It's just a perfect screaming
Firstly I would like to say that I’m not a journalist, simply I’m a huge fan of Fool’s Garden and that’s all. Though me and Polina made a couple of programs about them on radio station. Unfortunately there aren’t any music magazines in Russia where you can find some articles about modern rock/pop bands. NME is closed. So I decided to write some words by myself about their visit of Moscow. Three months have gone since they were in Russia, but my memories will never fade away.
I was honored by some organization to meet FG in airport Sheremet’evo-2 and thanx to this I was on cloud 9, happiness itself! Here they are! Gabi, Volker, Peter and the others. The guys whose music made me thrill when I was a kid are standing in front of me and shaking my hand! So pleasantly that Peter exclaimed ”Oh, Dima!” Then we all made our way to the bus. I must admit that the bus was terrible. It was normal for the beginning of the 90s’ in Russia, but not nowadays. However it was the bus we had to go by. Fools were shocked and, I felt shame... “Oh, it’s driving!” -said Volker or Steffen, I don’t remember who exactly. First playbill “FOOL’S GARDEN” appeared on our way to hotel and I heard loud exclamations in German. I’ve understood just one word “Plakat”. After a two-hour break in hotel and talk with Peter (who was trying very hard to learn some Russian dirty words) and others we went to a press - conference. I’ve occupied a place among journalists and organizers, with a digital camera in my hands. The conference started from long organizers’ speeches. It was so boring that I started to yawn. Questions for the band were rather stupid, they were like “what Russian performers do you know?” or “ will you go sightseeing?” The presenter of the festival asked ” We know Fool’s Garden as a two-hit wonder (Lemon Tree and Dreaming) so what is the stuff you gonna play tomorrow?” The inner burst has happened inside me. The guys should have answered something like “ it’s your problem if you hadn’t heard any Fool’s Garden CD! How can you be a presenter of the festival? Or you forget we’re the headliners?!” My question for Volker was about his guitar heroes. I’ve always thought, that the sound of his guitar has something in common with David Gilmour’s Fender sound. Volker said he likes Edge (U2) very much (It can happen proves it-me), though he’s trying to create his own style, his own sound. After the press conference, I had a great talk with Volker. He appeared as a big Beatles fan, just like me! It wasn’t a kind of amazing revelation for me, but I didn’t know he loves them so much, it was so pleasantly!
Then, after supper, we all moved to the 16 tones – they wanted to see the stage and to check technical equipment. By the time we arrived there the concert of one popular Russian band was happening there. The band is called Segodnya Noch’yu (Tonight, in English). And they played really good, I was impressed by their new sound, very blurish... That was the end of the first day.
The next day of my acquaintance with FG started with the soundcheck in Green Theater in Gorky Park. God! I was running so fast just not to miss a note of their music! And fortunately I was rewarded: from the moment of my appearance Gabi and Volker started to play a terrific guitar jam! I hardly charged a cassette into a recorder because my fingers were thrilling, but it was ok and everything is documented! To tell the truth their soundcheck was very mind blowing for me. I couldn’t believe that my favorite band is playing for me only! I was alone standing in front of the big scene on the open air. The sun was shining, birds were singing, it was hot...-total unreality, you know. Volker played riffs from Beatles’ songs during all the free moments he had: Something, I Feel Fine, Working Class Hero... And he waved his hand for me after every emotional exclamation getting out of me ;). Then, Claus sang Yellow Submarine while checking his drums. Peter, Dirk, Gabriel and Claus played ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ and it was very cool and unexpectedly! The whole band began the main part of the soundcheck from ‘Alright’. ‘OH MY FUCKIN’ GOD!!! Am I dreaming?!’-I thought. I felt tingles crawling down my body. They played this song once again, but more industriously this time. The next song was a new one called ‘Does Anybody Know?’ I’ve already heard this song before and the guys were surprised watching me singing it. Hehe! They also played ‘Dreaming’, ‘Closer’ two times. That’s how my first FG concert passed. After the soundcheck I helped them to carry their guitars back to the bus and was getting happier and happier!
After dinner at the open air we went to “16 tones” club for another soundcheck. On our way to the club Volker asked me about the sound on the soundcheck. And he asked me how did I know ‘Does Anybody Know?’ surprisingly, because it’s a brand-new song. Promo-DVD, you know! ;)
The second soundcheck came up even better than the first. Peter sang ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ and ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’. During ‘Probably’ performance I learnt that “Volker’s loving men”, at least Peter sang that way! Haha. But the thing that hit me immediately was called ‘Daihaminkay’. Never heard this song before, so I was all ears and eyes. Shocked! What a great song! After this we went sightseeing to Red Square. You can see photos of the guys on sites. Thanks God the weather was wonderful! I think they really enjoyed walking through Red Square and Arbat Street. I showed Peter a store where pirates’ CD’s could be only found. He said ‘Let’s get in and see!’ We saw a lot of HIM posters and CD’s there. ‘Are they popular in Russia?’- He asked. ‘Yes, very popular’- I replied. ‘Oh, they are so boring...’- grimaced Peter, remembering about one of their combined shows somewhere. ‘How do you think, will people sing our songs with us?’- asked Peter. I said that I don’t really know. Russians are unexpected... It was about 5 pm when I had to leave the band (they wanted to relax at the hotel) and I decided to buy some FG CD. I made my way to a well -known place among Moscow’s music lovers called Gorbushka. Guess what I was doing during the trip! Waiting for train I was listening to the soundcheck edging the dynamic to my ear. I’ve listened to Daihaminkay without an effort to stop doing it, again and again. I felt my eyes became wet...So mush happiness in one day! And the main show was just ahead! Well, I didn’t find any FG CD in shops.
The concert in “16 tones” began at 23. Fools walked through the crowd to the stage and we all heard the amazing and mystical sounds of Volker’s synthesizer in the beginning of ‘Alright’. Then, everybody sang ‘go and ask Peggy, go and ask Peggy!’ Well, the audience is perfect!!! Excellent! The next number was ‘Suzy’. I liked very much Peter’s singing in the end of the song ‘Suzy...Suzy don’t you know...Oh, Suzy...’ He should have sung that way on the album! So much drive! Then, already familiar ‘Daihaminkay’. Throw a tomato at me, but I’m sure it’s their best song!
When they started to play ‘Why Did She Go?’ I was almost insane. I’ve always thought that this song could been easily written by Lennon - McCartney in 1963. And I’ve always liked the backward vocals on it, especially on word “explain”, while Peter is going down with his “explain” the others are going up with theirs. Absolutely Beatles level. ‘Wild Days’ began form a wonderful overture containing “good day, sunshine, good day, sunshine!” ‘Closer’ sounded like a hymn! It seems this song is more popular in Russia even than ‘Lemon Tree’. The audience has been totally satisfied and Fools (I’m sure) were doing their best. Nobody had expected such a great reaction before the concert started. Considering to be a one hit wonder FG flawlessly executed that “one hit”, but ‘It Can Happen’ that followed ‘Lemon Tree’ I liked even more, because they really improved it by filling it with some wonderful guitar notes instead of lemon tree-like beginning. The most rock’n’roll song of the evening was ’25 Miles To Kissimmee’ for sure! I’ve always loved Volker’s riff on it-a perfect beginning of the song continued by a marvelous speeding-up of rhythm. One Russian radio station (that is dead at the moment) had rotated this song for a long time. The second new song presented in ’16 tones’, called ‘Does Anybody Know?’ was received by audience with ecstasy. “Did you like the new song?”- asked Peter smiling. “Yeaaaaaah!!!”-followed the answer immediately. And of course, terrific epilogue: Ticket To Ride-My Generation-Rolling Home. Paul McCartney should have loved their version if he had had time to visit that gig. The Who should more attentively listen to it to realize how pure rock’n’roll guy (yes, I’m talking about Claus!) sings it.
Here is the set-list of the gig:
The Principal Thing
In The Name
Why Did She Go?
25 Miles To Kissimmee
Monday Morning Girl
Does Anybody Know?
It Can Happen
Ticket To Ride
After the concert Fools dispersed among excited fans. They all appeared to be very sociable, very nice encounters, you know. But it was so loud in the club that I couldn’t speak with my hoarse voice (after performing all the songs with Peter) and expect to be heard. So my friends and I decided to get outside to catch some fresh air. We have spent all night long sitting on a bench in park, and I just couldn’t stop singing “don’t be afraid of night lonely...” Gee, it was so unbelievable that I still can’t remember that night without shivering!
On the next day a rock’n’reggae festival was going to happen in Green Theater. I came right to the time when 5’nizza were finishing their set. 5’nizza is a modern Ukrainian reggae duet, also very popular in Russia. But in fact I do not like their music too much, and I was waiting for Fool’s Garden to start their set. The moment they appeared was majesties! In a few seconds my mind got so high and the same feeling of happiness came to me again! Fools have opened the gate to a better world that is so different to the one we used to live in. Unfortunately, the audience in Green Theater was rather chilly at first. But the guys made an absolutely impossible thing-they rocked ‘em! Nobody could stand their amazing behavior on stage and terrific songs they played. I think people were quite amused that the songs they heard they hadn’t heard before. Fool’s Garden made a very bright show, hope they liked it too. After the last song (Closer) people began to scan “Fool’s Garden, Fool’s Garden!!!”
Glorious, glorious days! After watching them live I just want to say one thing: they are the best. And I don’t really care about the quantity of their fans and positions in charts. There are so many bands that represent nothing, but in spite of this they are much more popular than Fool’s Garden. But, you know, guys, God-he sees everything and he won’t let you stop creating the greatest music in the world and playing live shows full of light energy. And I got to admit that this composition of Fool’s Garden is perfect, it seems they play together all their life! Thank you folks, I love you. Keep on rockin’!