Domes, spires and choirs - April 2014
Approaching Red Square, Moscow
St Petersburg show
As our Genesis Extended tour kicked off in Russia, I felt a huge rush of excitement. In all my years as member of Genesis and then alone, I'd never had the chance to play either Moscow or St Petersburg... Playing there was a dream come true!
The first morning in Moscow, Jo and I visited Red Square. A place steeped in history, here you can see the Kremlin rising behind those old walls, Lenin's tomb, and sixteenth century St Basil's cathedral with its multi-coloured domes. Inside the cathedral you weave your way through many small decorated rooms and corridors on various levels. In the middle is a beautiful intimate chapel, instead of the huge airy space a Western European expects to see. A small choir of four men were singing there with extraordinary harmonies. You feel both the ancient world and Mystical Eastern influence weaving through that music.
That night was the band's turn to give our music to Moscow, and the audience warmed to us increasingly as the evening went on. It was a great atmosphere. We then had a really fab response from the St Petersburg audience, whilst the band were on terrific form.
In contrast to Moscow with its many layered history, St Petersburg was originally built from scratch around the time of Peter the Great in the eighteenth century. It has a similar splendour to the centre of Paris, with its grand ornate buildings and wide straight streets. We encountered the enormous Winter Palace of the Czars, the scene of a massive crowd storming through the gates in the 1917 revolution...
Now travelling by train through the extensive pine forests and lakes from St Petersburg to Helsinki, those impressions of Russia remain strong. The repetitive cry of the train whistle conjures the soul of the place as Tchaikovsky's music floats and rumbles through my mind... We all hope to return soon.
Many thanks to Andreas and the promotion team, who also take care of the Helsinki and Tallinn shows.
Exotic St Basil's Cathedral, Moscow | A palatial interior, St Petersburg
Band on evening off, St Petersburg
The Winter Palace, St Petersburg
Roger with Albert at breakfast in St Petersburg. Albert is a Canine Partners dog. They provide assistance for wheelchair bound people.