2014 – another colourful and varied year for Balalaika

Apart from hours stuffed into the back of  a car , a lot of motorway sandwiches and even more late night stops for that well-earned bottle of post-gig Rioja that you never quite remember to buy before leaving home,  we appreciated the wealth of beautiful and interesting places in our green and pleasant , and got to play music in many of them .

We started the new year with another great night in The Oval Tavern  in Croydon  – we don’t actually play in pubs that often, and when we do it always seems to be pubs that really promote live music (and do good food and beer – you make your own luck in this world we say) .

Much as we love trying to please brides, grooms, wedding organisers, best men and even very average men , it’s a nice change to play for people who just want to listen to our tunes and enjoy a drink .

During the summer we did a lot of outdoors performing. Taking expensive electrical equipment and handmade instruments into a field is definitely a bit nerve racking during an unsettled British July, but we certainly enjoyed playing Gravesend Festival in their historic Battery Park , once home to the cannon and angry locals who protected London from sundry invaders .

We also made our 5th appearance at the excellent and ever-growing Sydenham Arts Festival where distant thunder rumbled during our sound-check but stopped for the rest of a balmy evening in the garden of The Dolphin in Sydenham  – themselves great supporters of all forms  the arts including those truest forms of food and beer.

A trio of us played for a rather beautiful wedding at the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes – resisting all bird reference , we would definitely have tweeted it if we were more social-media minded.

A late highlight of the year was a concert at St Mary’s Church in Portchester Castle looking out into Portsmouth Harbour – wonderful audience and lovely views .

Apart from our musical sight-seeing we have been busy playing a more usual round of weddings, parties and corporate gigs , all of which we thoroughly enjoyed .


We are now busy working on a video, recording a CD and planning a series of live performances at small theatres around London. We expect to start the theatre performances in the Spring and if you would like to be emailed details please drop Justin or Nigel a line (you can find their addresses on the “Hire Us” page)