Fruity and Delicious !

Re-printed from Maggie’s Blue Suede News

This month I’d like to introduce you to another excellent Russian band, whose style and sound is very much a cocktail.

Avocado are a 4-piece band, comprising a vocalist, violinist, guitar and contrabass / bass guitar. This itself suggests a group which, although strong in rock’n’roll influences, has a more mixed sound to it. The best way to describe them is a mix of swing and rock’n’roll.

The biggest star of Avocado is unquestionably the singer Alexandra Esakova. She looks real good on stage, but above all her voice is beautiful and special and she has real charisma.

Another feature of the group which makes it unusual is the prominence of the violinist Elizabeth Smirnova. Guitarist Pavel Vlasov and bass guitar Andrey Artiomov complete the regular line-up. In addition, Yaroslav Andreev is their usual drummer for their gigs.

Andrey is the acknowledged leader of the group and handles most of the bookings, publicity, and business side of things. From my experience I can confirm he’s very efficient in this area; nothing is forgotten in his preparation for gigs !

The band’s history goes back to 2006, when they started performing at some of the premier concert venues in Moscow. Artiomov founded the group and he’s the only remaining survivor from the original line-up. The sound and style of Avocado has undergone significant changes over time. I remember seeing them in their early days; their singer then was another real good lookin’ star with a wonderful voice and personality on stage, Maria Homenko. Her departure, along with other personnel, changed the band’s style to one with more swing and less rock’n’roll. But the rock’n’roll is still there and the sound, although different, is still something special.

The group’s play list comprises a mixture of their own compositions and musical standards. Again, it is Artiomov who does the composing, creating the tunes as well as the lyrics. As the titles of their own compositions would mean little to UK ears, here’s some of the standards they like to play live:

That’s alright Mama, Stupid Cupid, Fever, Route 66, Kansas City and My Boy Elvis. Of these, I guess my favourite when seeing them perform is “My Boy Elvis” – smokin’ !

Check the band out on youtube – type in “Avocado Band Russia” in the search engine and have a look and listen.

So here’s to Avocado, a nice of bunch of individuals with a great sound and an impressive stage performance; one more example of the hot, rockin’ quality of Russian music !

And to round off this article, just to say I’m pleased that the articles in the magazine covering what’s happening on the rock’n’roll scene outside the UK, prompted some readers to write to the editor about them. Of course some were not exactly positive on the subject, but it was good that some readers felt strongly enough about it to write. Long live Rock’n’Roll throughout the planet – let’s take over the World !

Richard Hume