Playing at the legendary B B King Club in Moscow

The Stevee Band did a gig at the legendary B B King House of Blues in Moscow on 23 January. This was the first club to open in Moscow after Perestroika some 25 years ago. Since that time a string of rock and blues legends, including B B King himself, have played there: Sting, Bryan Adams, the Scorpions, Lemme and many others. They have a wall of fame there and it’s an impressive list.

It’s quite a small club with an intimate, late-hours atmosphere. The sound guy is great there. It’s loud and clear, without being ear-splitting.

Needless to say, I was a little nervous and slightly intimidated when we took to the stage. But we had a good supportive crowd, and after the first chord was struck everything rocked more or less steady throughout our two sets. The house amp I was using was some exotic boutique job I didn’t fully get the hang of. Marshalls and Fenders are what I normally play through. Why hadn’t I paid more attention during soundcheck? I remember being distracted by thoughts like, ‘Bloody hell! Sting stood here!’ It’s not like it was a major disaster or anything though. It seemed to crunch okay.

I tend to use this quip as an introduction on stage: ‘There was a Russian, a Ukrainian, an Armenian and an Englishman… ‘ That’s us, the Stevee Band, an international quartet, a rock n roll band that plays some old blues tunes such as Key to the Highway, a bunch of tunes by the Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks, plus my own songs which I suppose are Indie Rock/Pop with a British flavour. Evgeny Kuznetsov (Russia) is our rock-steady stickman, Vladimir Tiron (Ukraine) blows mighty saxophone and Pavel Mikaelyan (Armenia) plays nifty keyboards and bass like Ray Manzarek did with the Doors. And then there’s me on guitar and vocals.

After the gig, some people said that we ought to have a real bassist. We’ve done some rehearsals with a bass player and he’ll probably play with us at our next gig at Moscow’s Rhythm & Blues Cafe on 16 February, which by the way will be filmed by a major Russian TV Channel! More on that in a later blog.

By the way, I guess we didn’t do too bad at B B King’s, as they invited us back to play in April. Rock on!