Pussy Riot - Riot Days
Glasgow Art School
|Pussy Riot in action|
She is joined on stage by one-time Pussy Riot bass player, now playing saxophone, Nastya, with her fellow member of Russian lo-fi music outfit AWOTT (Asian Women On The Telephone) - Maxim - providing the electronic musical accompaniment and drums. Looking like the skinhead from the poster of French film Diva, "an actor from Minsk", Kiryl Mashenka, providing shouts, squawks and throws water over the audience when required. The show is produced by Alexander Cheparukhin (who introduced Pussy Riot to the stage with an intentionally Scottish "Pussy RRRRRiot") and Yury Muravitsky.
|BDY_PRTS new album|
Much of the media attention which Pussy Riot have received has been focused on their situationalist performances, with it not often being made clear what they were calling for. At times it seemed more like Marlon Brando's Wild One; "What are you rebelling against?", "What've you got?" Performing here in Russian with projections behind them of archive footage of Pussy Riot in planning and in action, and with English super-titles, Alyokhina took us through the story of their protests against Putin's authoritarianism. With Putin's imminent re-election, and his reciprocated support of the Russian Orthodox church headed by Patriarch Kirill (who calls Putin's era a "miracle of God"), they then planned a protest in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Arrest and imprisonment soon followed.
|Pussy Riot in court|
Pussy Riot were never really a band. Their protests were against what they saw as a patriarchal, authoritarian state limiting women's options and people's rights to protest. 2 years in a Russian penal colony for 40 seconds of dancing in a church with a balaclava on, is brutal punishment. Their future may be limited to book tours and personal appearances, but they still find common cause at times, such as their attempt to shut down Trump Tower last year. Ultimately what they were opposed to held them together, rather than embracing common goals. Their desire to stick two fingers up to authority struck a chord with an enthusiastic Glasgow audience, who seemed to surprise the performers with their cheers as they finished up (joined on stage by Nadya Tolokonnikova for their curtain call).
A fascinating and spikey evening.