Touring Russia – Episode 1

Will briefly tell you the story of Alex Kelman’s Russian tour in three episodes, the places where the artist performed and, of course, about musicians with whom he shared the stage. First episode will take place in Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Tomsk (Siberia) and Orenburg, Sterlitamak (South Ural).

Novosibirsk – Типография Ruin Pub
Shared stage with: Креол
Visitors: 60 cca

A first show on tour was happened in my native city Novosibirsk & was really important for me. Fortunately, I met a lot of friends at the show and felt cool. By the way, it was still summer and around +10C in the middle of October besides Siberian Frozen legends.

photo: Venera Ismagilova

Типография Ruin Pub – a bright and slightly pretentious venue with printing machines on the walls and many other entourage decorations. Nice sound and stage. It is located in the very center of Novosibirsk, surrounded by a cluster of other similar venues. Good for small concerts of indie-pop, disco or funk artists.

Meeting Креол – a harmonious and pleasant synth wave band with a lead vocal line. Duo performed a half-hour opening show with a fairly light setup on stage – guitar, backtrack and vocals. Earlier this year guys released their debut album.

Kemerovo – Loft B.A.G.
Shared stage with: DJ Vasilyi Starovoytov
Visitors: 30 cca

We made 5 hours bus trip to Kemerovo, city is really industrial and people are busy there. Some abstract objects & funny central park.

Loft B.A.G – small friendly underground bar, in contrast to the endless “cool craft beer places”, fun and frenzy reign here with it’s own atmosphere. A tiny scene for DJ’s or solo artists. Vasilyi Starovoytov continued the evening with his fiery freestyle set. Many thanks to #bagaevfmMikhail Bagaev – musician and promoter who organized the party.

Tomsk – Hall Bar
Shared stage with: Ikigyus
Visitors: 120 cca

Next day 4 hours travel to Tomsk – one of the oldest Siberian cities with a big amount of universities & real old wooden districts.

photo: Daria Zhuravleva (Garbagejpgfilm)

This was the third time I’ve played at Hall Bar – a cool place with a vinyl history, music goes exclusively from vinyl records here. Excellent location – in the super center of Tomsk. The sound and stage are top notch. I was opening the bar’s 5th birthday party. There was a real full house.

Ikigyus showed up after me – a semi-electronic rocking dub with powerful synths. I felt tired and unfortunately left for the hotel after a few songs.

Orenburg – Fat Vegan Spot
Shared stage with: ОРСК.
Visitors: 40 cca

So, after touring in Siberia, we had 22 hours train to South Ural – firstly to Chelyabinsk, where I
met wolf on a main touristic street. Step by step, I found myself in Orenburg.

photo: Alexandra Zarja

Fat Vegan Spot is a DIY space, the atmosphere is created and maintained by pure enthusiasm and love for music. Sound system assembled by the guys themselves and an improvising stage. Nice place for punk and hardcore artists. It was interesting for me to perform in such an unusual format for me.

ОРСК. is an epic punk band from Orenburg, crazy stage disguises, drummer and guitarist + bassist and guitarist – he is also a vocalist. The youngest and loudest band to play with me on tour. You can listen guys just here, I suppose:

Sterlitamak – Heshetss Bar
Shared stage with: ПоЛя
Visitors: 30 cca

Sterlitamak – is an industrial Bashkir city, in surround of beautiful soda mountains, you feel like you travel on White Mars surface. I travelled there with a private mini-bus. Was so windy, that birds started to fly from the ground, fly backwards by the wind flow. Also it was a few accidents on a road with overturned trucks.

Heshetss Bar is a roomy bar with tons of crazy vintage stuff. The guys who were building a bar, focusing exclusively on their inner perception of the world, and therefore the atmosphere inside is unique. A big stage and, first venue, where was the ability to connect a video background. The hospitality of the organizers was at the highest level. I was immediately taken on an excursion to the Bashkir mountain Toratau, fed, watered and entertained all the way.

ПоЛя is a very talented and сharmic artist with her perfect vocal and a light synthwave backtrack, rooted within a Russian folklore notes. At the same time, ПоЛя is an ideal example of a modern DIY pop artist with numerous stylish photo shoots, fresh ideas & so.

I will be back soon with next episodes, which will contain trips & shows in Samara, Kazan, Izhevsk, Siberia again, Ekaterinburg, Ryazan, Moscow and finally St.Petersburg.

– Alex Kelman, artist & sound producer