Okay so the funniest thing happened last week. I'm on holiday at the moment exploring Russia so not really thinking much about music On Monday we arrived in our second city Kazan, so on Tuesday we went out for a wander without any real expectations of what the city would be like.
I found the city to be a surprisingly exciting place and would thoroughly recommend it to any global travellers looking for a character city that's a bit different from the usual list. The city has recently been spruced up for Universityaid 2013, which is a major sporting event almost as grand as the Olympics, so there's a sense of overhaul reminiscent of Liverpool's recent City of Culture revamp, or Manchester's tweakings for the Commonwealth Games a decade earlier.
Anyway I'm not a travel agent so back to the story... in our wanderings we came across a curious establishment just a block away from the central Metro station at Turkay Square, called the Museum of Soviet Lifestyle. On closer inspection it turns out this place has a dual identity and is also known as the Soviet museum of Rock n' Roll, which has been passionately compiled by owner Rustem to include just about any kind of rock music memorabilia from past visiting rockstars. On display are everything from guitars signed by Rainbow or Garbage to Sting's pants. Its a cool insight into just how connected Russia's youth were to the international Rock music scene during the Soviet years and in the couple of decades since the reforms.
Despite a bit of a language barrier, and with the help of my lovely translator, I made the effort to introduce myself to Rustem and discussed his impressive collection. This struck a chord with the guy and unexpectedly a few minutes later I was invited to play an impromptu live appearance to the small audience gathered at the museum. There was only an amp available for the guitar, so I had to make up for it with some loud singing! Rustem caught the whole thing for posterity on youtube! In fact he only announced he was filming a few seconds before hitting record, so I played the first thing that jumped into my head, which was Angel. Here it is, hope you like it:
Special thanks to Rustem and his staff for such a fun afternoon! I'm in St Petersburg now and hoping to maybe catch Black Rebel Motorcycle Club live on Wendesday night!