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Architecture in Helsinki

Sometimes a Take Away Show needs nothing. Sometimes you have to fight to get anything out of a session at all. Sometimes, the band is so enthusiastic that they take full control: they light the spark that will make the difference. It’s only when a friend calls me that I understand that Architecture in Helsinki is in the third group: that they’ll do more than just perform this Take Away Show. “Are you going to join the Architecture in Helsinki choir?” Alex asks me on the phone. How can the buzz be so strong about the shooting of a Take Away Show? He explains: Architecture in Helsinki just made good use of their MySpace to put together an amateur choir, an hour and a half before the shooting that’s scheduled to happen in the evening breeze right before their show in Paris. Now we are really surprised.

6PM: Quite a hit! One guy is there, waiting in front of the club.

Little by little, though, the place is filling up. We enlist people, we’re having fun, we’re amazed. We can’t sing, but who cares. Kelly leads our rehearsal of “Heart It Races”, and we sing at the top of our lungs.

Architecture in Helsinki thought of everything: the choir, the bass drum, and the portable amplifiers. Alas, during the procession that starts shortly thereafter, the amps die. So with an extension cord, we borrow power from the locals, the neighbors watching from their 2nd floor windows. Electricity from a kitchen!

Cameron Bird, bright-eyed, asks me whether he can go up in one of the apartments, ‘cause he would like to sing from the window. Kelly goes in yet another flat and shows off the iced tea her hostess gave her. In our flat, dinner is cooking in a huge pan; the kids swarm towards the window in excitement, the mom goes about her business in the back of the place, and Cameron sings along with the small crowd down in the street. He winks laughingly at Kelly. He’s having so much fun. Behind us, the kids look impressed. We brought the Take Away Show to their home, in between the living room and the kitchen; we got in the place just by asking politely. We are a surprise to this family, just like Take Away Shows are a surprise to the artists we follow. As soon as the song ends, everybody goes back down. The little girls put on their shoes and run down the stairs before us.

Meanwhile, in the street, the little choir turned into a troop. The line is already long in front of the Flèche d’Or. Architecture in Helsinki, not even all there yet, have everybody form a conga line. Then that’s how it goes: something’s going on at the front, in the middle, in the back, and everybody moves forward. Vincent Moon bumps into the percussionist, goes again, wants to be everywhere at once but can’t, and bumps into me. In the street, a blind man wiggles to the sound of the band passing by. Since the beginning, everybody has been really out of tune. Cameron sings so loud because the mic is out. We go inside the Flèche d’Or, which is not open yet–a private cocktail party is going on. The people follow us, twenty, thirty people, invited without a word.

It was good, it was fun. It was about an invitation, returned almost immediately.