ION INDIE MAGAZINE June 2017, Volume 37 - Page 43

Fresh from her album launch to celebrate her new album “Stolen Hearts” at the historic 100 Club, ERJA LYYTINEN and her band came to the wonderful Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion. This fine old building has been lovingly restored to its original Art Deco Style period by Phil Duckett and team. This guy gets some amazing acts to play here…besides Erja, there are the likes of DEVON ALLMAN, ERIC GALES, HAMILTON LOOMIS, LACHY DOLEY (AUS), KIRK FLETCHER, LISA MANN, HARRY MANX (CAN) and J.W. JONES (CAN), to name a few that are playing here this year. But tonight it’s all about Erja “the Queen of the Slide guitar”--for that’s her crown and she wears it with pride and justifiably so. Erja is a sweet, very pretty young lady from Helsinki, and does she play a mean guitar! And she does so while simultaneously charming the audience with her lovely smile and warm persona. Tonight, as expected, she played tracks from her new album--nine, in fact, which are written by Erja. She opened the evening with a song she penned in 2004 while in California, “City of Angels”, a gentle start to the proceedings. The slide “came out to play” with her next offering, “Lover’s Novel”. I should say at this point, I do love some slide guitar—and hoping for the day when I can play slide like Erja! The evening progressed, with Erja mixing guitar styles while her band backing her with marvellous musicianship, who are: KAI JOKIAHO on drums, KASPER MARTENSON on keys, JUHA VERONA on bass, and the brilliant PIKI LAPPALAINEN perfecting the sound. The album itself is a wonderful mix of styles, and very different to her past albums. But after experiencing Erja’s show, I’m confident there is something for everyone to enjoy. My personal favourite of the evening was “24 Angels”--a very moody song, with (you guessed it) great slide playing. And so, an incredible evening of music came to an end, with Erja serving up 2 encore songs--both covers deftly performed, but in her own style. The crowd went home pleased, as did I…however, my reasons were twofold: firstly, seeing Erja and her band again in top form--and secondly, being there to cover the show representing ION Indie Magazine as their photojournalist. Thank you, Erja, for a memorable evening on all counts--and allowing me full access.