Trad.Attack! celebrated the release of their new album “Ah!” with a concert party at Club Sinilind on the 3rd of October. 

A concert party is definitely a new concept for me, thus going to Kohvik Sinilind, where the Trad.Attack!’s concert was held on a Saturday night, I had no expectations about the event. However, within only a few minutes and some three songs I understood what kind of event I was attending. This definitely was a party as well as it was a concert – no wondering about the concept here. The audience, which also surprised me with its colourfulness, danced, smiled and cheered the band with active clapping and howls, but the event also didn’t lack loud singing from the audience as one would expect in a real concert. As said before, both the sense of an intimate concert and the party of a good friend was tangible.

For me personally, this was a very rich experience. In the end I walked home with a new perception of folk music, which so far has always been quite pale and static in my eyes. My first experience with a modernised approach to Estonian folk music was a Curly Strings concert in Helsinki just two weeks ago. That is why, when attending the Trad.Attack!’s concert party last weekend, I was expecting a similar rural ball atmosphere. However, the only thing that both bands share is the guitarist. The approach and the emotions that they give to their audiences are completely different. Trad.Attack!’s music is further away from the traditional Estonian folk music, but the used instruments, as well as the old folk song audio cut-outs give one the needed dose of the traditional. For all of these reasons, I looked at the artists with great admiration and drew two particularly clear conclusions.

First of all, Trad.Attack! definitely captivates me much more performing live than they do when I listen to their new album Ah! at home. This most probably could be explained by their energetic stage presence and the more confident sound that remarkably suits their music. Secondly, all of the artists seemed to master their played instruments to perfection. Sandra, the only girl in the trio, just rocked with her Estonian back pipes and all other traditional instruments that she picked up. I can imagine that in the next few years the number of students learning traditional music instruments could double, because they definitely made them look very stylish.

Another conclusion that I made is that the songs of Trad.Attack! are full of energy – the same as the style of their performance. Some are good dance songs, only a few are more lyrical, but quite a lot of them give so much energy that I could image one listening to them before entering a sports competition to get ready for the fight. People attending the concert surely took the energy and seemed to bloom – all doubts and tiredness were left behind. The waves that people made with their bodies were completely natural and came unexpectedly. The reason why the music of Trad.Attack! so easily carries people away, in my opinion, is the pure melody of their songs and the rhythmical and repeated phrases from the folk songs that are the basis of their lyrics. For the ears of a foreigner it doesn’t even matter that you don’t understand them as I caught myself chanting the lyrics, or at least something similar to them, together with all others. Most of them are easy to remember after the first round of repetitive verses.

Trad.Attack!, of course, had the greatest spotlight of the event and left a very good impression on me, but I cannot ignore the excellent work of the warm up band. The Puuluup, which was dubbed the hottest boy band at this year’s Viljandi Folk Music Festival, caught the attention of the chatty audience with their first song. In a way, I found their music quite similar to Trad.Attack!’s work in the most positive way. However, the music that Puuluup produced, and I am consciously using the term produced as they were using a recording technique to make their duo a full-on band, seemed to be lighter than Trad.Attack!’s works. That is why it easily relaxed everyone. I found them to be like a nice opening joke of a good performer, used as an opener – light and fun, making everyone smile.

All in all, Trad.Attack!’s music and performance provide a great energy boost, which, while presenting traditional Estonian music, is far from the boring associations that folk music might bring to some. Moreover, a concert party is definitely an event that I would recommend attending, but I am not sure that every artist can handle this. However, Trad.Attack! can and I might even suggest that they probably don’t even know any other way to perform. What flowed from them was pure strength and confidence.