As usual I try to head to the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv every second week to do a little networking and socialize. This past Friday I saw a few familiar faces that I was not expecting to see at the Embassy and it was a pleasant surprise, when Blair Sheridan, a fellow former Montreal walked up to me and said, “Hey I’ve been reading your blog, some pretty interesting stuff!” I thanked him and continued my conversation with friends at our table.
Later on when I had decided to leave to meet with some other friends, I took another friend over and introduced him to Blair, then Blair asked, “Why don’t you write anything about Speeding Lisa?” I didn’t have an answer for him but I told him I would think about it.
Speeding Lisa is Kyiv’s only ex-pat band that plays good old rock’n’roll. Formed about seven or eight years ago the band has gone through some transformations over the years. For a while they even had a Canadian female singer named Jennifer AuCoin. Jen added something different to the all guy band. Blair joined Speeding Lisa about three years ago and at one time we realized that we had a friend in common back in Montreal.
Euan MacDonald, a good friend of mine and co-owner of The Drum, or Baraban as it is called in Ukrainian is also a member of Speeding Lisa. Back in September of last year I had organized an impromptu concert for British friend and songwriter Nicky Rubin at The Drum, which Euan joined in on with guitar just to have some fun. And then about a week later at Kupidon. You can check out the photos from both gigs here. Previously I had my review of the gig at the Drum in the Kyiv Weekly, which unfortunately stopped publishing in English in early 2014.
Speeding Lisa hasn’t played for some time now, but I know all of those who have been following them over the years can’t wait for their next gig.
While not in the same vein, there is one other ex-pat who also has a desire for music, but a slightly different type.
Canadian Karolina Patocki sings with the Kyiv Salsa Kings on a regular basis at a few different venues in Kyiv, including this evening at Art Club 44. Having spent nearly two years hosting a latino radio program in her home town of Ottawa, Karolina has brought some new depth to the Kyiv Salsa Kings. Her combined knowledge and love for the Spanish language and desire to help the band develop is changing the band’s repetoire. Last week Karolina told me that she has been writing lyrics for new band material, and some of her Spanish speaking friends who dot the globe, have even made contributions to which the band’s leader and musical wonder Iliya is to write the music and arrangements for.
I’m looking forward to check out the band tonight at Art Club 44. If you are in Kyiv, keep your eyes open for performances of both Speeding Lisa and the Kyiv Salsa Kings.