Not punk enough was not a problem for The Svetlanas. Just before they came on Joanie Lindstrom came by on a multi-bar swing. She heard that they were supposed to come from the USSR but really come from Italy and she showed a web page on the iPhone giving their address as Italy. On the Upstart Fest page they have a whole crazy USSR backstory. They charge on stage and unleash some hardcore as the female lead singer spews out some nasty sounding Russian lyrics. She’s barefoot and plants her legs wide apart ala early Henry Rollins and she’s got a funky eye that reminds me a little of Staffy from the Marvels. She’s got the delivery and the voice that rivals any man’s. At one point she was singing, “I want to -Russian word- you. I want to -Russian word- you.” What was she saying? Pretty funny stuff. She was at top volume the entire set with no sign of letting up. All the time she was scowling and the delivery even in Russian made you think she was just pissed every minute.
It seemed cartoonish and had to be a put on but it was good enough that you kept wondering…real or not? This was a very entertaining set. It made the night for us.
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