Russian Rock Party at Solyanka

Russian rock music has never been popular around the world, but in the 80’s a band called Kino delivered musical liberation to the Soviet Union similar to the impact that the Sex Pistols and The Clash had in the UK.

Moscow club/restaurant/bar Solaynka (debauched mecca for creative types) decided to replace the standard holiday season fare with a dress-up party devoted to the music heroes of the 80’s. Doing my duty as your Russian Standard Editor at Large I spoke to Solaynka’s art-director Igor Kompaniets, who told me why he chose to look back:

RSV: What should everyone outside Russia know about Solyanka?
Igor: At least, that it is the only independent club in this country of bears and criminal authorities and brought artists like Pilooski, A Mountain of One, Lindstrom, Glass Candy, Bonde do Role, Padded Cell, Diplo, 120 Days, Fujiya&Miyagi, In Flagranti, David Gilmour Girls, Circlesquare, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Digitalism, Optimo DJ’s etc.

RSV: Why did you decide to make a party devoted to Russian rock music? Which moments did you want to recall?
Igor: Our creative department is obsessed with this kind of music, so we just looked for some old-fashioned clothes and dressed all staff who works in the club in them. All guests were asked to do the same and we had make-up artists working inside. One of the rooms was turned into trashy Soviet-styled kitchen with standing tables and cheap port, the second was like a miserable Soviet bar-room with carpets on the walls. Third room was Center of Culture entartainment venue where in 80’s mothers brough their children to listen to romances and live performances.

RSV: What are distinguishing features of 80’s Russian rock music?
Igor: Absolute anti-social mood in lyrics, anarchy, provocations, rebel and drinking till death.

RSV: What were the great bands of that period?
Igor: Rock and punk bands like Kino, Aquarium, Grajdanskaya Oborona, Brigadny Podryad, Komitet Okhrany Tepla, Zvuki Mu were probably the best ones.

RSV: What was typical for fashion in 80-s in Russia?
Igor: Bold smoky eyes, biker jackets, stand-up collar coats, puffed boots and jackets, wearing just one earring, preferably a cross, long messy hair on one side and black tees with titles in English.

Anna Frost is Pedestrian’s Russian Standard Editor at Large and is stationed in Moscow. She also writes about all things fashion at her aptly titled blog Anna Frost Daily Fashion.