Moscow Music (Balalaikas not included)

 

 

Even though it was a school night, I allowed myself to be persuaded into going to a gig last Thursday in the centre of Moscow. It was a new experience for me, going to see a band I’d never heard of, let alone heard a track from before. Of course my friend insisted they were brilliant, but then think how many people have been tricked by that line before- must happen week after week to get any sort of crowd inside Goodison Park.
The band’s Russian name is Краснознаменная дивизия имени моей бабушки, though for the English speaker they abbreviate themselves down to KDIMB since something about the division of a red grandmother doesn’t sound quite so catchy to us.
As soon as they came pouring onstage clutching a shop’s worth of instruments, I started to draw resemblances to the Arcade Fire, and it didn’t stop at the length of the line up.

The front woman and songwriter are married, and she has enough charisma and stage presence to take them to another level. Coming on like a cross between Regina Spektor and Karen O, it wasn’t only her voice, but the way she held the audience between songs with her banter too. (Unfortunately my friend couldn’t translate quick enough, but everyone else found it amusing).

It transpired the band themselves were also wary of their Arcade Fire tag, for their encore was a song for which there is an acoustic version of below entitled- Let Me Go, a tongue in cheek reference to the Canadian’s- No Cars Go.
It was one of the highlights, for when they harnessed their collective powers and threw everything into the pot that they were pretty magical and deserving of the weighty comparison. Their opener was apparently just their sound check, but it was a piece that deserves a much vaster audience, driven by the rhythm section and ending in a cataclysmic pile up five minutes later, sharing that same slow/quick dynamic the middle section of Funeral carries with it.

I don’t think they’ll be playing the UK anytime soon, but I will certainly be venturing out on more recommendations and spur of the moment fancies, as it seems Moscow holds hidden gems I wasn’t expecting.

 

 

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One thought on “Moscow Music (Balalaikas not included)

  1. Hi Leon, I love this and the posts you have written so far from Moscow and really great, thanks for doing them. Hope you are finding your feet over there

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