Then came what was described in the programme as the ‘climatic moment.’ We’d been speculating about this for a while. They drew a white curtain across the stage and then started counting down the new year, which seemed a bit strange at a quarter past 5 in the evening, but whatever. Then a big Russian flag was projected onto the curtain, the Russian national anthem was played, and there was fake snow everywhere. It was actually quite touching in a way, I think it was because of all the people singing the national anthem and everyone waving their little plastic Russian flags.
Mr Comedian came out after that anyway, with a bottle of vodka, and then led everyone in a bit of a singalong of a song that went on forever.
And then, after a big huge intro of guitars playing something we didn’t really recognise…
“Heavy clouds no rain, and every move causes pain…” Aaaaggghhh, it was Dima! For so long we’ve been saying how good it would be to see him, but we never thought it would happen. From all the videos we’ve seen, he seemed like such a good live performer, and he really is. Never Let You Go was great to sing along to, I think I must have deafened the guy in front of me by the end of Dima’s set, and possibly caused a few injuries to a couple of others too…Anyway,it was a really good performance,complete with an impressive series of Dima jumps :)
We said about a week ago, that as long as Dima sang Ty Dolzhna, we didn’t care what else he did. So when he suddenly launched into “you should have written me a letter…” we were quite excited. Thankfully he didn’t do the whole English version and was interchanging between that one and the real Ty Dolzhna, which was a bit confusing when you’re trying to sing along, but it was wonderful.
In fact,if you listen quite closely,you can hear us singing the English chorus towards the end.We've always 'given it large' to this song,so being amongst thousands of Russians wasn't going to stop us!
Number One Fan was next,which again was super,I almost can't believe I didn't like that song when it first came out,it's really good!The "they call me Dima Bilan,Dima Bilan,D-D-Dima Bilan" bit still makes me laugh though.
I think Nevozmozhnoe Vozmozhno was next.Another great,bilingual performance.Very energetic.
When Kak Romeo started,we weren't quite sure what it was,although the violinist who had just come on stage should probably have given us a clue.I've never really liked Kak Romeo to be honest,but it's far better live than it is on a CD player.It really shows off Dima's great voice,and although all the big lively singalong songs like Nevozmozhnoe Vozmozhno and Number One Fan were fabulous,it was nice to hear something slower as well.
Possibly our second favourite Dima song after Ty Dolzhna was next.We weren't really expecting him to do Eta Bila Lyubov,so it was a nice surprise.I've seen videos of him doing this one live before,and he always sings it really well and full of emotion.I seem to remember him singing the chorus about 86 times at the end.Not that we were complaining :)
The last song seemed like a bit of a strange choice actually.I thought he would have saved one of the big songs like Ty Dolzhna for last,but instead he did Na Beregu Neba/Between the Sky and Heaven,which again has never been one of our favourite songs,although now I realise it's probably quite a nice chillout song.The performance was cool,Dima's backing dancers,who were fabulous throughout,had odd silver masks on for this one,which made it all very arty and nice.The ending of it was funky,sort of turning into a bit of a freestyle type thing with Dima repeating "na beregu" over and over again... But it was all good.
And then,after saying a few quick-fire words in Russian,Dima ran off and the curtains were shut,to get the stage ready for DJ Lupin.But we didn't bother staying to watch him.We fought our way through the disippating crowd of Russians,went and bought a shashlik and some other bits,and then made our way back home.Very happy indeed.
At the time,even when Dima was on stage,which was what we were looking forward to for weeks,it was only afterwards when we got back to Surrey and looked at the photos and videos that I realised what a fabulous day it had been.As clichéd as it sounds,there's bits that I'll remember for a very long time to come.So,in true Mastercard advert style...
Guildford-Waterloo return ticket- £11,30
Obligatory purchase of Russian doll related merchandise- £12,00
Having the best weekend ever in the company of super-fabulous Russian stars- Priceless!