At Flow Festival, a carnival of creativity and culture in an abandoned Helsinki power plant, we're asking bands big and small to share their 'DIY or Die' moments.

At Flow Festival, a carnival of creativity and culture in an abandoned Helsinki power plant, we're asking bands big and small to share their 'DIY or Die' moments.

Bands know better than most those moments when you’ve got to put together what you have to keep the show on the road. It could be trying to turn a dime into a dollar to record a demo or trying to fix an equipment meltdown mid-show. At Flow Festival Helsinki, an explosion of music, art, creativity and culture in a breathtaking former power station we’ve been asking the hottest local bands and international superstars: What was your biggest DIY or die moment?

Neneh Cherry (Sweden) & Rocketnumbernine (UK)

Neneh: I had quite an amazing one when I was playing with The Thing, an incredible Scandinavian free jazz band. We’d just recorded some tracks for our project The Cherry Thing in a studio, and we were going to do this gig together at Strand in Stockholm. There had been a power cut in the afternoon so the whole south side of Stockholm had just blacked out and it took a couple of hours for the electricity to come back on. About ten minutes before we were about to go on stage the same thing happened, complete blackout with a house full of people ready to go.

We just sat there and waited for a while… and waited, in the dark. We lit a few candles, just waiting. Eventually, we were just like ‘Fuck it, let’s go out and play. We’ll do it a cappella, acoustic. We lit loads of candles everywhere and just went out and played. That was the first gig I did with The Thing and we’ll never recreate it, it’ll never happen again. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve been part of. People that were in there said you could hear everything, everyone was just quiet.

Find out more about Neneh Cherry.


Black Lizard, Finland

Paltsi, vocalist: We do pretty much everything DIY, we do our own cover art, mastering and make our own music videos. We wanted to do a video in the desert but there’s no desert in Finland so we went to this beach near a small town called Pori and shot it there. It kind of looks like it’s in the desert. We were playing the gig near there so we were just driving away the next morning and we said, ‘Hey, now it’s the time to shoot the video, let’s go there.’

I had this really crappy camera, we unloaded all the gear from the van and shot it in like 20 minutes. You should watch the video, it’s really crappy but it has the vibe we want. There was a little bit of snow on the ocean from the night before but it didn’t matter, it still looked like we were in the desert from an old western movie or something. It has this crappy ’60s movie vibe, really cheap.

Psych out with Black Lizard.


Noah Kin, Nigerian/Finnish rapper

Noah: We had this show and we had everything working in the soundcheck and as soon as we got on stage to perform, nothing was working. Our backing tracks weren’t working at all so we were sort of fucked. We had to sort something out, and I usually hate doing this, but we had nothing else and we just had to go with it: we had had our friend beatbox and then we rapped on top of that. It was really weird but at the same time it was cool to see how music can be conveyed on so many different levels and in so many different ways.

Get to know Noah Kin.

Huck was at the awesome Flow Festival a music, arts and culture festival in Helsinki, August 8-10. Check out all of our Flow coverage here.