Well, we’ve had a relatively quiet few weeks but that’s all about to change because Spring is here, the clocks have gone forward and we’re beginning to see some sunshine at last.  The next few months are going to be pretty busy here at Riot Towers because we have loads of album reviews quite a few interesting gigs to see.

On the album front, over the next 4 weeks or so John Preston’s going to be telling us about the latest albums from Tomorrow’s World, Cassie, Charli XCX, Major Lazer, Little Boots and MS MR.  I’ll be going to see blues guitarist Paul Rose, Rosco Levee and the Southern Slide and (at last) Anna-Christina’s solo show “Pretty Little Lady?”.  I’ll be reviewing the Paul Rose album “Double Life” and whatever else pops through the letterbox or into the inbox.

Do you have a “Closet Classic” album?  We’ve been running this as an occasional feature for a while now but we would love you to tell us about your guilty musical pleasures or even your favourite criminally under-rated album.  Send it to us through the “Contact” section and we’ll publish it on the website; easy.

And we should have a few surprises coming up for you as well…

 

Henrik Freischlader 290113 (Photo by Allan Mckay)

 

Billy Walton 290113 (Photo by Allan McKay)

Oxford Street on a wet Tuesday night in January can be a really miserable place, but not if you’re on your way to see The Billy Walton Band and the Henrik

Freischlader Band at the 100 Club, which is exactly what I was doing last Tuesday.  Both bands did the Skegness Butlins Blues festival last weekend before setting off on their UK tours.  Henrik is touring in support of his latest album “House in the Woods” and Billy is touring because the band love playing here and they have a lot of fanatical supporters in the UK.  The Stuart James Band was also on the bill as openers, so, three bands for a tenner in central London; you can’t argue with that.

At this kind of gig, the headline/support distinction doesn’t really apply; each band has its own following and they generally respect the work of the other bands on the bill.  I’m not saying there’s no tribalism, but there is a huge amount of mutual respect between the bands which is reflected in the attitudes of their followers.  Everyone came to hear good music and they weren’t disappointed.

The Billy Walton Band played a much, much shorter set than they would play as headliners and focussed on the latest album, “Crank it Up!”.  They packed in all of the highlights of a headline set into 45 minutes which featured Billy’s wonderful playing and showmanship and the improvisational interplay between Billy’s guitar and Richie Taz’s sax over the rock-solid rhythm section of William Paris and John D’Angelo.  If you’re looking for highlights, I’d go with “Deal with the Devil”, “The Deal went Down” and “Hot Blues” from the album and the inevitable show-stopping “Cannonball”.  I may be biased, but you really should make the effort to see these guys.

If you want a bit of background on the Henrik Freischlader Band, there’s a review of “House in the Woods” here.  Like the Billy Walton setup, this is a classic 70s power trio with an added twist.  In this case it’s the smoky Hammond sound of Moritz Fuhrhop which fills out the sound while Henrik plays his riffs and fills and solos. Again, the rhythm section of Bjorn Kruger (drums) and Theofilos Fotiadis provided a solid foundation for the creativity of the 2 lead players.  Henrik, like his hero Gary Moore, is equally impressive playing heavy riff-based songs and the slower ballads but he still has another weapon in the locker; he has a powerful, lived-in and careworn, voice which delivers both the rockers and the slower songs perfectly.  The band is tight and convincing in both styles and also sounds great with funkier and reggae-tinged material.

The set was dominated, unsurprisingly, by material from the new album (which is very, very good) and “Nowhere to Go”, “1999”, “House in the Woods” and “Breaking my Heart Again” all

sound stunning live; we even had a cover of “Come Together” thrown in for good measure.  There was a minor glitch with the bass sound during Henrik’s set, but it didn’t detract from a powerful live performance from two dynamic bands.

If Henrik and the band are wondering why the audience were leaving halfway through their set, it puzzled me as well.  Transport out of central London isn’t great late at night, but I really don’t understand an audience leaving at 10:30 when a headline band is absolutely on fire.  Anyway, I was there with Plus One until the end and it was a great night; two superb bands with incredible guitarists and great songs.  It doesn’t get a lot better than that.

 

Cover PhotoWell, Happy New Year everyone.  We’ve already decided that 2013 is going to be great year and we’re expecting plenty of great recorded and live music.  And talking of live music, we’re featuring loads of gigs this year starting with some of our friends from Bandhouse Studios as the Radio (in my) Head project approaches its launch date.

 We’ll also be talking to Lilygun’s Anna-Christina about her new unplugged project “Pretty Little Lady” and we’re hoping to have a look at that live towards the end of January.  Keep an eye out for that because it’s looking very interesting indeed.

My New Year’s resolution is that I’m going to watch as much live music as I can this year.  Artists are finding it increasingly difficult to make money from sales of recorded music for many reasons which I’m not even attempting to address here, but we still have a thriving live circuit if you know where to look.  Over the next year, we’re going to try to help you find some great live music wherever you live and, if you miss it, we’ll try to tell you about it.

Have a great year.

Well folks, it’s that time of year again.  It’s the time of festive jollity and frolics, food and drink, happy, smiling little children and the MusicRiot annual Top Five feature.  We’ve reviewed loads of great albums this year and each of us at Riot Towers has picked our five favourite albums of the year to share with you.  But that’s not all.

We’ve spoken to some of the artists featured in reviews on the site and asked them to tell us what they’ve been listening to this year and we’ve had a great response.  We’ll be running those from about mid-December, so keep an eye on the site to make sure you don’t miss them.  If you want to get involved as well, send us your Top Five for 2012 and we’ll publish that too; that’s how festive and generous we’re feeling right now.

While we’re on the subject of great music, keep an eye out for exclusive breaking news on the Radio (in My) Head project.  I’d love to tell you all about it now, but it’s so secret that I’m not even allowed to think about it without asking permission.  More news on that coming soon.

We’ve got some exciting things going on in the near future with some exclusive reviews and releases from some of our favourite artists. Here’s the Riot Towers guide to what’s happening over the next few weeks.

September 10 – Lilygun album release date.  Review here.

September 10 – Amanda Palmer “Theatre is Evil” release date. Review here.

September 10 – David Byrne & St Vincent “Love This Giant”.  Review here.

September 17 – Nelly Furtado “Spirit Indestructible”.  Review coming soon.

September 24 – Dragonette “Body Parts”.  Review coming soon.

September 24 – No Doubt “Push and Shove”.  Review coming soon.

September 24 – Deacon Blue “The Hipsters” album release date.  Review here.

September 24 – Paul Carrack “Good Feeling” album release date.  Review here.

September 30 – Lilygun live upstairs at The Garage.  Review coming soon.

October 8 – Ellie Goulding “Halcyon”.  Review coming soon.

November 2 – Billy Walton Band UK tour starts.

And more pix soon as well.

 

If you haven’t managed to see Riot favourites the Billy Walton Band yet, you can see them across the UK in November of this year.  I know I keep saying this, but you really should make the effort to go and see them.  Full details available at www.billywaltonband.com .

 

November 2, 2012 7:00 pm

The Regal Cinema Evesham, Port Street

Evesham, WR11 3LD

 

November 3, 2012 (Time TBA)

The Flower Pot, 25 King Street

Derby DE1 3DZ

 

November 4, 2012 4:00 pm

Grimsby Yardbirds Club, Church Street

Grimsby, DN32 7DD

 

November 7, 2012, 7:00 pm

The Caves, 8-12 Niddry Street South

Edinburgh EH1 1NS

 

November 8, 2012 (Time TBA)

Backstage at the Green Hotel, 2 The Muirs

Kinross, Perthshire, Scotland KY13 8AS

Billy Walton Band & WT Feaster Band

 

November 9, 2012 (Time TBA)

The Cluny, 36 Lime St, Ouseburn

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK NE1 2PQ

 

November 10, 2012 (Time TBA)

Cameron’s Club, Hartlepool

Double Bill w/ WT Feaster

 

November 11, 2012 (Time TBA)

True Blues Club at Earlestown Conservative Club,

17-19 Earle Street, Newton-le-Willows, WA12 9LW

 

November 12, 2012, 8:00 pm

The Greystones, Greystones Road.

Sheffield, S11 7BS

Double Bill w/ WT Feaster

 

November 13, 2012 (Time TBA)

The Cellars, 56 Cromwell Road,

Eastney, PO4 9PN

 

November 14, 2012 (Time TBA)

The Robin 2, 20-28 Mount Pleasant

Wolverhampton, WV14 7LJ

Double Bill w/ WT Feaster

 

November 15, 2012 (Time TBA)

Crawdaddy’s, Basildon

Double Bill w/ WT Feaster

 

November 16, 2012 (Time TBA)

Boom Boom Club/Sutton United Football Club

Gander Green Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 2EY

Double Bill w/ WT Feaster

 

November 17, 2012 (Time TBA)

Halling Community Center, High Street

Halling, Rochester, ME2 1BS

Double Bill w/ WT Feaster

 

November 18, 2012 (Time TBA)

The Pavilion, Harbour Street,

Broadstairs, CT10 1EU

 

 

On a warm August night in downtown Norbiton, I met up with Anna-Christina and Belle from Lilygun to talk about the release of their debut album.  As you can see below, it went in quite a few other directions as well.

Allan Exciting times for the band.  How does it feel now that the album’s only a few weeks away from release?

Anna-Christina It feels really exciting.

Belle A relief.

Anna-Christina A relief as well.  Even though it’s coming out in a few weeks, it’s still in the middle of everything somehow.  There’s still so much admin going on and organising the cover.  It’s probably really late to be faffing about with the cover, but we are.

Belle It happens like that sometimes.

Anna-Christina   I don’t think we’ve really appreciated it yet.  Maybe once, we get the actual CD and seeit..

Belle We haven’t actually seen the finished product yet.  It’s just mock-ups of the sleeve and things like that.  It’s been a long time coming.

Allan It’s a bit strange because I got the link for the review and burned it to a CD, but it’s not the same as having the cover in your hand is it?

Anna-Christina No, it’s not really.

Allan And is the online release at the same time, September 10th?

Belle It might be 2 weeks later; you got us there.

Allan Was Lilygun something that you always wanted to do?

Anna-Christina Yeah.  Basically this band’s been going for a long time.  This line-up’s really new but the band’s been going for many years and it’s had a lot of changes, been through a lot of down times, a lot of personal health stuff has come in the way. So in some ways this album, the amount of success it has or doesn’t have, it’s almost like success in just having that album alone.  It feels like that is victory in itself because so much bad stuff has happened and it seemed like it wouldn’t ever happen, that album.

Belle Anna, it’s a milestone, I would say.  Would that be right?

Anna-Christina Definitely, yeah, without a doubt.

Belle She’s been through the mill a bit with band members leaving and whatever.

Allan So, from when you were young, was this what you wanted to do?

Anna-Christina Yeah, it’s weird because I started playing piano first and I started off writing songs like The Carpenters.  I was a big fan of Karen Carpenter which probably explains why I sing low a lot of the time because really I’m actually a top soprano and I’ve forced myself to sing low for years.

Belle I didn’t know that.

Anna-Christina So I wrote songs like that and as I got more dark and depressed and sinister and started getting annoyed with situations and people, the songs got heavier and heavier and before I knew it I was writing rock songs but it wasn’t a conscious decision, now I’m going to write rock songs, it was just a natural progression.  Then, yeah, I started playing guitar and it went on from there.

Allan So we sort of touched on this already, when did Lilygun start to take shape?

Anna-Christina I think it took shape when Aaron John, this amazing artist, came in and started playing guitar with us and that was around 2008 when he played on a demo.  He was the first guitarist that really formed the sound that you hear today.  All the weird sound effects and tinkly little bits and bits of magic, we kind of wrote them together and that’s when I think it became more than just rock it went down a different avenue, slightly more of an alternative, edgier kind of thing; more imagination was going into it.  So I’d say around 2008 when Belle started playing with us as well.

Belle Yeah, it’s about that time isn’t it.

Allan  I said in the review that it kind of reminded me of Skunk Anansie, what they were doing in the early ‘90s with a powerful female lead vocals and a really good technical guitarist doing interesting stuff with the songs as well.

Belle Yeah, well spotted.

Anna-Christina It’s very guitar-driven isn’t it?  There’s a lot of interesting guitars, more so than maybe other rock bands that just keep it grungy and straight down the line rock’n’roll kind of thing.  There’s other aspects going on which is why I think it’s got that Goth tinge to it as well.  I think you can hear the Cure influences here and there, the delay sounds and the sweet melodies that come from them as well.

Belle But it’s not obvious, is it?

Anna-Christina No, it’s very subtle.

Allan I think the strummed, clean Telecaster gives it that sound as well.

Anna-Christina/Belle. Yeah

Allan How have you dealt with the challenges of getting your music noticed?  It’s a different business these days, isn’t it?

Anna-Christina We’ve just been in our own little world up till now.  This is the first time we’ve been this exposed really, isn’t it?

Belle Yeah, it is.  It’s just been a question of forming the music really and getting all the bits in the right places.  It’s only been relatively recently that we’ve had a fair number of gigs close together.  It used to be a bit sporadic..

Anna-Christina While we were switching the line-up…

Belle While we were switching the line-up, fiddling around with all sorts of stuff.  It’s only been the last year really if that it’s been more consistent gig-wise and there’s been a bit of a foot on the accelerator going on.

Anna-Christina More of a plan…

Allan You can see it coming together now.  I check out the website and you can see the new stuff going on there.

Anna-Christina There’s a lot going on actually. It’s surprising; it’s almost like every week there’s loads of news and new stuff and we’re getting loads of interviews now and people are starting to take notice and that’s fantastic.

Belle There’s a little story developing, isn’t there?

Anna-Christina It almost feels like there’s a little buzz.  People saying:  “What’s this band called?  They’re alright.  How long have they been going for? ”

Allan Do you think that the way the music business has gone over the last 10 years, with no more 5-album deals or anything like that, no more huge advances, do you think the fact that that helps you to bypass the retailers has helped you or hindered you?

Anna-Christina I think in a way it’s helpful, because you can stay independent.  Financially it’s more difficult because you have to pay for everything on your own and doing an album costs a lot.  There’s a lot of other things involved that you don’t calculate when you’re preparing for it; other costs that come into it like sending out press packs and stuff like that, it does become very expensive.  Even paper and ink and envelopes and little things like that just add up.

Belle If you weren’t independent, you’d have access to all of that.

Anna-Christina  Exactly, but on the other side of the coin, you’ve got more control and you don’t have someone coming in messing up the songs and messing up our image and saying “You can’t wear that” or stuff like that.

Belle The independence thing, it’s great for control freaks.

Anna-Christina Yeah.  What are you trying to say?

Belle Well, it is…

Allan One of the earliest interviews I did for Music Riot was with an American singer who broke through in the ‘70s and he’d been through the mill with the music business and told me about being asked to deliver an album to a deadline and delivered it to the deadline, on the nose, and the label made them wait 6 months for the artwork before they would release it.  You can imagine how frustrating that is.

Anna-Christina It kind of loses energy in a way when you have to wait.  We had that with our EP; it just took so long to finish it and get it done that by the time it came out, the excitement and the energy had gone.

Belle Yeah, that’s very common for that to happen, very common.

Anna-Christina But with this album, we did take our time but I think we needed to do that because…

Belle Somehow we’ve got round it and it still feels ok.  Even though it is a while it doesn’t seem to have lost its energy for some reason, which is a bit of a miracle.

Allan I’ve heard artists talk about life-changing experiences but you really did have a horrific experience.  Can you tell me about that and how it changed your life?

Anna-Christina Yeah. Before that I was ruthlessly working as a song writer towards certain goal and it kind of knocked me off track because I was so ill afterwards: I had a brain haemorrhage and it took me a long time to recover from it even though my operation was a success (I had 2 operations and the first one didn’t work and the second one, it worked and I was very, very lucky to come out of that).  It was such a shock to experience something like that so young and to be in hospital, in intensive care, and see things that you can’t imagine and you can’t even explain to other people how awful it really is.  It’s a real reality check, something like that.  It really knocks you back down to earth and afterwards, it took me a long, long time, quite a few years actually, to get over it because I was just sick all the time.  I was trying to do Lilygun, trying to progress but my health was a real issue and it was a battle, it really was, and I also think that’s why it’s taken so long for us to get to this point.  Every time it felt like it was ready, I’d just be constantly ill, I’d have to pull us out of gigs because I couldn’t perform and I think also, I couldn’t write, I had writer’s block as well.  I couldn’t even put into words how I was feeling.

I was so emotionally just  a wreck; one minute I was high, next minute I was down.  It was such a rollercoaster of feelings and it almost felt like, I don’t know, I wasn’t a normal human being any more.  So my attitude towards Lilygun really changed because at one point it was quite dark and I thought I can’t really continue like this because it’s just too much of a battle but then on the flip side of the coin I thought “Look at me, I’m alive, I can still do it, keep going and don’t give up”.  It could have been much worse for me and after I went through the whole “Why did it happen?” phase, suddenly it was like I switched and it was like I was alive and this is so amazing and at the gigs I felt more emotional than I’d ever been before because it wasn’t just a gig for me; I’m so lucky I could get back on stage and carry on with this.  People have no idea the state you can get into; once you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing.  And maybe when you’re younger you don’t realise how precious that is but when something like that happens to you, suddenly you really, really appreciate life and you learn to enjoy every minute of it.

Which is another reason why the album took longer because we did an EP before and I did a lot of the recording of the album myself and had a lot of struggles with the EP because, as a sound engineer, I was trying to learn as I was doing it and I made a few mistakes. With the album I really wanted to learn the technical aspects of it as well; not just being the performer I wanted to engineer it and learn about drums and recording.  I was there at every single recording session to learn; when Belle was recording the drums I stayed there minute so I could absorb like a sponge all the information and experience of it.  I was learning as a sound engineer at the same time.

Allan And that’s all part of how the final thing comes together, isn’t it; understanding the technicalities?

Anna-Christina Yeah definitely and also emotionally being able to tap in to the songs.  I think, after that operation, with music in general and the songs, I could tap in to the emotions easier than I could before and I think it just went crazier as well.  Now I go really crazy and it’s like, calm down.  I had to start really working out because I wasn’t fit enough to jump around on a stage like a lunatic and I realised it; I thought I’d better start getting a bit more fit.

Allan And finally what can we expect in the future?

Anna-Christina Who knows with this band?  It seems so organised but, in fact, Lilygun is one of the most crazy…there’s so much drama, there’s so many twists and turns, so many different things happen but, one thing’s for sure, it keeps going.

Belle Anything can happen.

Anna-Christina Anything can happen but it just keeps going on and as it goes on it just gets stronger and stronger. I don’t know if it’s the understanding of it or that will and passion that’s still alive and kicking, you know what I mean?

Belle I think mademoiselle has a fantastic spirit and it won’t be broken.

Anna-Christina Yeah.

Belle There you go.  Never mind who’s in the band or not in the band.

Anna-Christina It just goes on.  There’s a lot of musicians I’ve had in the band, they thought that when they left or if they weren’t there it would just stop and I don’t even know how it carries on; it just keeps going on and on like it’s just out of sheer willpower and the love of music and performing as well.

Allan Do you think the line-up’s fairly stable at the moment?

Anna-Christina Well we’re down a bass player at the moment, so we’ve got people coming in and they’re going to come in and jam with and stuff like that.

Belle It’s stable in a sort of, the table’s got 3 legs way but we’re holding it up at one end, way.

Anna-Christina But I think that’s almost become a characteristic of Lilygun now.  It’s kind of a joke with our friends and fans because they turn up asking who’s going to be playing today. It’s a nice surprise usually because different players keep it very fresh and it keeps us on our toes.

Belle Every few months there’s a different line-up.

Anna-Christina  Maybe that’s just Lilygun, maybe that’s how it’s going to be.

Belle Maybe that’s how it’s meant to be.

Anna-Christina  I’d prefer it if was really solid and stable, to be honest.  It would save me going grey quicker.

Belle You’re obviously very difficult to work with.

Allan If you can tie down all the other bits then you can go off and be creative, can’t you?

Belle This is it.  There’s a lot of faffing about and chasing around, isn’t there?

Anna-Christina There’s a lot of extra stuff that people don’t realise goes on.  It seems like it should be easy being in a rock band, doesn’t it?  You just get 4 people together that love to play their instruments, who want to play in a band.  It should be easy and yet for some reason, even after all these years I still don’t know why it’s not easy.  Me and Belle, we’re so easy to get on with.  We get on with pretty much anyone that comes in; we’re so laid-back and chilled-out.

Belle Personality is a big thing though in successful band line-ups, as I’m sure you know, and sometimes people just don’t click.  There’s no magic way to find the right people, it just happens or it doesn’t.

Anna-Christina And sometime people’s egos as well…

Belle People’s egos can get in the way, can’t they?

Anna-Christina  And that’s a shame because you should work together as a unit.  When 1 person’s great, it just makes everyone look great.  It shouldn’t be competitive.  It’s just you moving forward like the Power Rangers or something; you all put your fists in the middle and this bright light comes out.  That’s how I think it should be but, for some reason someone complains that someone else’s light’s brighter or something…I don’t know.

Allan I read an interview with a singer who had a 10-piece band (including 4 horns) at 1 time and he said that a band is never a  democracy because they can’t even go to a restaurant and decide what to eat at the same time.

Belle There’s got to be someone steering it a bit or at least 2 or 3 people steering it and 1 steering it a bit extra.

Anna-Christina  Maybe it’s easier when you form at school then because a lot of bands who formed at school seem to last longer maybe because they’ve got that core friendship.  Me and Belle, we were actually friends before Lilygun and he’s never been a band member, we’ve just got a different relationship.  He was my friend, we were down a drummer and I said can you come and play and that’s how our relationship formed really isn’t it and it’s never complicated with us.  Unfortunately , to find 4 people that are that easy-going and good at their job at the same time is surprisingly difficult.

Allan Anyway, thanks very much and good luck with the album.

Anna-Christina/Belle Thank you.

You can see pictures from the Lilygun gig which took place later that night here.

Photo of PuSsY RiOtI think it’s time we showed a bit of solidarity here.  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samusevich are currently on trial in a Russian court for the offence of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility”.  The three were arrested when they tried to play their song  “Holy Shit, Putin’s Pissed Himself” in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on February 21 this year and now face the prospect of a seven year prison sentence.  Call me old-fashioned, but isn’t that just a bit of an over-reaction.

I’m not claiming that the UK has a spotless record here because it hasn’t.  The Rolling Stones’ Redlands drugs bust in 1967 and the subsequent trials of Mick Jagger and Keith Richard were blatant attempts by the British establishment to tarnish the reputation of rebellious rock ‘n’ rollers while providing stories for the prurient tabloids and outraged “Seething of Tunbridge Wells” broadsheets.

And never mind the Mars bars, what about the Pistols?  The slightest whiff of controversy and anti-establishment rhetoric was enough to give local authorities around the UK collective fits of the vapours leading to the cancellation of 16 of the 19 tour dates on the “Anarchy” tour in 1976.  But let’s just put this into perspective, Mick and Keith spent 1 night each behind bars and The Pistols (despite a cavalier attitude to property ownership) somehow managed to avoid incarceration until the Sid and Nancy landmine was finally activated in New York.

So, what’s the story with Pussy Riot?  Well, they’re a Russian feminist anarcho-punk collective campaigning on women’s issues and more recently protesting against the election of Vladimir Putin as Russian President in May of this year leading up to the cathedral protest in March of this year.  The three band members arrested were in custody for over 5 months before the beginning last week of what looks increasingly like a show trial designed to serve as a warning to any other potential dissidents (Guardian Friday August 3).  This might have been a predictable response any time before the break-up of the Soviet Union but not in a supposedly free country.  Russia has been transformed from a dictatorship of ideology to a dictatorship pure and simple; Putin has already said publicly that the 3 defendants should not be judged “too harshly” but this in itself implies that the judge can be influenced by the President.

You may not agree with the doctrine behind the band’s protests; you may think that it’s sacrilegious to hijack a cathedral to make a political protest but surely there has to be some perspective and proportionality here.  Remember Chumbawamba?   At the Brits in 1998, Danbert Nobacon (or Nigel Hunter to his mum) threw a jug of water over John Prescott as an act of protest and what happened?  Not much actually; a bit of righteous indignation and a few tabloid headlines before it all blew over.  Working on the current Russian justice tariff that incident would have led to a summary execution.  What’s that about a sledgehammer and a walnut?

As disgusting as this saga is, it’s not just about Pussy Riot; it’s much bigger than that.  It’s a very dangerous state of affairs when a nation, its religion and its politicians are so insecure that dissident opinions are unacceptable and their holders must be punished.  The implication is that the state and the church always know best and should never be questioned.  Let’s not forget that the United States of America came into being partly because of a rebellion against taxes imposed by Britain (on tea of all things).  Maybe that’s one of the historical parallels Putin is so afraid of.

When incidents like this happen, we need to stand up and be counted.  I’m guessing that if you’re visiting this site you’re interested in music and popular culture and you understand that the music fits in to a wider social context; it’s never just music and governments are very aware of that (remember the reaction to the illegal rave scene in the UK).  If you want to show your support for the Pussy Riot 3 you can do it here; make your voice heard.