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Despite all the peculiarities which differ them, big cities ultimately have a lot in common: the overwhelming rush, the squeaks of car horns, the men and women in suits, the women with children, the hippies in parks, the intelligentsia in bookshops. Street musicians are yet another essential in that urban landscape. If you’ve followed the blog for a while you might have noticed that I have quite a soft spot for them. Today I’m presenting you with yet another wonder I’ve encountered.
The stage of the scene described below was, as always, the nearest surrounding of the metro station. Right next to the entrance to Park Kultury the pavement, rather narrow in all other places, opens up to quite a spacious square. On weekdays it is flooded with people rushing to the metro or from the metro, running after buses or running away from them or just moving by inertia, just for the sake of it – because that’s what you do in Moscow: run. On warm Saturdays and Sundays though, the square, still quite crowded, turns into a stage for all kinds of performances. As I was passing by one summer afternoon, I saw a rock band setting up all their equipment: two guitars, drums, a huge speaker and a microphone.
As soon as they started playing, the audience paused in awe – the lead singer’s voice turned out to be the exact copy of the voice of Viktor Tsoj, a legendary Russian rock singer who died in a car accident in 1990. The similarity was unbelievable. The surprised audience generously filled the passed around hat with notes and the man standing next to me turned around and said Tsoi zhiv! (Tsoi is alive!). That was indeed an impression one could get. For the sake of comparison – the original:
Moscow is not the only place where wonders of the kind can be found. I have been to Gdańsk recently. I got a little lost looking for the suburban train platform, and these are the sounds I heard from around the corner:
A reggae band, the best I’ve heard recently, was playing in the underground passage. Why would anyone go to concerts if jewels like these can be found in the streets from Gdańsk to Moscow?