No, I am not referring to the death in 1968 of Russian cosmonaute Yuri Gagarin (R.I.P.). I am talking about the fabulous Finnish band of that name!
And this week saw the launch of their long awaited debut Album, “Nro 9”.
The style of The Death of Gagarin is difficult to define, but I guess it's indie rock, with a twist of psychadelia and zest of goth. Their live performances are legendary. And now, at last, the masses worldwide can own and enjoy their music too.
As it happens, I know the singer of the band, Robin Lovestone (who, as his name doesn't betray, is a Finn).
I first met Robin in Bunaken, Indonesia, where we were both holidaying. On one memorable occasion, a group of us took a day-trip to the mainland to see, amongst others, Mount Lokon volcano.
You know how people form a special bond when they go through a traumatic experience together? Well, on that trip, we were driven around all day in a mini-bus that had just one tape in it, which was played on a continuous loop. The tape was: Charles and Eddie's “Greatest Hits”.
To this day, I have painful flashbacks of the group of us having been brainwashed into singing along to “Would I Lie To You” as we drove through the Indonesian countryside (to be fair to Robin, I can't remember whether he actually joined in).
I also have special memories of a Bunaken reunion evening, back in Helsinki, a year or so later. Somehow, after dinner and a few drinks, we ended up here:
Yes, this is a karaoke bar in a converted public toilet! And for the most part, the singing that took place inside there that evening was appropriately... err, bad. I recall one poor woman passionately murdering “Memory” from the musical Cats, with the rest of the bar joining in with mock operatic voices (“Miiiiiiiiiidnight / Not a sound from the paaaaaaavement”).
The one exception to the terrible performers that night was Robin who gave AMAZING renditions of a couple of Rolling Stones' songs.
Oh how I wish I had his talent and coolness (though I am of course a singing legend in my own shower)!
Anyhow, check out The Death of Gagarin's debut album on Spotify or buy it on Amazon.com or elsewhere.