Russian musicians play faster when it’s cold!

Koshka are a trio, Lev Atlas and Oleg Ponomarev on violin and Nigel Clark on guitar, playing Russian gypsy folk, sometimes sinuous and haunting, sometimes jazzy and foot-tapping, always excellent, at least going by last night’s concert at the National Centre for Early Music (NCEM) in York. We also had a listen to them on youtube in advance.

They were joined for a few numbers by Lev’s daughter (didn’t catch her name!) – Russian folk songs in the first half and a couple of night-club numbers in the second.

We have tended to avoid smaller groups at the NCEM as it needs a bigger sound to fill the place but with music of this quality, it wasn’t a problem, there was so much variety – and some amusing anecdotes in between.

I would definitely recommend catching Koshka if they are appearing near you – I’m sure no one could resist their folky, jazzy sound!

NCEM entrance
NCEM entrance

The NCEM is a wonderful venue I have reviewed before as we often go. It is accessible and spacious, has two Blue Badge spaces in the carpark on Percy’s Lane and you can park in the street outside. There is an accessible loo and the staff are very helpful – offering to move chairs if need be for example. They serve drinks beforehand and at the interval and there are leaflets and fliers for other events displayed at an accessible height.

We’ve never been to an event there that wasn’t great, so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on their events calendar if you are in the vicinity!


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