This year the City of Women Festival is expanding
for the first time into the Moscow–St. Petersburg alternative club scene. One
of its featured guests is the St. Petersburg-based band Babsley, which in 1999
was proclaimed the best women’s group on the Moscow club scene.
The band has been performing since early 1998, its driving force is Natasha Kordukova, who was born in the Urals, on the eastern edge of Europe, while her singing technique originates even further east. The band also includes an accordion player (as you’d expect in a Russian band), a guitarist, a violinist, drummer and a bass player.
Although usually labelled a folk-punk or ethno-punk band, Babsley doesn’t have a lot in common with its more famous British and French counterparts. As with many Russian alternative rock groups interested in traditional music, its music presents a fusion of folk music, experimental music, and rock elements from the last twenty years. At the same time, Babsley, like many ex-East European bands, is very good at combining ska and ‘export kazachok’ Russian folk music with delightful yet rather unpredictable results. Musical themes derived from familiar Russian folk melodies collide with heavy metal, punk, ska, off-rock weirdness, and an always-present inclination toward cabaret-style humour and experimentation. It is not surprising, then, that the band performs at both rock and folk festivals alike; one of their most remarkable shows took place at the Munich Philharmonic as part of its Hot Jazz concert series. Open-minded fans of Värttina and Leningrad Cowboys are sure to find a lot to like in Babsley. Their music serves up a stimulating feast not only for the ears, but even for the eyes (they usually find their costumes at flea markets or hidden away in attics). This band is not to be missed!
voice: Natalija Kordukova, accordion: Ljubov Usaceva, violin: Valerija Kildareva, guitar: Tatjana Prokofjeva, bass guitar: Olesja Tihonvravova, drum set: Svetlana Terentjeva
Organised by: Mesto žensk / City of Women
In cooperation with: Menza pri koritu
With the support of: Cultural Link Program (OSI-Budapest), SCCA-LJUBLJANA, Zavod za sodobne umetnosti / Center for Contemporary Arts
10.10. – klub Rdeca Ostriga, Škofja Loka, 12. 10. – MC Podlaga, Sežana