Gig Review: Valerian Swing + Rifkin Kazan @ Kalinka Club


Revelatory piece of news of the day: never get caffeine after midnight. Even if usually caffeine is not affecting you at all, just in case. Otherwise, do not complain if you are unable to sleep at 2am. Just killing time doing right now what I probably would have scheduled for some day in the future. This is going to be another of my unconventional gig reports. First of all, my main reason of complaint (driving home = reduced amount of alcohol), actually enabled me to be somehow completely lost in the music, and also having a couple of interesting chats. This is what I like the most about live music; it is about community, networking, drinking and meeting people with whom you share something. 

The gig at Kalinka started quite late, with the opener of Rifkin Kazan. The only way they can be described is the following: some gipsy punk, mixed with ska, schizophrenic rock and some noisier tunes. The songs themselves seem extemporaneous, lost in their chaotic flowing. Having seen them before, it is clear though that something is changed, the gypsy punk itself is alternated with some new vibe, like a swing/jazz background, or a prog rock moment (these two come from some songs in the debut album). After the quite amusing ‘Kebab’, which summarizes the attitude of the band itself to music (impulsive, ironic, direct), we can even forgive the singer for making up words.

Coming to the main act, Valerian SwingHaving reviewed the album (‘A Sailor Lost Around The Earth’), I was aware of the complexity of their technique, and how it led to a intricate music which was far from easy to digest. This necessity of reordering the flow of their sound in some static tracks is avoided in the live experience, in which this trio completely baffled me. The chaos is somehow dominated, the fragmented interludes are now just part of a bigger plan, as if the pieces of a puzzle find their place in a noisy, neurotic, distorted and raging heavy post rock. An explosion of energy that cannot be stemmed and flows in front of the listener. The band itself moves on stage, jumps, climbs the amplifiers and screams. As my friend revelaed me, the band never repeats the same live outlines, every time they change something, from the distribution of the drums parts to the songs themselves. This is an evolution perpetuos you can only fully accept by behind in front of a stage, that’s why I am sharing a live video, just to prove I’m right.

It is 2.40 and it’s time to sleep now, so see you soon folks.

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