiously-named Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (Pertti Kurikka's Nameday) never pretended to fit into the predominantly beige Eurovision mould.

Their musical offering was another point of departure from the norm – instead of a plaint for love or world peace, their unapologetic and brash punk wail was a screed on the general cussedness of conforming to societal expectations and other burdensome duties.

“I Always Have to…” is the title of the song and the overall somewhat anti-social mood of the performance.

Unlikely heroes

Even if they didn’t get into the final, they made the rest of Eurovisiondom sit up and take notice of every individual’s right to choose their desired path, regardless of abilities.

But this group of improbable heroes from Finland, sometimes seen as the land of the underdog, went even further than that – and showed what the camp contest can sometimes be about, when an idea and a message take hold of the imaginations of millions of diverse people across an entire continent (not forgetting extra-European participants such as Israel and Australia).

Although they didn’t make it to the final, PKN is perhaps the one act that best embodies the theme of the 2015 competition “Building Bridges”.

Simply by doing what they did and will no doubt continue to do, they shed a light on a group in society that has largely been overlooked, merely because an accident of birth took them on a small detour from the rest of mainstream folk.

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia