Big Joe and the Russian audience

By Alexandra Takács

548230_384465704949207_1208904208_n.jpgIn the Year 2012, with the cooperation of Russian Cultural Centre a joint concert of two bands, „The Big Joe’s Band” and “Russian Rollers”, took place. The date of the first concert was April 13th, 2012 and I was one of the first visitors who was really impressed by the atmosphere these two bands created while performing.

The energetic play of the bands attracted not only Russian listeners. To tell the truth, the concert hall was not able to fit them, it was overcrowded and some were standing just to get a glimpse of the show. 

I was lucky to make an interview with the rhythm-guitarist of  “The Big Joe’s Band”. The interview can be read below.

To conclude, I can easily characterise the band as an easy going team, which is constantly looking for new ideas and innovation. They are very talented and full of energy, and together with the ‘Russian Rollers’ they created a unique concert that delighted the public of the Russian Cultural Centre. I recommend everyone to follow them on Facebook, where more information can be found.  I wish them all luck, and I am eagerly waiting for their next concerts.

Please tell us about the band and about the members.

It all began more than a year ago. Me, and a guitarist-friend of mine were simply playing, as it called „on banks”. Then we made some instrumental things, because, actually, nobody could sing. And who can – was hiding his/her talents. Later, by coincidence, we’ve met a mega-drummer – László (has been playing drums since year 1974!). And then it all began. With the cooperation of Russian Cultural Centre, and due to backbreaking labor, on the 13th of April we could make a combined concert with the Russian Rollers band. After that Edina joined us. By the way, it’s short-made story…

How permanent (friendly) is the band? Was it hard to create?

The staff is fully permanent. And since the foundation only grew. And is friendly, by the way. In near future we hope, that a bass player will join our team.

For how long does the band exist?

„On the bench” we have been playing for about two years. In current line-up we have been playing for about a year.

553069_384465774949200_744321127_n.jpgHow can your style be characterized?

It is not very easy to characterize it (for me, actually). It’s kind of a mix of country, surf-rock, rock ’n’ roll, blues, and some other stuff. This is our music. By the way, it is mainly instrumental.

Why did you choose this style?

It’s simple (at least my part), so called „igniting”, not many bands play similar music, because it’s not really „in fashion”. But this kind of music attracts different kinds (meaning in age, and in social status) of listeners.

Do you play your own compositions also?

50% of our program consists of our own compositions (mostly instrumental). In cover versions we try not to simply copy, but to add something new, to, so called, „rethink in creative way”. Come to our concert, and you will see, what I mean!

By the way, why did you choose „The Big Joe’s Band” name?

Well, it’s a long and a sad story... Okay, not sad. A little bit introduction: in Georgian language the word „bidjo” means something like „dude”, or „friend” (and a name also). Me and the solo-guitarist joke-communicate like this with each other (actually, the bigger part of our company). Somebody told about the idea of calling the band „The Bidjo’s Band”, but our solo-guitarist (he is the Big Joe, by the way) insisted on more English-sounding and serious name. Somehow like this it was...

523506_472688026078252_807764854_n.jpgYou had already two concerts in Russian Culture Centre. Did you expect that it will provoke such a furor?

Honestly to say, we were pleasantly surprised, when we found out, that the hall is more, than full (in the true sense – more people didn’t get a sitting place, so they had to watch our production from the foyer). On the second concert there were a little bit less people. Maybe due to beginning of the vacation season, maybe because the younger part was by head in studying (the exams had began), maybe the entrance fee was too high – 500 Forint to be precise (by the way, from the money we got, we bought an amplifier for the bass player of Russian Rollers).

How did you get in RCC, to who does the idea of organization of your concerts belong?

The idea of variegating the program of RCC with something, what could bring younger people, was in air for a long time. And as soon the staff of the bands got together, we’ve gotten the concert date.

Is there a possibility to  listen to your music you somewhere outside of RCC?

So far on the repetitions only, but in time we plan to play in some clubs, maybe even not in one. So I recommend you to follow us on Facebook. There will be more different information.

On the second concert you had a vocalist. Who and why got the idea?

The reason of the idea is forgotten, but I suppose we’ve got it to make a program a little bit different. And the idea belongs to our good friend

Who are the people, who visit your concerts?

Mainly they’re the compatriots living here in Hungary. Also our friends, friends of friends, friends and relatives of relatives of friends, and so on. 

What plans do you have in future? In what direction do you want to head later?

I think, the North-West one – the climate is better there. But seriously to say, we don’t have many plans. In the ideal situation it would be good to play in clubs, or even at the festivals.

What problems and difficulties may occur during the process of preparing for the concert?

Mostly organizational. Here I mean the adjusting to each other. When is it good for who to rehearse, and so on.

If I’d have only one possibility to visit Hungary and to see one thing, what would you recommend?

Hm, personally I would recommend to see our concert – there’s nothing else to see here. But seriously to say, there is a lot to see here, and to chose only one thing is complicated – everything is so nice.

2012.10.12. 13:56