Rock music with satire

  • 2006-10-25
  • By Julia Balandina

GRUNGE IS BACK: The internationally famed B-2 has given Belarus reason to be proud, with music that blends political satire with 'bombastic pop-rock.'

RIGA - Ask any local music fan and he'll tell you: B-2 is one of the most prominent acts on the contemporary Russian rock-scene. Their story began in Belarus in 1985, when a group of teenagers, unlike their couch loafing peers, produced shocking plays by famed writers Boris Vian, Beckett and Ionescu. Yet their theater creativity barely had the chance to breath, as the Palace of the Pioneers administration quickly stopped the idealistic young artists. So the teenagers began experimenting with music instead.

And that's when current B-2 members Shura and Leva discovered their talent in lyrical satire.

The two teenagers, with an ideal combination of wit and audacity, began writing satirical reggae pieces about Lenin, the Communist Party, and other political issues. Thus began the legacy of B-2.
The band performed its first mainstream rock concert in 1999, and quickly became a national hit.
After gaining fame in Belarus, the duo immigrated to Israel and then Australia, where they successfully continued their music explorations.

In 2000, Shura and Leva's songs were selected for the soundtrack of "Brother 2," a smash-hit by famous Russian filmmaker Alexej Balabanov. The film signified B-2's star come-back in Russia. "Polkovniky nikto ne pishet" (Nobody Writes to the Colonel) is the band's calling card, and still remains the one song that undoubtedly drives a crowd wild at concerts.
The unique B-2 style has evolved into a kind of bombastic pop-rock these days, with a few exceptions. "My rock-n-roll," a duet with Julia Chicherina, carries a completely different sound. The song is a slow, melodic ballad. Other B-2 compositions, such as "Not too late" and "Heart," come closer to the genre some people call "rage rock."
One thing's for sure, B-2 isn't short of fans in the Baltics.

"Riga is one of our favorite places to perform in: great atmosphere, great people, great fans. We enjoy every concert there, and we are really happy to come to Riga again with our new album," Leva and Shura said about their forthcoming concert.
B-2 will present 11 new songs from their newest album "Moloko" (Milk). However, the band's most religious listeners most likely already know these songs by heart. And of course Leva and Shura will not leave the stage without singing their beloved smash hits. So there are at least two reasons to attend the concert.

Vilnius, Nov. 15, Galaxy Club
Riga, Nov. 17, The Dream Factory
Tallinn, Nov. 18, Rock Cafe
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