In February this year Black Raven, Germany’s top Teddy Boy band, played in Russia for the first time.

The event took place in Moscow. If you have not seen them perform, check them out next time they come to the UK. This is one hot, smokin’ band !

The gig was sponsored by Bop Street (www.bopstreet.ru) and Co-op Jive (www.coopjive.co.uk) so I was involved in the organisation of the concert. It was a pleasure to meet the 3 members of the band (Julien, Fritz and Torsti), who came over as nice (albeit extrovert !) guys. They clearly enjoyed living the rock’n’roll life style, which included plenty of German beer !

The venue was the XO Club and the support band was Al and the Hi-jackers. The High-jackers are a very new, young Moscow rockabilly band; and a group with a future. They are energetic, unpolished with plenty of rough edges – excellent ! Their rockabilly sound was authentic and impressive.

We also had a short rock’n’roll beginners’ dance class between bands, which I recommend to other concert organisers. As long as the dance class is not too long then not just the participators enjoy – the rest of the audience find it interesting to watch. At the end of the concert there was a prize for the best dancer for the whole evening: The winner we chose was a beautiful Russian brunette in a fetching black and red dress – worth the ticket price alone !

For those present, the performance of Black Raven is one we will not easily forget. For one thing, they played on and on, going well over time and finishing their set late. Talk about value for money !

Their style is Teddy Boy, but they mix it with other genres too. For example there were country songs, smoochy slowys plus some Shadows’ instrumentals, to name a few. But my favourites were their Gene Vincent numbers, like Be Bop a Lula, Blue Jean Bop, Bird Doggin’ and Poor Man’s Prison – smokin ! Another crackin’ version they did was Matchbox’s Buzz Buzz a Diddle it. These were just a few of the excellent numbers they performed with gusto and enthusiasm.

Their style is certainly extrovert. Their set is raucous, energetic and by the end of the concert definitely alcohol-fueled ! (many of us would love to be able to live such a rock’n’roll life-style; unfortunately these days I have the will but not the time !)

In conversation with them after the gig, they agreed with me about how beautiful Russian women are; in my opinion the most beautiful in the world, one more reason for me to live, work and remain in Moscow ! Another reason is the excellent rock’n’roll scene here: For more details on this you can go to my web-site at www.coopjive.co.uk and head for the feedback page. The band told me they thoroughly enjoyed Moscow and the friendly Russian people.

A big thanks to my friend Lev Gorbunov, who did the lion’s share of the work involved in organising the whole event. No thanks to the DJ who never turned up (who shall be nameless and we will not book again), but who we got by well without. And Thanks to Black Raven for a great gig: Welcome back any time guys.
(for more info on the band go to www.blackraven.de)

And there’s more …… In December, Furious, the world’s top Teddy Boy band, will return to Moscow. Rock’n’roll is alive and kickin’ here in the East !

Richard Hume