On Thursday, the band Brazzaville will be performing at the Crystal Hall in Kiev. In honor of this latest Russian tour date, Kiev Post editor James Marson retraces the group’s unlikely gaining of a foothold in Russia and the Ukraine.

Led by 44-year-old former Beck sideman David Brown (pictured), Brazzaville was discovered in 2000 by leading Russian music critic Artemy Troitsky. In the eleven years since the scholar picked up a CD in London, the band has become a Russian staple, even recording a tweaked version of beloved local Kino anthem “Star Called Sun.” Per Marson’s piece:

Brown speaks a little Russian and said he enjoys travelling in second-class kupe train compartments. He also picked up here the idea of holding kvartirniki, small performances in apartments with audiences of 20-40 people. The band even took the format to the U.S., performing 25 kvartirniki.

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