The very first concert of "Metka" (Club
The first concert of the group "Black Label"
(old Metka name)
Club appeared quite local, the interior was done
with the claim of the work of a qualified designer.
But main qualification of this designer, in my opinion,
was his ability to absorb the alcohol. Actually club
was located in the building (if it is appropriate
to say so) of an abandoned air-raid shelter, a sample
of some old soviet times. For this reason, the door
to the club has been carefully camouflaged. Perhaps
bacause of this secrecy there was the lack of billboards
and ad stickers near the club or elsewhere in the
city. Despite of these difficulties, me and my friends
rather quickly identified the club because of the
sound mixer: wicked irony placed it on the very roof
of the club (I mean air-raid shelter). As we approached
closer, misunderstanding had evaporated. This was
not a mixing console, but a grill for "shashlik"
and some people on a picnic around it.
We determined to enter the door, but in the meantime,
people from nearby benches, who were dringing beer
in a peaceful manner, moved directly to us and told
that the entrance "to the group" (it sounded
that way), costs 50 rubles. But that did not stop
us, and in response, instead of ticket we heard a
phrase "Please, you can take place in our wonderful
club". Yes, that's how it sounded like. Wll,
so we did.
Upon entering the room I looked around. Concrete
floor, walls too, random club scenery. The bar width
was about a meter-twenty. What really missed on it
- is the sign "No beer." In each of the
two sitting rooms there was one visitor, each of which
due to the specific illumination seemed to be indeterminate
sex, and slightly reminded the staute of wax figures
museum. (I was even about to say a phrase "Wow.
Looks like natural!").
As for the beer, there was some, and besides, it
is necessary to pay tribute to the club, it was of
a good quality. Having bought 0.5 beer for a person,
we came back to the surface. The bench was now unoccupied.
People who were sitting there perhaps had fallen a
pray to their greed instinct. Weather was wonderful.
On a bench with beer, it was quite comfortable. The
only thing is that we still saw no people going to
the concert. Yet it was not nine, but it was already
more than eight o'clock. In the meantime I saw some
concert comrades invited by me. Bench at the entrance
has become more popular. Soon there appeared the musicians.
First came "our" band "Black Label".
The "Jam" band was going to play on the
same day, but apparently they went on a military trick
and decided to come a bit later to take over the best
time on the stage. This, I believe, was not so important,
and the life will put them in the correct order. And
as the musicians play in different styles, then time
does not play a role. In addition there was a significant
advantage: having played, the group "Black Label"
was able to enjoy beer and celebrate its premiere,
and not be afraid to miss the last subway train.
So Black Label played first. Adjusting the sound
took a short time. We met with our friends at this
time above, on the bench, not hurrying to descend
down to the club. When we went into the room in front
of the stage, that looked like a big cell for smoking-and-drinking
monks, all seats were already gone. Having got another
beer, we settled in the second "cell". The
only difference between two was that the first "cell"
included a stage and another one - a bar. I have not
had time to drink another beer as I heard Vladimir's
voice in real-Petersburg cultural polite form, interrupting
the noisy chatter in both halls and announcing that
the concert is about to begin...
First came intrumental "Night". Vladimir,
announcing its name, very quickly disappeared from
the stage, cleaning a lot of space for the other musicians.
After repeated listening to their demo disc "Night"
in the "Front" seemed a bit "blurry",
but here we felt the present energy and drive. Note
that this is a very critical attitude. I wondered
how the public reacted in the second hall-cell.. and
found them dwelling in irresolute alertness. It seems
they expected a rather weak perfomance from the debuting
metal band. The things that you can find faulty was
simply not consistent with this local level of the
stage, and so it was nonsense to critisize them. And
no one tried to.
And after the gig there were people willing to take
an autograph, and for the first gig this is very innovative
and encouraging. The second song - called "Black
label" - is a "capital song" of the
band. Now Vladimir had shown his presence. Fat overdriven
rythm filled the "cell" and spilled to the
other rooms. The remaining space was filled with incomparable
vocal of Vladimir. "Metal press" pressed
to the wall and the ears of those who listened. Resonant
drive flooded and completely consumed the drummer
- Kirill. But bassist Pavel didn't get drowned, he
kept on the surface where Zack and Alexander glided..
As for me, a common listener, I had to find a life
jacket: at the end of the song I needed a refreshment
and got another beer. But continuation of the concert
didn't made me wait too long. Vladimir moved through
the darkness and smoke of the stage singing "Bla-a-a-ck
La-a-bel 's my life ...!!!" - and there is no
doubt that this is the case. It should be added that
the song has nothing to do with the well-known manufacturer
of whiskey. This was easy to guess if you look on
Vladimir's serious face. As for the legibility of
text in the underground club, well... the designers
of the Civil Defense of the cold war made the acoustics
of the ex-bombshelter in a way to prevent the maximum
legibility of any phrases (apparently in order the
spies could not listen to the secret meetings of civil
defenders). Not being a great connoisseur of room
acoustics, I managed to find a weakness in construction
by my own experience. And it's a very simple way,
accessible virtually to everyone. For those who want
to deal accurately with lyrics, performed in such
clubs "a la" Front", you surely should
visit the toilet. Close the door to prevent the noise
and interference and you can hear a clear voice of
a loved singer. So you can enjoy high-quality sound
in this surprisingly affordable part of the club.
I listened to the music with rapt attention so even
almost forgot to go out. But other people also desired
to join the high-quality sound. So I decided to let
them in and returned to the hall.
Rhythm of "Come out of the shadows" was
simply fantastic, the band has to cope with the joyous
excitement of its premiere performance, and played
even more clearly and coherently. This slightly suppressed
the public, that did not expected such a high level
Concert passed almost instantly, at least it seemed
to me so. I like plunged into the space-time continuum
and came back in the same place but a few tens of
minutes later - and now our musicians were changing
place with guys from "Jam" band, who respectfully
skahed their hands.
What conclusions can be drawn? First of all and the
foremost is the idea that it is not necessary to make
any conclusions. We should just do the job not waiting
for anything and then the result will come by itself...
and - in the words of the classics - there will be
no frustration and pain for aimlessly lived years.
The second message indicates that there is the lack
of such music on the stage and there are people, good
people, who likes that much and they will listen to
Well, everything was cool, guys! There is talent,
there is a drive, there is a voice! Six months of
a hard work and there is something that is not shameful
to show on the stage.
Good luck! And patience!