Wow! The Russian Evening on Saturday 21st September 2013 was another wiz bang deal at Aquarius.

Aside from the musicians, the evening was down to a Motley Crew of volunteers captained by our President Rodger Wheeler ably supported by his first mate Linda. As usual the Motleys numbered into double figures, well beyond the point where names could be reproduced comprehensively without the risk of offence.

The captainship went from quiet confidence to blind panic when it was realised there was only a handful of takers and he had spent an unusual amount of money on band, caviar, etc.

Between them, the motleys managed to drum up considerable late support and of course there were those who came out of the woodwork and turned up unannounced but we were pleased to see them anyway. Perhaps there was some question lurking about what was expected to happen and few dressed within the Russian dress code, other than the band, but thanks to those who did.

The band was a Balalaika Group from Chertsey  including a couple, their son, a singer and two others. While the group set up Zakuska (Russian  hors d’oeuvre ) were served to audience which numbered some thirty five or so members.

Russian Evening - Mike Hendra updated 25Sep2013

Musically we ran through a wonderful selection of “Russian” music that was drawn from across the rich culture of Northern and Eastern Europe. The performance was a master class in instrumentation and of course the Balalaika and its various forms.

The main course of Beef/Mushroom Stroganoff with rice was served during the interval.  

Amazingly the music was familiar and in some cases was very popular as in Laura’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago and we all joined in.

Through the performance the atmosphere developed slowly until the whole club vibrated with a sensational pulse of electric energy that had to be experienced to be understood.

Towards the end shot glasses of Vodka were handed around and the evening, the performers and the audience were toasted in traditional Russian fashion. A variety of deserts and cheeses followed by coffee rounded off a very memorable evening.

As the presentation ended the roof was lifted off the clubhouse so another job for Bodgit & Co.

Quiet hard to top such a performance in a screed like this, except to say “GOOD ONE” to Rodger, Linda and the Motleys.