Russian cover bands: drama, skills, grasp

Суббота, 10 Октябрь 2015, 16:04
Размещено в рубрике English Special и имеет 0 комментариев.

Special by Vladimir Yelbaev, The YelbTrib


Beatlove: Jonh, George, Paul and Ringo. This is London

Beatlove: Jonh, George, Paul and Ringo. This is London

Moscow 9.10.2015, Club Moskva. Lennon 75th anniversary commemoration concert (promoted by Alexander Lipnitsky). Well, «Bad Boy» by Beatlove sent me reeling rightaway on the floor with schoolday Shake jerks, to amazement of both the crowd and myself. Beatlove had just took the stage and, back from their British gig tour, were they exact and sharp on licks, outspoken on intros and dead close on accents — making the best possible Fab Four. As of new cynical generation, Beatlove do put fees before fun but they manage artistry easily.

Beatlove were followed by another British exposee and veteran cover club attraction Dans Ramblers. Throbbing is the term. The tricky bass licks were pushing powerful Marshalls to their extremes and nearly tore thru everyone's chest. Countering the notion that bassmen make mediocre vocalists, the one here had awesome spanning vocals. The Ramblers' set rehashed Beatles' later material, revealed new depths and improvs rather than copied antics, cutting an odd dejavu of Grand Funk live circa 1974. Bemused and gaping I frogot to jot down numbers' titles (for more occasions on the night) but perhaps «I Got A Feeling» was lengthiest with heavy psychedelic trips.

Band upon band, number after deafening number, this night drove home that Russian rock, the Classic division anyway, did away with shitty Gorbunov Club era repute and with Perestroika illusions, neither is it tedium feeble nor routine or KGB controlled anymore, it is very dedicated, highly technical, truly self-contained and graduated, also crafty, no-nonsense, free and pumping heavy metal power to boot.

Me I never heard anything to match — either on record or attending world festivals. I just had to pity missing expats (spotted few mesmerized) who go by Moscow Times and Expat FM «event calendar    recommendations».

My apologies, no insult meant to Dans Ramblers' leader as I failed to restore pic for reproduction. After all, the band switched mind off in favor of true hunch.

My apologies, no insult meant to Dans Ramblers' leader as I failed to restore pic for reproduction. After all, the band switched mind off in favor of true hunch.

To Lipnitsky's sense of discretion, one Beatle collector was wisely invited to MC, foregoing the naggy «approved experts» pretences this time around. In every spect this event outdid a Beatle.ru rally of few months ago. It was all honest, taken for granted. An address «from Lennon's surviving relatives» was read out but, thank God, no prizes to be won.

Next on the bill, the deserving  Optimalny Variant presented «The Walrus» in bawdy and exotic Russian lyrics and, Gee, climaxing with high climbed occtaves on outro. The wonderful guitarist exceeded the lower frets to cull virtually impossible harmony. It blended with the output from the keyboards to challenge and grow on the original record's effects. Over the havoc, leader Oleg Chilap's voice championed the octaves beyong its reach.  Totally unpretentious and open, the band were giving themselves to exploit wherever the Beatle magic led them. In their set this band called on King Crimson prog repeatedly, hailed their Samara town origins (with the surviving Lennon fanzine!) and generally justified own Wiki entry status as «a finger in every pie».

The worthy MC and Sunny Side Singers, the two new surprises

The worthy MC and Sunny Side Singers, the two new surprises

The Variant was by no means runaway top and artful. Show was stolen by a vague Olga Oleinikova of cult club circuit. The dame uniquely joined Joplin and Aretha Franklin (of Blues Brothers fame) antics to come up with rendition that defies any laurels. In fact, I never heard those losing themselves in such a throaty compelling act. First stoned then  applauding wildly, I forgot to note the title again — of Let It Be or Abbey Road?

Oleinikova ably led Sunny Side Singers, her big choir company (modeled after Anita Kerr?) thru  a set of simpler older numbers like «Nowhere Man».  Their «Because» (Abbey Road) oddly boardered on «Sun King» replete with garden noises (courtesy the busy air condition on the venue).

The event sourced its sheer power from shutting off dirt outside — carrers, morals, politics, wars, rap stupidity, media blahblah and poor calibre FM DJing. It ran on pure Beatle pre-hippie idealsm for the society never actually perfected, just interrupted and misled.

There were vague references however: «Give Me Some Truth» by Optimalny Variant sounded as perhaps Peter Paul & Mary/Times They're a-Changin', The Turtles/Happy Together and Steppenwolf/Monster did for their respective eras.  «Prudence» was inserted with a monologue (taken from Lennon's live LP?), «Across The Universe» tripped only too zany and vibrant, away from this sort of «reality».

Olga Oleinikova - Janis Joplin strongly revisited

Olga Oleinikova - Janis Joplin strongly revisited

When you thought all being said and done, one Sergei Gutsan, an unlikely cropped new wavish fella took stage and your breath with «Mother» of the fierce abandon and all correctly hit notes! We wished John were here to partake, and well, perhaps he was, in astral identity. Some cameras were rolling and live audio would be available commercially — shame if it weren't.

There was no competition, rather a public workshop. Bands changed places onstage and in the audience, and Gutsan's fine lineup also helped on Sunny Side efforts. It was, like back then, musicians earning living elsewhere and getting to play out their credos for free. The fact their sort of society never happened only added dramatism to now-living. It's nothing to compare with, I am positive.

The night did have a couple of its low moments: a piggy conduct of someone in VIP seats and obvious «never should have been's» by the hyped Blues Cousins and one hopeless Margulis. But then, those concessions to officialdom attenuated the better stuff. The Beatles (and all) forever, they like to state as «words don't come easy» in either language to this generation. Words come easy to me but I have held back my imagination as well I could.

The event was attended by Mary Travers (of Peter Paul & Mary)...

The event was attended by Mary Travers (of Peter Paul & Mary)...


... and Tony Blackburn, BBC World Service

... and Tony Blackburn, BBC World Service

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