Author Archives: avidaudiophile

Combichrist. Moscow 13.07.2017

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Perhaps, I’ve been more of a shut in recent months. Perhaps, my music taste is too narrow and I don’t enjoy most mainstream bands but, in my eyes, 2017 has seen a decline in foreign musicians performing in Russia. At least the ones *I* like. Despite this, new albums and singles have been pouring out all over web, and I’m having trouble keeping up. It’s so good to see many of my favourite musicians continue to create art regardless of political changes. In fact, I envy those who can pour their worst moods and emotions into a creative outlet as my own productivity has suffered the past 2 years, as can be seen by how little I post here.

But I digress.

The last time I saw Combichrist was sometime between 2014 and 2015. Many industrial, metal, and alternative bands were touring at the time, and Combichrist was drowned out by bands I enjoy more. Not to say that I don’t enjoy their music, but since they’ve shifted from EBM to industrial metal, they have become less my cup of tea. I have found their latest album, “This Is Where Death Begins” the least memorable as a whole, though there are some standout tracks.

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Nevertheless, their plan to come Moscow was a much needed excuse for me leave the house. I had been worried about being late as I arrived past the official starting time, but like many bands, they started an hour late so I hadn’t missed anything as there weren’t any local opening bands anyway.

When the band finally took to the stage, the crowd erupted in relieved and eager applause and screams. Andy’s charisma and energy pulled the crowd together like a priest directing Sunday mass. People of all ages, all around me, bounced, screamed along and punched the air along to the beat. Despite the band being known for regularly changing band members, the chemistry between all the band members are undeniable. They had all come together to satisfy their fans and play their hearts out. Most of the songs came from the last 2 albums, but some old favourites like “Blut Royale,” “Shut Up and Swallow,” and “Get Your Body Beat” appealed to new and old fans alike. Andy also expressed how much he enjoys playing in Russia for the very warm welcome he always receives from fans. I would agree as Russians as notoriously passionate to the point of sometimes becoming crazy obsessive.

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The whole concert lasted about an hour and a half and it flew by in a blink of an eye. Once Combichrist had played their last song, I was stunned that they had finished as I had felt that they had just started. In fact, I felt more energetic at the end than I had at the beginning and didn’t feel any fatigue despite having screamed my head off, jumped, danced and thrown my arms up for over an hour. And this, is what I believe to be a test of a truly good live band who are so dynamic that both the musicians and audience leave the gig full of positive electrifying energy that will carry them long into the night. Thank you Combichrist for returning to Russia and I hope you’ll keep coming back.

 

Set list:
what the fuck is wrong with you
blut royale
scullcrusher
throat full of glass
no redemption
zombie fistfight
exit eternity
my life my rules
get your body beat
shut up and swallow
can’t control
maggots at the party

the evil in me
never surrender
sent to destroy + we were made to love you


Music Tattoos

It’s 2017 and to get out of my writer’s block funk and to increase the content on this blog, I decided to branch out beyond just albums and concert reviews and also get more personal. Today I’ll be discussing my music-related tattoos.

The art of tatooing has been around for thousands of years. The more commercialized forms of tattooing we see today is still somewhat stigmatized and considered especially taboo for women. I’m a firm believer in one’s own body autonomy and that anyone can modify themselves however they want regardless of gender. For some young people it can be a sign of rebellion and a way to show that they’ve broken free from their parents at 18. Some people get tattoos solely because they like the image or design at the time. And for others, myself included, each tattoo represents an important piece of themselves and tattoos become a written history on their bodies. While I will never judge someone’s reasons to get a tattoo, tattoos with stories and especially fandom connections are the most significant and interesting for me personally.

I currently have 8 tattoos on my body. Since my very first tattoo in 2010 till today, there hasn’t been a single tattoo that I regret. Each of them signify a significant achievement in my life or something I am proud of, be it a movement, ideology or fandom. Even if I get older and may not necessarily agree or like what I have tatooed on me, it will be a reminder of my journey in life and where I was at the time of that tattoo and how much I have grown as a person. No apologies. No regrets.

I currently have 4 music related tattoos which I will share below.

The first ever musician whose music connected deep to my core was Amanda Palmer. Like most fans, I began by listening to a few albums and then found myself following all her social media on which she is very active. Like any musician, her style changes with each new album, but the woman behind the lyrics inspires me every day with how she connects with the world and her fans. I have seen her perform 3 times and twice I got to meet her in person after her shows. It took me almost 2 years to decide on what sort of tribute to Amanda I want on my body and on my birthday in February 2010 I went in and got her signature eyes on my back. It was also my first EVER tattoo so I was especially nervous about doing her justice. Amanda is also the type of performer who wants to know her fans personally and will sign and hug each and every person after each gig. After the gig in November 2010, Amanda had “personalized” my tattoo and now I have a full Amanda face to be proud of. While I do not like every single one of her songs equally or agree with all her decisions as a person, her art has shaped me to be the person I am today. I’ve also been very lucky to meet some of the most incredibly kind and wonderful people through her fandom and will be eternally grateful for her existence.

 

My most painful tattoos have been my feet and I choose those quite deliberately. The music of Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan and their various bands (Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Puscifer, A Perfect Circle, etc)  have always spoken directly to my dark side which I battle with almost on a daily basis. Their music reaches into the darkest parts of me and soothes those demons. To take a metaphor and make it literal, they “ground me” when it need it most and thus they are represented on my feet. These have also been the most painful tattoos since the skin on the feet is the most sensitive and that had also been a conscious choice.

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Lastly and most recently in my collection of music tattoos, after having seen Aurelio Voltaire in concert 3 times and not only fallen in love with his music, but with him, I decided it was time to permanently show that love. Not only does he write wonderful music which brightens up even the darkest days, but having met him, I’ve see the kind and generous soul who also embraces his own darkness and goth style much like myself. I’ve found a kindred spirit in the music and the person behind the glamorous musician. So just last week shortly after Voltaire’s 50th birthday and close to my own 29th, I decided to add more permanent “goth” to myself that’s not just disposable clothing or makeup. In such way I am embracing myself in a world where often alternative people aren’t always accepted.

Finally, semi-related to music, I also added more “gothness” by adding bats to my head not only because they are cute but also because of Voltaire’s song “Raised by Bats” and further embracing my weirdness and choosing to celebrate it.

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What music related tattoos will I get in the future? I have no idea. I usually dwell on a tattoo for a long time considering design, colours, size and placement. I have many more musicians who mean a lot to me but it’s always tough to choose good representation. Song lyrics are a popular choice among fans but I find that to be unstable as favourite songs change and new albums are always being put out. So who know? I would certainly like something to represent my love for IAMX and Placebo next but I haven’t decided what.


Best Gigs of 2016

Today is the first day of a new year and new month. But before we can dive into 2017 and everything is has planned, I’d like to look back on the all awesome gigs I attended this year. My current policy is to stay away from large festival gigs as I believe paying exorbitant prices just to see one band in the lineup is just not worth it. So I’ve been sticking to smaller clubs for those in the know. Sadly due to health problems and overall low energy, I was not able to do individual reviews for each concert, but I’ll give a general summary of all of them.

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My brother was able to get me last minute ticket to this show for my birthday and it really pumped a lot of energy into me in the beginning of 2016. Please see previous post for a full review.

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As I’ve been venturing more into the obscure side of alternative music, I came across Das Ich while searching for something different than mainstream industrial. Those guys give absolutely INCREDIBLE energy. It was hard to believe that they still rock out just as hard as when they’d formed in 1989. Despite not understanding all the words, the power of their performance conveyed everything they had wished which is a mark of a group with a truly international reach.i3__qyayunq

Considering that Russia doesn’t have a very big, organized or loyal alternative fan base, observing the Witch House genre and scene expand here has been like a very quirky sociology project. Bands like Dita RedRum, Cult of Cain and Fraunhofer Diffraction have gained cult following amoug young “baby bats” or those first dipping their toes into nu-goth. Such gigs either tend to have a very small audience, or are packed to the max, making it quite uncomfortable, even for a seasoned concert goer like myself. Moreover, going to any witch house gig is rather annoying as young drunk and high teens have created a new rave culture as normal clubs and discos are often over-priced and very face controlled. I feel like a rare flower for attending a gig to actually enjoy the music and sway like a 90s goth doing the tree dance. Sadly even for me, this young unruly crowd has become a deterrent from going to more concerts of this type. I must be getting old.

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Second year in a row seeing them and they always bring their A game. A rare opportunity to dance EBM and really let it all hang out.

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Much like Hocico, Alien Vampires’ harsh EBM brings the connoisseurs of industrial, EBM and overall darkling who not only mosh but also dance. Yet another opportunity to wear my biggest platform boots and stomp my heart out all night.

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I was quite uncertain what to expect of this band as attending had been a last minute decision. Their last album hadn’t particularly stood out for me. I had hoped their live sound would have been more EBM and Industrial but it the combination of harsh metal guitar and screamo vocals still made it work. Very down to earth guys who were more than happy to exchange hugs and selfies afterwards.

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This was Aurelio Voltaire’s 3rd year performing in Russia and each time it just gets better and better. I’m surprised that he has quite a sizable audience here since it does take an advanced level of English to understand his jokes and puns but at the end of the day, rum and vodka brought us all together. I cannot sing this man enough praises. Even though he’s unable to bring backing musicians on tour, forcing him to keep it acoustic, his sweet deep voice and guitar do not make the music boring. Each of his songs are always incredible well written and there is something for everyone, the goths, the nerds, or anyone who likes silly alcoholic karaoke-type singalongs. He bares his heart and soul on stage every night and truly values his fans as he never leaves the club until he has met, hugged and taken photos with everyone. What an extraordinary man who shows that being a label-less musician with big dreams and hard work, one can do anything!

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The crowning jewel of the top of 2016 was of course IAMX. Despite still being placed in the alternative category, much like Placebo, IAMX have a huge young Russian teenage girl fanbase. If you think you’ve seen big metal head guys moshing, that’s childsplay compared to what lengths young women will go to get the tiniest taste of their idols. This was my 4th time seeing them in Moscow and the whole band exudes sex and filth and an energy unlike any other. People may have differing opinions on how Chris’ writing has changed album to album, but no one can dispute how they deliver every song on stage as if it may be their last. While listening to the albums is fun, this is a band which MUST be experienced live to feel the real devotion and intense connection between an artist and their fans.

 

That’s all folks. Let’s hope 2017 will be a better year for all of us. Cheers!

 


Best of 2016

‘ello all. It’s certainly been a while. 2016 has been a very challenging year for many and myself included. Poor health and stress of my day job had certainly not made life easy. But enough excuses and on to the music!

I’d like to begin by thanking all the wonderful Djs over at Communion After Dark for being my primary source of new music for this past year. Due to my local scene severely lacking and causing me great distress, like many children of the internet age, I soon found relief for my condition by spending many hours pouring over alternative music podcasts on mixcloud.com. Rated number one on Mixcloud, Communion After Dark provides a wide variety of music for those darkly inclined hosted by some of the funniest people I’ve ever heard. So, thank you so much guys for making 2016 just a little less bleak.

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2016 saw an unexpected but an incredibly necessary revival of Industrial music. While Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails and many others old timers in the scene hadn’t stopped producing music since their inception, new blood and a new audience was desperately needed in the scene. I’m well aware that 3Teeth had launched their debut album back in 2014 but it wasn’t till 2016 when they were invited to tour with Tool that they become the band on everyone’s radar. Unfortunately they have not yet planned to tour where I live but I am holding my breath in anticipation.

Since everyone already knows the debut album by heart, here’s something fresh from their Soundcloud.

IAMX – “Everything Is Burning” Metanoia Addendumsmokeheadcover-1024x1024

IAMX have become practically mainstream amoung the alternative crowd but that does not make the music or the band any less genius. They need very little introduction or explanation. I had the privilege of seeing them live for the 4th time this year and nothing can compare. Chris Corner writes truly unique visceral unbelievable music.

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Daniel Graves, more well known as Aesthetic Perfection is a true workaholic and never stops making something new. While there is no word on when he plans to release his new album, we have been getting teased with tracks like LAX and Love Like Lies. I can’t wait for what Daniel will think of next.

Mr. Kitty – I Hope You Fall Aparta0439911568_16

I’ve been a huge fan of Mr. Kitty since 2012. His soft synth beats and ethereal vocals call out to the jaded millennial generation who have seen the accomplishments of our predecessors and have decided there’s really no hope but nihilism and music. In 2016 he released the “-+ [EP]” and currently a new single now that’s he’s joined the label Negative Gain. I can’t wait for more. ❤

Victor Love ft. KMFDM – Bitchcrafta3194347266_16

Thanks to Communion After Dark and absolutely every alternative DJ for playing this as it’s serious earworm, but the good kind. The album overall is ok though it’s a tad repetitive.

Hands Off Gretel – Be Minea1893993551_16

I cannot thank my favourite Youtuber Dorian enough for introducing me to this band. I also absolutely adore strong gritty female vocals. As someone who grew up listening to The Distillers, Hole and QueenAdreena, and many many 90s riot grrrrrl bands, this is Riot Grrrl reinvented and brought into 2016! I cannot get enough of them!

Neon Midnight – Retribution3acee51162997f9d6897fe1ffb070770e01dc00dIt’s very tough to assign Neon Midnight a genre. Influenced by 90s grudge bands and gothic sources alike, majority of the songs are rather simple vocals and guitar. While it’s hard to musically categorize, the lyrics are truly impactful and resonate in one’s mind for days. Just give it a try. “Break Me” is my absolutely favoruite song and it speaks to me on a deeply personal level.

 

Nine Inch Nails – Not The Actual Eventsnot_the_actual_events

Of course who could’ve missed the biggest Christmas present of all this year and that’s the new NIN with Trent and Atticus Ross continuing their ongoing musical relationship. Listen for yourself and make up your own mind. I like that it’s more dark and gritty like the earlier NIN I hold so close to my heart.

Strvngers –  Strvngersa3959448815_16

Now with THIS, I’ve certainly saved the best for last. Strvngers is a band which I’ve discovered completely by accident sometime in November and became instantly obsessed with. If I had to choose a favourite album of 2016 it would have to be this. I’ve played it over and over so many times that I now hear the lyrics in my dreams. Heck, I could write an entire album review post singing this band praises. Now, I must caution you, as with much synth darkpop, you’ll either love it or hate it. That being said, it really is the perfect soundtrack to 2016. At first they reminded me of The Sounds with their 80s throwback sound. But, uniquely to them, having synthy upbeat melodies does not mask the dark desperation of the lyrics which might come across as a bit emo but then again 2016 has been a very dark year after all; and is it not the job of art to reflect the current times? The album tells a story about the rise and fall of a young relationship. Very few albums these days have such a cohesive bold story arc which transitions perfectly between each track. They speak very clearly to our current jilted generation who grew up on video games and empty promises. It’s no surprise they share the same record label, Negative Gain as Mr. Kitty whose music also very much taps into this aesthetic. A true gem amoung the coal. A+

Disclaimer. All music belongs to the artists. I tried to link directly to sources like Bandcamp where you can pre-listen and download to your heart’s content. I own nothing.


Henry Rollins “Charmingly Obstinate” Tour 02.02.2016 Moscow

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It’s been about 24 hours since I attended Henry Rollins’ gig last night and with Iggy’s “Raw Power” as my soundtrack I feel the need to spill my brain guts on here.

Last night was not Rollins’ first time in Moscow. A renowned world traveler who’s visited over 90 counties, he has previously been to Russia with his band, as well as his spoken word show, not to mention taking the famous TranSiberian Express across Russia. Though the previous times he had attempted his spoken word show in Moscow it was, to quote modern hip young folks, “an epic fail.” Luckily for the audience, Henry opted against having a translator and this gig went much smoother for everyone.

Henry told many stories over the course of his 3 hours on stage. The best ones I believe were his stories about meeting David Bowie at a festival and the many times he got to hang out with Lemmy from Motorhead. Considering that these musicians recently passed away, it made sense that they were the core plotlines of the night. The grief he felt at the loss of his idols really resonated with me. Bowie’s death hit me quite hard but I know friends of mine for whom it was truly devastating. Because of the recent celebrity deaths, many people have contributed their 2 cents on the matter. I hate how people say celebrities aren’t worth grieving over since we didn’t actually know them personally. All of my idols have validated my own life and experiences and have made me feel less alone in a world where I’ve always felt like a weird and an outsider. It is exactly because of this connection that I understand how much Rollins loved and respected Bowie and Lemmy. I have been extremely lucky in my life to meet one of my idols, Amanda Palmer, several times. I have other idols who I’d most likely never meet, but their music has nonetheless shaped me as a person. Like Rollins, music has always been my safe haven and escape from the crap of reality and often the only thing to keep me going where life feels bleak. If any of them die, I would suffer greatly from their passing. It was during these very stories that I wished that I could hug Henry in solidarity of being a proud passionate fan. 

The other story which really stuck out in my mind was when Rollins traveled to Antarctica during the penguin mating season. What makes Henry such a great story teller is his acute attention to detail. I could imagine exactly what it must have been like to try to lie in a sleeping bag on a glacier surrounded by humping penguins while listening to Iggy Pop. I do hope that Iggy himself enjoys this story.

The elitist music jerk side of me did come out when Rollins mentioned some of the bands he has seen at their peak as well as shared the stage. Among the Moscow crowd I seemed to the be only one to know who The Cramps and Type O Negative were. Unlike young Rollins, I don’t think I would have kept myself quite so composed upon seeing a nearly nude Lux Interior. 😛

Overall, I’m quite surprised at myself for just how much I enjoyed seeing Henry Rollins. Most of my favourite comedians and “motivators” are quite cynical and I enjoy their stance of intellectual superiority. But Henry is so unabashingly optimistic. His enthusiasm is infectious! truly enjoys meeting new people and experiencing the full spectrum of colours that life has to offer. Finally, his life story of starting out working in an ice cream shop to becoming an international superstar is truly inspirational. While we may not get as unique opportunities as Rollins, we shouldn’t forget to be fearless, tell our anxieties and demons to fuck off and jump in.

Sadly he was not able to meet fans after his show as he was lacking sleep, but in my heart I know he loves all his fans and I’m sure we’ll meet again someday. Thank you Henry for restoring my faith in humanity.

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snagged myself a poster and sticker

short video clip I took with my phone


Best Albums of 2015

Hello everyone. My apologies for being quiet for so long. I haven’t been able to sit down and concentrate on a single piece of writing for quite some time. Anywho, this is my attempt to get out of my creative slump. Enjoy!

2015 has been a year of delving further into the nether regions of subcultures. I got more in touch with my goth clubbing roots with aggro tech and experimental industrial, as well as drag queen culture by listening to everything released by former Rupaul’s Drag Queens contestants. It’s been quite a learning curve.  So here’s my list, in no particular order of what stuck with me and what I hope to enjoy for years to come.

a1773505349_16One of the albums I fell in love with straight away was Beauty Queen Autopsy’s “Lotharia.” Erica Mulkey (of Unwoman) and Matt (of Caustic) make an extraordinary otherworldly combination of darkwave sound and macabre lyrics. This should be played in every goth club in the world!

Please go support them and buy the album here: Beauty Queen Autopsy

Metanoia (2)Among the alternative crowd, this album needs no introduction. Since the success of their previous crowdfunding, IAMX’s latest masterpiece was also crowdfunded with amazing results. After Chris Corner’s brief hospitalization, he returned full force to deliver another perfectly crafted dark electro masterpiece. Having just seen this album, it is gorgeous through and through.

Please go support them here: IAMX

HALSEY_BADLANDS-66t1k9lhizjmmbzjw7y0py8wt373yvcpl6ev5cv0un7_lmcrbgI tend to stay away from trendy pop music, even if everyone on Tumblr can’t shut up about it. Then a friend of mine sent me the song below. I was struck by how a simple and charming melody was accompanied by such deep lyrics. How Halsey opens up about her mental disorder is quite courageous. We need more pop music like this.

Go check her out iamhalsey.com

a1725536087_10Honestly, I’ve had Daniel’s albums sitting on my hard-drive for a while before I actually got around to listening to them. I think it was the dance pop sound in his work that mostly turned me off and I still prefer his first album to all the others. But, it bears mentioning that this last album sold out quickly and the single “Never Enough” has been his most successful single. Overall it’s a good album. Have listen to one of the mixes off the single. Oh and listen to acoustic album also released this year. I laughed until tea came out of my nose.

Go listen! http://www.aesthetic-perfection.net and download HERE

a2721623981_16It’s such pleasure to watch a young artist flourish and grow with each new release. Mr. Kitty has delivered another ethereal album. The lyrics show his growth as a person and musician. Additionally his side project Echo Strobes has released another album which shows tremendous personal growth.  It’s truly amazing what one person can do with just some vocals and synthesizer.

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Please support him!  Mr Kitty and Echo Strobes

anusI must say, the cover pretty much says it all. The runner up of the 5th season of Rupaul’s Drag Race has made the most addicting album of the year. Alaska’s charm is not taking herself seriously and being a hot mess of a queen, which is why we love her! I play this whenever I need to cheer myself up or getting ready to go out.

Go buy her stuff! http://www.alaskathunderfuck.com

Cover-art-of-Conchita-Wursts-debut-album-ConchitaSpeaking of queens, how can one not mention the biggest Eurovision success since Abba! Even if you’re not a fan of pop like I am, she is hard not to like. Her voice has a lovely range and she believed wholeheartedly in everything she says and sings. She is truly a diamond in a generic industry.

Go give her some love! http://www.conchitawurst.com

Honorable mentions:garbage-2015-tour-20-Years-Queer-poster-600x600I’ve loved this band since I was 15. Seeing them live for the first time this year just reminded just why they are is awesome and why Shirley will always remain my idol. The 20 year anniversary release saw an addition of 9 B-sides which had been previously known only to the most hardcore fans. It’s rockin’!

Look it’s a link! https://www.garbage.com

a1140978491_16I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone. Having a sick and twisted sense of humor is a requirement. Jimmy Urine decided to acquaint us with his old and previously unreleased back catalogue. This is it.

Should you decided to buy this monstrosity, it’s HERE

a0872251338_16Last but not least, I seriously lack drugged out nights at goth clubs in my life. This is the remedy. Quite frankly, all their albums sound more or less the same. If you want angry industrial electro, this is it. Good for workouts too.

I got lucky on Black Friday with a coupon from HERE


Ahmad Tea Music Festival 27.06.2015

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I had not originally planned to attend this festival. Seeing the lineup from previous years never particularly inspired me. I usually don’t consider a festival worth it if I am only interested in one band but I figured for just 800 Rubles it would be nice to check it out. I had never heard of East India Youth prior to this festival. I was aware of The Libertines primarily due to Pete Doherty’s notoriety with the English press, though their music never particularly interested me. I’ve known The Wombats since 2007 when they released their first album, A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation. I remember playing that album over and over again and really enjoying their upbeat melodies riddled with bitter, heartbroken lyrics. I had attended one of their first gigs in a small club in Columbus, Ohio in fall of 2007 when they were still fairly unknown. I had watched their sound became more commercial when This Modern Glitch came out in 2011 and I lost interest in the band. Once I saw their name on the poster for the Ahmad Tea Music Festival, I decided to give the band another listen. I was really surprised how much I enjoyed Glitterbug. Each song was very catchy and upbeat but contrasted with Murph’s signature rather sad and depressing lyrics. I think this aspect of very honest lyrics of difficult relationships and anxiety is what appeals most to me about The Wombats and what makes them so successful.

The weather was predicted to be grey and rainy, just like the weekend before. But this time, I was prepared with water-tight shoes and a raincoat. Arriving at the outdoor venue at Muzeon Park at 5.30, the rain had temporarily stopped and the atmosphere was quite cheerful. Small booths were preparing a variety of street food including vegetarian falafel which made me happy. There was also an assortment of imported beer and cider, as well as free Ahmad tea from the sponsor. People started filling the space before the stage, as well as the wooden platform to the left with haystack “seats.”

The first performer on stage was East India Youth. It was quite impressive to watch just one man play 3 different instruments at once. It felt like the guy had brought the rave party he has in his bedroom every night unto the stage. His music didn’t particularly move me, or the audience, who showed a much greater preference for rock than electronic music, though I do give the guy credit for trying.

IMAG1292East India Youth

After a short break, The Wombats came on. The stage lit up and so did the crowd. The guys played a selection of songs from all of their albums, though the majority of songs were from their newest album. They started strong with “Your Body Is a Weapon” and kept up the high energy throughout the whole show. They played my favorite song from the new album “Headspace,” as well as older popular tracks such as “Kill the Director” and finished with the crowdpleaser “Let’s Dance to Joy Division.” The crowd had jumped and clapped along and quite a lot of people sang along to the lyrics. It was nice to see that they were truly appreciated despite being a supporting act. They really had not changed in the 7 years since I’d last seen them and rocked out just as hard as when they had started their stage career. Good job Wombats!

IMAG1296 The Wombats

The Wombats had brought up the energy of the crowd, which was now quite large and filling up the whole territory of the Muzeon Park. Much to my surprise, Pete Doherty came out to the left of the stage where my friends and I had been standing and offered hugs and autographs. Many people rushed over and got a chance to meet this idol. How very sweet of Pete.

Right before The Libertines took the stage, the 2 big screens framing the stage flashed some images of The Libertines. This mini-documentary stirred the memories of old fans and provided context to those not so familiar with the band. Once the guys appeared on stage, the crowd exploded with cheering and hollering. It was amazing to see such a positive crowd reception at such a relatively small festival. Just the day before The Libertines performed in front of thousands of people at the Glastonbury festival and yet they were just as excited to play in Moscow for a crowd willing to bear the rainy weather. Despite their dark past, each member looked healthy and sober. They played a long set which had the crowd dancing and jumping the whole time. They were not the most energetic of bands and Pete looked mostly disinterred on stage, though that didn’t seem to bother the audience. A part of the wooden platform on which my friends and I were standing had collapsed under the weight of the people, but people kept on rocking out till the very end. Despite not knowing any of their songs, I still jumped and cheered along as audience energy was intoxicating. Pete even managed to say “thank you” and “cheers” in Russian. Once the band had left after their encore, the drummer stood in the front of the stage and yelled “You are all libertines.” No words can possibly summarize the evening any better. Although they were not the headlining act, I do think that The Wombats gave a much more intense and captivating performance.

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The Libertines

The Wombats Setlist
Your Body Is a Weapon
Jump Into the Fog
Moving to New York
Greek Tragedy
Be Your Shadow
1996
Headspace
Party in a Forest (Where’s Laura?)
Patricia the Stripper
Techno Fan
The English Summer
Kill the Director
Give Me a Try
Emoticons
Tokyo (Vampires & Wolves)
Let’s Dance to Joy Division (with extended instrumental outro)

The Libertines Setlist 
We’ll Meet Again (intro)
The Delaney
Campaign of Hate
Vertigo
Time for Heroes
Horrorshow
Begging
The Ha Ha Wall
Music When the Lights Go Out
What Katie Did
The Boy Looked at Johnny
Boys in the Band
Can’t Stand Me Now
Last Post on the Bugle
Death on the Stairs
Up the Bracket
Tell the King
The Good Old Days
Encore:
You’re My Waterloo
What a Waster
Don’t Look Back Into the Sun

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As a sidenote, I would like to mention one major fuck up of the Ahmad organizers. The Afterparty of the festival had been advertised on Facebook as an open event with no charge for the entry. The description stated that The Wombats would be at this party so I naturally wanted to meet them and thank them for an awesome concert and tell them I’ve been their fan since 2007. Unfortunately I never got that chance to talk to them. Once my friend and I arrived at the entrance of the bar, and we showed our wristbands from the festival, we were rudely told that we had to be on some special list and that we were not allowed inside. Talk about false advertising. I’ve been to bars and clubs around the world and have never been “face-controlled” so many times as I have living in Moscow. Discrimination! Fuckers.