Boris Grebenshikov : Murrays, Dublin, 12/04/2015

Boris Grebenshikov, live at Murray’s Sports Bar, Dublin, Ireland,12/04/2015.
Joined by Brian Finnegan (Flutes), Alan Kelly (Piano accordion) and John Joe Kelly (Bodhran).

54 mins., HD.

Борис Гребенщиков, концерт в Мюррейс спорт бар, Дублин, Ирландия, 12/04/2015.
С Брайан Финнеган (флейты), Алан Келли (аккордеон) и Джон Джо Келли (Бойран).


Boris Grebenshikov (Борис Гребенщиков/БГ) is a Russian singer-songwriter born in Leningrad whose musical career began in 1972 when he founded the band Aquarium, along with Anatoly “George” Gunitsky, after hearing The Beatles on Voice of America.

Known alternatively as the “grandfather of Russian rock music” and the “Russian Bob Dylan”, he has become one of the most important figures in Russian rock music today. In the 30+ years of his career, BG has written and released over 500 songs, including 2 English-language albums: “Radio Silence” (1998) and “Radio London” (1990).

The year 1976 also saw the recording of BG’s first solo album, “On the Other Side of the Mirror Glass” (“S toy storony zerkal’nogo stekla”), and a dual album with another prominent nascent Russian rock musician, Mike Naumenko, “All Brothers are Sisters” (“Vse brat’ya – sestry”). His first big break came in 1980, when Artemy Troitsky, the first public Russian rock critic and an enabling figure in many Russian rock musicians careers, invited Aquarium to perform at the Tbilisi Rock Festival.

The first Aquarium music available in the “west” was in 1986 when a double album entitled “Red Wave, 4 Underground Bands from the USSR” appeared in record stores in the U.S. Aquarium, along with three other bands, Kino, Strange Games and Alisa, were recorded on a 4-track machine, smuggled out of the country and released by a small record label from Hollywood. During this time, bands in the USSR were either officially sanctioned or were not allowed to play in public or record in professional recording studios. In 1986, when the record was released in America, Aquarium was immensely popular throughout the Soviet Union, but were forced to play at underground clubs and private gatherings.

By the time Aquarium disbanded amid internal squabble in 1987, they had 11 “official” records under their belt and were considered living legends of Russian rock.

Perestroika ushered in a new era of opportunity for rock musicians and several of the more prominent ones got breaks in the West. BG’s came from Dave Stewart (of Eurythmics fame). Stewart-produced “Radio Silence”, which was released in 1989, featuring covers of Alexander Vertinsky’s “China” and songs by BG, including a song written to Sir Thomas Malory’s Death of King Arthur. Annie Lennox, Billy MacKenzie and Chrissie Hynde also helped out, as did several of BG’s bandmates from Aquarium.

BG returned to Russia and entered a phase of returning to his Russian roots. The year 1991 saw him come out with a “Russian album” (“Russkiy al’bom”), backed by an all-new, eponymous BG Band. The album featured a line-up of songs very “Russian” in both lyric and tune. The next two albums, “Favorite songs of Ramses the 4th” (“Lyubimye pesni Ramzesa IV”) and “Sands of St. Petersburg” (“Peski Peterburga”), were released under the name Aquarium. By the time of 1994’s “Kostroma Mon Amour”, his mastery of folk melody and lyric had grown to new heights, and a new band line-up was going full steam.

His 1997 album Lilith is still mostly Russian in lyrical theme, but is recorded, by way of a chance meeting, with his idol Dylan’s former backup band, The Band. Around this time, he began tracking in London recording studios, who were able to offer better production capabilities than their Russian counterparts at the time. The “Navigator” album, a predominantly acoustic album with a highly refined, “band-in-the-room” intimate soft mix, saw BG sell his car and part of his guitar collection to cover tracking costs.

Since 2005, he has his own weekly radio program on Russian radio station “Radio Rossii” titled Aerostat (Russian: Аэростат). His intention is to tell people about the alternatives in music, about the music which nobody else plays on today’s radio despite its artistic value and originality. It is mostly independent music which, as Boris says, otherwise would not be played at all. Show archives are available from the official Aquarium web site.


Boris Grebenshikov :

Discography : Discogs

iTunes :

Flook (Brian Finnegan + John Joe Kelly) :

Alan Kelly :

Murray’s Sports Bar :

Boris Grebenshikov