Skrypka remains tops in Ukrainian music

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April 24, 2003, 5:27 a.m. | About Kyiv — by Alexandra Matoshko

Alexandra Matoshko

Kyiv Post Guide Editor

Some fans have speculated that the solo projects of VV band members may be ruinous for the Ukrainian music scene. Perhaps the band’s breakup looms in the near future ture. Maybe its members are more interested in their own solo projects than the work of the band.

Of course, this is just speculation.

The Apr. 18 solo concert at Stoned Baboon by an acknowledged star of Ukrainian music, VV frontman Oleg Skrypka, only proved that solo projects are as exciting for the musicians as their adoring fans.

The club was jammed with people of various ages, nationalities and styles. Those who had reserved tables weren’t really better off than anyone else, as it wasn’t a show well-suited for sitting. Simply put, the nearly two-hour unaccompanied performance was as full of energy and diversity as the audience.
One-man band, Skrypka played all the instruments he could reach – and nearly all the songs he could remember (Oleksandr Medvedev)

Full of surprises, Skrypka held people’s attention by turning from melancholic love ballads to his own interpretations of folk songs and hits by performers such as AC/DC, Louis Armstrong and the Russian band Kino. While singing, he showed incredible musicianship by playing the bayan and guitar, intermittently taking breaks between songs to read some of his own poetry.

Skrypka proved once again that he is a master of disguises. At Friday’s concert he demonstrated his talents by turning famous melodies into something unique, mixing Ukrainian, English and French words into a musical style all his own. Finally, in response to loud calls for an encore, Skrypka did a brilliant three-song set of VV hits to a pre-recorded drum track, finishing with the counter-pop anthem “Pops.”

The evening at Baboon proved fiery both physically and emotionally, and it also proved that despite all the skepticism surrounding the Ukrainian rock scene, it’s sure to develop and grow, with Skrypka forming an essential part.
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