They’re back. And with them, their wild mix of jazz and ska and psychobilly, sidewalk polka and St. Petersburg crook chansons of the 1920’s. Add to that a stage demeanor and look reminiscient of the atmospheric Hollywood gangster films of the 30’s and 40’s, and what you get is La Minor.
They got together in the dank music dens and clubs of beautiful St. Petersburg where the fans are knowledgeable and demanding and vodka flows like the water down the Neva river. A city, where there’s support for Vladimir Putin but probably forever more for Alexander Pushkin.
In 2001, Slava Shalygin, now the band’s vocalist, got them their first gig at a place fittingly called the Spirit Club, which was easy for him to arrange since he was the manager of the joint. Next, La Minor became and is now very popular with a young and critical audience and the band attacks their mixed and crossover material with great syncopation and very likely vodka-fueled energy by employing traditional drums, guitar and bass to which they added accordion and saxophone to perfect their sound, reminiscent perhaps of the great Gogol Bordello. Their lyrics come from the rich tradition of Russian folk songs but are re-written to express today’s conflict and alienation. But their main worry has always been that their audience has as good a time as they do when they get going and unleash their atmospheric performance.
From the banlieus of the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and the hot and heavy hip clubs of St. Petersburg, comrades, it’s once again La Minor tonight, a major club band from Russia, with love.