Pussy Riot at The Haunt, Brighton, UK – 19th November 2017

Posted by Bianca on Sunday Nov 19, 2017 Under Punk-rock

Gig Review by Nathan Westley with Photography by Mike Burnell

The right to protest is one of the most treasured things we own. To many Pussy Riot will be simply known as the colourful balaclava wearing anti-Putin Russian punk group known for staging guerrilla performances in public places; yet to many others they also stand as a powerful symbol of hope.

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot

Over two sold out performances of ‘Riot Days’ within The Haunt they show that they are much more than just a thorn in Putin’s side. Far from being a conventional gig; it is instead a hard-hitting, punk spirited and encapsulating piece of art theatre told from the viewpoint of Pussy Riot member Maria Alyokhina and set to a soundtrack of electronic beats and punk spirited saxophone. Each of these performances consisted of a one hour art piece made up of a mixture of music, theatre and documentary footage detailing in great detail the struggles and harsh realities they have endured.

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot

Led by and based on a book on the book ‘Riot Days’ by Maria Alyokhina; this cleverly constructed performance piece tells their story of the lead-up to and execution of Pussy Riots headline grabbing forty second demonstration against the Putin-led Russian State and Orthodox Church within a Moscow Cathedral in February 2012; as well as the run-up to the following month’s Russian election and then onto cover the subsequent fallout including both the trial and imprisonment of the band. From here it then focuses on relentless challenging of the inhumane conditions in which convicts are kept and the need for prisoners to be both recognised and treated as human beings with basic human rights.

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot

Whilst the narration may be all-Russian (there are English subtitles within the accompanying video) it adds additional intensity to the hard hitting impact of the piece. Whilst we may cherish our freedom to demonstrate in the west, Riot Days offers confirmation that both the Punk and protest movements are still very much needed.

Pussy Riot

Pussy Riot

See more photos from this gig on our Flickr page.

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