12.06.2006 - The 3d International Music Festival “Beatles-Forever!” - Results
The 3d International Festival “Beatles-Forever!” started much earlier than its official opening with long queues at “Moskovski” bus station. On the 20th of May packed buses with numerous fans of the Fab Four were leaving for Logoysk every 15 minutes. In forty minutes one could make oneself comfortable on the grass or even straight on the pavement near the stage and get ready to listen to “The Beatles”.
“Kwint-U” band, a team of four from Sergiev Posad (Moscow), were the first to perform their songs at the festival. One could remember their solid performance of the Beatles hits during the last year’s festival “The Beatles-Forever!”. Merry, smiling girls with wonderful voices gave a good start to the festival. The audience immediately joined in singing, dancing and clapping their hands. It is a pity that a great number of fans were still half way between Minsk and Logoysk. Nevertheless those who stayed at the festival till the very end could still listen to “Kwint-U” who had to play once again.
The next group was russian too. You can’t even call them a group. Vladimir Polyakov and Sergey Chipurnov’s duet from St. Petersburg doesn’t have even its name. In return they have their original style of performing Beatles hits on the bayan. First couple of songs seem to be impressive but then you feel bored and the sole craves for the guitar again. That is why, probably, the next band “Zodchie” were greeted with loud cheer.
The presenter trying to give a hint to the audience about the next group said: “This band inspiring the soles of Beatles lovers is well-known on the territory of Russia and Belarus. It has been performing more then one decade.” In spite of all those hints the audience failed to guess who the presenter was spoken about. “Zodchie” really had been playing for such a long period of time that many had forgotten about them already. The band was popular in the Soviet times that is why you could feel the spirit of the USSR in their manner of performing. First there was strange pronunciation of English words as if from the times when “The Beatles” were banned and the words were taped with russian letters from the underground records without understanding the meaning. Then there was a small story about a song taped on an old tape-recorder, which is impossible to find anywhere right now. However the generation of digital technology danced listening to this music with great pleasure and their parents watched them affectionately.
After this small digression into the history the organizers invited “big guns” - Leonid Tihomirov from St. Petersburg to the stage. This name is familiar to many Beatles lovers not only in Belarus and Russia but also abroad. He is the only Russian musician who took part in “The Beatles Festival” in Great Beatles. He was lucky to sing two songs with Ringo Starr and one with Paul McCartney. Tihomirov didn’t keep to the beaten track performing hits but sang author’s songs of all the members of the Fab Four. He played a funny variant of “Yellow Submarine” using a mouth-organ and finished his performance as Paul McCartney once did with the words: “See you next time!”.
Later on the presenter decided to remind the audience of those the festival was devoted to, made them shout the names of “The Beatles” and then smoothly turned to lyric poetry. One of his phrases really livened up the audience: “Don’t try to explain the next generation the sense of “The Beatles”, long hair and Rock’n Roll. Just turn on the music which is immortal”. After these words the crowd was driven into ecstasies screaming: “Beatles-Forever!” And it took the presenter a while to calm the fans down and offer them to guess the favourite drink of “The Beatles” band. It turned out to be Coca-Cola though the logical answer should have been tea, because the next band that appeared on the stage was “Apple Tea”. This band was the real expert in brass. Two saxophonists made popular Beatles songs dissimilar to the original ones. The songs were that unlike that the musicians even had to announce their names for audience not to be confused. They got reinsured! One couldn’t but recognize the songs “Come together” and “And I love her”, though the playing was very original, so called rock’n roll in jazz. “And I love her” wasn’t lyrical but heavy and “Yesterday” that had become quite commonplace sounded in a nicely new way.
Belarusian Beatles Project “Beatles-Forever” with Valerie Daineko seemed rather boring at the beginning but then stirred the audience up. The reason of despondency was a small rain that made Beatles lovers open their umbrellas. Nevertheless after a couple of songs they threw away their umbrellas and started to dance rock’n roll under the rain. Then they performed a little known song “Good night” and gave place for some time to Anatoliy Kasheparov. He had come from the USA specially for this festival and pleased the public with a joy performance.
After Kasheparov’s performance Beatles Project returned to play “Let it be” which one “witty” fan translated as “let’s eat bee” and a hymn “I remember you”. This hymn had been already performed last year and probably the musicians thought that the whole year was enough to forget it. But how is it possible to forget the song in which one line “I remember you” runs all through it with variant endings of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and obligatory “forever” in a line!
Next band “V.S.O.P.” gladdened the public with the set of songs of high quality and their wonderful performance. They sounded different and bright! Several songs from “Abbey road” album sounded rather solid and “Here comes the sun” – lyrical and soft. There was also drum solo that impressed the audience very much at the end of the performance. The public even asked them to give an encore but the band left promising to play next year.
Then “New Ariel” appeared on the stage with their second name created specially for the festival “Back to USSR”. The male half of the audience met the soloist of “New Ariel” Alena Yarushina with a storm of applause. And even the present women couldn’t but agree that Alena was truly named the best vocalist in the festival in Liverpool-2005. “Come together” in her performance was really unusual but “A hard day’s night” sounded sickly-sweet and strangely lyrical. It could have been all right if the performance hadn’t been that long. Everybody was a bit tired. And when “New Ariel” finally left the stage it turned out that the group would return again as the headliner of the festival – a band from Nottingham (England) “The Beatles Experience” were a bit late. The organizers didn’t really know how to fill the interval. First they turned on the records of “The Beatles” and later called for the girls from “Kwint-U” who “rescued” the organizers.
Finally appeared “The Beatles Experience”. And here again the public heard “New Ariel” band. It turned out that the English prepared with them a joined performance. It wasn’t surprising because there were only two musicians, both guitarists, in “The Beatles Experience” group which wasn’t enough. That’s why the musicians of “V.S.O.P” and later “Back in USSR” (New Ariel”) accompanied them. The Englishmen were very satisfied with a warm welcome of the public and with tasty beer “Bobrov”. The presenter said that on their way to the festival the musicians had been quite curious if there were at least one thousand of fans. They were given the answer: “It’s Belarus! There are five, no ten thousand of us here!” He exaggerated, of course, with ten thousand but there were really a lot of people. And this huge crowd with great pleasure sang the songs of “The Beatles”, danced rock’n roll, drank beer and exchanged their impressions.
On the website of the festival there was written its slogan – “Touch the legend!” It seemed that everyone who was there really touched the legendary Beatles!
© 2006 music newspaper