Vulgargrad @ SoCo Cargo
10:30pm, Mon 25 Feb 2008
Way back in the early 90’s, when The Mercury was still the best cinema in Adelaide, I happened upon an Aki Kaurismäki film – Leningrad Cowboys Go America. Featuring a band of uniquely-coiffed chaps playing Russian folk / rock / punk music, this was an instant classic – and when the Leningrad Cowboys brought their show to Australia as part of WOMAD one year, I was there hooting and singing and dancing with them. I even met a couple of the lads too, which was a story in itself – but only funny to me. Ho, hum.
So when Llysa dropped me an e-mail, pointing out that Vulgargrad – a “vodka-fuelled oompah swing ska punk – gulag-style” band – were playing a freebie at SoCo, I booked it in straight away, expecting a similar kind of show: rock’n’roll’n’balalaika.
But when we rolled up at SoCo, we bumped into Anniene just inside the door – and spent the whole show just talking about geekery, British sci-fi, dirty burlesque, Joss Whedon, anime, and video games. From our vantage point in the entranceway of SoCo, we were able to see & hear the band just fine, as well as carry on a conversation. And, to be honest, that was great; Vulgargrad certainly played up-tempo Russian-folk-sounding stuff (hey, I’m no expert) that had the rest of the crowd hopping, but… it didn’t do much for me. Not like the ‘Cowboys.
Dunno whether this one’s worth writing, really. I was certainly there in body, but not really participating in the experience, y’know? Still, it was what it was, and I was more than happy to be there.