THE RUSSIAN TOUR – A MUCH TOO BRIEF REVIEW

Here’s an all-too-brief review of our Russian adventures!

12 October 2011
WANDER at Sigmund Freud Dream Museum

The first concert of our short tour started in St Petersburg. After a long journey, we arrived at the Sigmund Freud Dream Museum, which is a great place – though not literally; in fact it’s extremely small size-wise. The first evening Frans and I played as Wander, as Olga had not arrived yet in Russia. Our set consisted of one 40+ minute track, which we had rehearsed at home. Around 20 very attentative people came to see the concert, which gave the Dream Museum a quite crowded feel. Unfortunately, there was no time for a proper sound check prior to the concert, so there was precious little time to get acquainted with my borrowed guitar, which, to add insult to injury, lacked a string. For me the concert was hard work, but it musically it turned out to be a very nice performance.

13 October 2011
BEEQUEEN at GES

The second concert of the tour in St Petersburg and the first one as Beequeen with Olga on vocals. GES is a gorgeous club, hidden from its street entrance. You have to cross a few squares, walk up a few steps and then; lo and behold: there is a bar, a Beatle museum and some very friendly people. The supporting act Badoseneticcube featured a girl with a lovely voice singing traditional Russian songs stretched out into long soundscapes. The club had a grand piano on stage, which we used to great, if not exactly loud effect, on The Lord Is My Shepherd. Olga turned a few heads in her golden lamé dress. The concert went really well, probably the best one as the Beequeen threesome so far. All those rehearsals did paid off. The response from the audience was great; we sold CD’s and even had to sign a few of them. A really lovely evening!

14 October 2011
WANDER and BEEQUEEN at Artist Residence

We left St Petersburg in high spirits and relocated to Yaroslavl, some 300+ kilometers up north from Moscow. Originally scheduled to play at Dom Muz, we were diverted to what I can only describe as Artist Residence as it had no official name. The rescheduling was necessary because there was no electricity at Dom Muz. Beequeen unplugged – a nice thought! With Olga staying a day longer in St Petersburg, the show in Yaroslavl featured me on vocals. As a nice addition, and since we were the only band playing, we decided to do our own support act: as Wander we played a condensed version of our set (20 minutes), a short break and then we magically re-emerged as Beequeen for the second half of the show. Since I had to sing all the songs as well as play guitar (this time a six stringed one) and remember all the breaks in the songs, this was an evening I anticipated with some nerves, but it all worked wonderfully; both the Wander as the Beequeen set went really well. The concert was filmed with professional cameras. As a result, the full Wander show and the “after party” can both be found on YouTube. The after party in fact consisted of delicious home-made food and alcohol. With one in each hand we enjoyed the gorgeous night view of Yaroslavl from the 14th floor where the venue was based.

15 October 2011
WANDER at Ex Libris

Another evening, another guitar. For this show Alexei was kind enough to lend me his Viper guitar. We returned earlier that day in Moscow from Yaroslavl. The Ex Libris is a library annex bar, and quite professional it is too. As with most bars in Russia, smoking seemed mandatory. The performance was planned in the downstairs room, which featured a sophisticated sound installation. With only 8 paying people turning up, it was quite funny that the table in front of the small stage had a “reservation” sign on it. Those present saw a great Wander concert with good sound to match, probably the best show Wander played so far. Concentration and enjoyment – a very fine combination.

16 October 2011
BEEQUEEN at Dom

And then we came to the final concert of our short tour. How time flies! The second show in Moscow (as Beequeen with Olga singing) was quite an experience: neither the audience nor we were quite sure what to expect. We played third on a bill with 3 other bands, none of which sounded anything like Beequeen. But like magic, the audience became more and more enthusiastic with each song – as did we. The playing was smooth and good, the singing went great. A couple started dancing in the aisle. People clapped along and laughed at our tiny jokes. The show ended before we all wanted it to end. To me the Dom concert was probably the most fun one to do. We made friends for life that evening and sold quite a few CD’s.After the show, we went out to celebrate with cocktails and were almost refused entrance at a posh cocktail bar. If the bouncer had known we were Beequeen, he would have offered us Mick Jagger’s seat. The Dom performance was a great closing of a great tour.

The Beequeen live concerts are available for free download at our archive pages.

We met many lovely people, all willing to help us out, listen to our songs and provide us room to stay. Thanks to all of you, Russia was a dream-come-true!

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