There is nothing out of the ordinary about a cult band from Finland. Nothing at all. There is, however, nothing ordinary about And The Lefthanded.
The autumn of 1994 three extraordinary Finnish guys came together for a practice session in Helsinki, Finland. There was T.A. Kaukolampi, (guitar, bass, synth, vox), H. Anttilainen (drums, vox) and Vilunki 3000 (keys, guitar). The product was a highly volatile form of Garage Blues. When Larry Guitar joined the band later that same year, the volatile mix exploded on the dance floor. The band borrowed the name from a 60s beatgroup, Larry And The Bluenotes, exchanged Bluenotes with Lefthanded and became an instant party hit around Helsinki.
Four EPs on Finnish Thrash Can Records later, their fame was growing and the time was ripe for their debut album, "Diabolika". It was described as "Garage Noir from surreal lounge hell", and paved the way for Larry And The Lefthanded abroad as well. The band toured Europe and especially Scandinavia extensively, even doing gigs in Russia. In Germany they toured with Tocotronic, and soon, their second album was ready.
"Quantum Rider" became Larry And The Lefthandeds "Pet Sounds". Intricate, yet immediately appealing, complicated and straightforward at the same time, but without adopting the Beach Boys penchant for in-band bickering and drug-induced paranoia. Larry And The Lefthandeds sophomore effort brought them even more fame far from home: by this time theyd become a favourite of The Beastie Boys.
However, soon after, Larry Guitar left the band to focus more on his other work, and his family. But even though Larry left, And The Lefthanded remained. And so did the rest of the band, with the original lineup, and hence the pretty darned original name.
A series of Lefta Records 7" followed. "Walking on Mirror" was made in collaboration with Conny and Johnny from Bob Hund, recorded in their studio in Solna, Sweden. Through this creative collaboration, And The Lefthanded reinvented their sound without Larry adding a krautsynth edge to their garage-soul stomp. It might seem on paper like a weird mix, but somehow, it works magnificently.
In 2001 And The Lefthanded released a 10" and CD-EP on Norwegian Éllet records, fine-tuning their reinvented new, old sound. And The Lefthanded are stomping their way into the future in that wild, eclectic, Finnish way of doing things. Live or on record, theyre not quite like anything youve experienced before, and at the same time comfortingly familiar.
(words by lars ursin)