Moscow 2017.5.8

stage dancing

Yotaspace really looks like some kind of aircraft hanger. The crowd is whooping and chanting before anything happens: ‘Martyn, Martyn!…’vodka, vodka, vodka’… It was almost full and the show went well despite being ill and having a sore shoulder. I played more aggressively. You can all dance more if you like, but you are probably listening to the new songs….

picture by SlyZombie

During the Crack of Doom encore, security guards were running. A boy was suddenly on stage dancing in the middle (he was good), I had to smile, but he may do something stupid or get hurt. They took him away in about 8 seconds, I hope he was not injured. Martyn had stopped while Adrian and I continued for the dance. Vlad assured me, if the boy did not make a first attack, they will not hurt him. If they did he could easily make a statement at the hospital.

picture by SlyZombie


During sound check, sometimes you get feedback blasts, that hurt your ears. This happened, but was more bassy and didn’t hurt; it sounded a rocket taking off! Adrian’s bass resounded so powerfully, vibrating with force, I’ve NEVER heard a room like that. The engineer was very experienced in that endless room. It’s hard to hear monitors in the encores, like starting Bully Boys, the cheering crowd is so intense. If we played venues this size all the time, I would think about getting in-ear monitors.

Yamaha Maple Custom
Great drums, 18 inch kick. DW floor tom, really small. The Yamaha snare is fine! Fine!
I’m quite predictable, but not fussy. In this band, the snare has to sound a bit deep and ringy but in tune with itself. I tune it down and make it even. I use a cymbal felt and gaffa tape to dampen it, with a little ringing (sound). It’s not my favourite kit but I like it. The Camco kick pedal take a bit of adjusting but is good.

picture by SlyZombie

Practicing the new songs after not playing them for 3 weeks. We are playing Let’s Drink now with piano and guitar. Martyn moves his riff down by an octave. They ask me to play a more constant ostinato (repeating pattern) on the hi hat. Tonight all the songs had great energy, I was very much into this.

judge booths?

Looking out from the stage, the bar is covered in screens advertising drinks with constant video ads and bright screen menus, illuminated bottle lamps. I can identify the brands Johnny Walker, Tuborg, Captain Morgan. The bar extends over all sides of the room, it is all-encompassing. Above the standing floor area is a large VIP balcony in the upper echelons, about 10 rows of seated tables, each with it’s own lantern. In the dark it all looks like a Chinese harbour at night, big. On the balcony of the VIP area is a big table with the best view of the stage, round the front, and during sound check, important staff eat up there. On the other side is another table, and from the stage you can only see their heads with their lanterns, and they really look like a panel of judges for X-Factor or Russia’s Got Talent (does that exist?).



I found an extra dressing room down the long hallway where I could turn off the lights and sleep for 54 minutes. In the drawer was a bottle of Kremlin vodka, but I did not drink. I just want to see. We had some Russian Standard after the show.

thanks for dinner

Once again, vegetarian options are not on the menu, only fish. But with a special request I had a meal which was vegan: avocado sushi, quesadilla with vegetables, beetroot salad, and dipping bowl of soy sauce, most of which will go down the drain.

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gay to be gay?

A familiar fan came to visit us backstage, who has stopped drinking for one year, for which we congratulated her (as we toasted with vodka). She likes Tiger Lillies because it’s connected with literature; she reads Fyodor Sorogup, Anatoly Marienhof, Mihail Elizarov. I mentioned Sorokin, the author of Blue Bacon Fat who got into trouble with Putin for his story where Lenin and Kruschev have sex.

She does not like it, there is ‘too much reality’, she prefers more beauty. I asked if she has any homosexual friends in Russia, and she used to live with one. It must be awful to be gay here. Do they wear flags or army clothing to divert attention? Do they attend discreet clubs? It’s easy to forget that the illegality of propagation of homosexuality affects all men under the law, making sure no one suspects or interprets their actions, expressions or associations as feminine or flamboyant, or something easily attributed to it. What does the law actually mean? Vlad is not sure. Can foreigners like me get into trouble for acting homosexual here? If you want to accuse someone who is not gay, you can because it’s so ambiguous and private;’ we learned that in the 1950s at least. No wonder people are so quiet here. Remember Alan Turing, he suffered horribly to be himself, with countless others.