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Feeling Like The Scorpions. Current 93 in Moscow

The two concerts of the English band Current 93 given in Moscow club IKRA on September 23 and 24 were announced in posters as hours of magic for the initiated. The words are ironical: the bands frontman, poet and singer David Tibet is not a sect preacher, he is an artist and philosopher. To whom would it occur to build up any ideology on creations of Current 93? The Goths may be? We did not happen to see those black-painted boys and girls at the concert we were destined to visit on September 24. But probably, the initiated were disguised. David Tibet defines the bands style as Apocalyptic Folk, and mass media tends to call Tibets listeners aesthetes.

It was truly a magic concert, an unforgettable, finely elaborate concert, conveying kindness, though sometimes a bit hard for perception. Before the concert, a voice announced that there should not be any smoking in the hall otherwise the Artist would stop the performance. After the audience had waited patiently for half an hour or so Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance appeared on stage and sang solo several gloomy songs to a disharmonic accompaniment of his electric guitar. After him the stage again remained empty for what seemed eternity: a horribly loud recording of Popcorn tune by Gershon Kingsley repeated many times sounded a mockery. Such a beginning was like a piece of hell as the playful music was becoming louder and louder. And when the listeners shut their ears, the sound stopped and the long-awaited Current 93 finally made their appearance.

The public immediately handed over to David his portrait by an unknown artist and an envelope with a secret message. And after that David started the show.

The tender and insane voice of Tibet, at times bursting out roaring, his recitative singing, and his lyrics creating gloomy and bright pictures in mind stood out. However, other musicians playing the harp, the piano, two guitars, the cello, the flute, and the accordion were also good: they looked vivid personalities on their own at the same time making an integral group.

The program was based on the new album Black Ships Ate the Sky and included old songs as well. While totally absorbed in the music and the show a host of entangled thoughts and images was appearing in ones mind, as if entangled and untangled by Tibet and the band. And they were doing it beautifully, indeed.

The audience took Current 93 very warmly and didnt want to let the band go, asking for more and more magic. So almost all the musicians gave solo performances; we were particularly marveling at singer Baby Dee playing the harp and the accordion.

For quarter of a century of its existence Current 93 has created a lot of material. In the early 2000s, when piratical production was blossoming in Russia, one could find the bands discography on mp3 disks. In this or that way, Current 93 has become popular in this country. This was the bands first concert in Russia. As David Tibet said himself he liked performing in Russia; he even joked at the concert he was feeling like The Scorpions.

Our great thanks to Current 93 for the unforgettable concert, Diefrage for the photos, and club IKRA for accreditation.

Mikhail Manykin and Vera Ivanova

September 27, 2006 17:26

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