11 January 2016

Музыка под снегом (Music under the snow)

The day after witnessing the final appearance of my favourite band (so, with a vacancy to fill), I was at what might have been only the second UK appearance of the prime candidate for the position of my new favourite. They didn't quite make it, but it was a good evening.

I'd like to write a great deal more about Mashina Vremeni at the Palladium on 20th December, but there's relatively little I can tell you. Astonishingly, not one word of English was spoken by the band - and I know that Andrey Makarevich speaks it pretty well, from seeing him interviewed on TV. You'd have thought that they would tell the audience in the local language what song was coming next, given that they were in a country where their repertoire would be less familiar to an audience than back at home. Especially as at least one of the songs appeared to be pretty new. You might also have thought that they might tell us who was whom (I knew who most of them were, but that's not the point: and in particular who was playing lead guitar following the departure of Yevgeny Margulis?). At the very least they might have said "thank you" when the audience applauded, just as Paul McCartney (and no doubt others) have said "спасибо" when playing to Russian audiences.

It wasn't necessary to look far for the reason. In fact it was all around  me. The audience was almost exclusively Russian - Tor and I might well have been the only non-Russians in the place. But it would have been nice if someone had spoken from the stage to us, and any other new English fans who might have been there. Of course I started listening to Mashina Vremeni to improve my Russian (did I really write "improve"? From this low a base, it's not very accurate to use that word - "to learn some Russian", perhaps), but I wasn't expecting such an immersive experience as this.

I can't even tell you much about what they played. Povorot, of course, and the screen helpfully displayed the lyrics so I could try to sing along with the chorus. Poka gorit svecha, thankfully, and Marionetki (even if I hadn't recognised it I'd have identified it from the graphics). Razgovor na Poyezde was in there somewhere too (notice that, just as they didn't bother to speak any English to me, I am not bothering with Cyrillic). Krai was a new one on me but it had the lyrics on the screen. Krisi (which may or may not be subtitled "Pezniya o Putine" - song about Putin) featured: pretty obvious what that title refers to. No Prazdnick nachinaetsya seychas though.

I got so lost that I'm not even sure whether they performed Musica pod snegom - however, here it is anyway. Still enjoying listening to the music, even if I feel rather let down.

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