Jul 06 2010

Better Than Expected

Category: Eating Out,Friends,Personal,VideosChrisM @ 1:58 am

OK, so to clarify the tweets, twitpics and Qik videos from Sunday night, here is what happened… Irina’s friend from work had recommended a summer “café” in Astana park, near the river. (See below for the approximate location thanks to Google Maps.) Originally I had intended to check it out whilst watching a World Cup match or two, but friends and friends of friends already had their heart set on a different venue. So when it came to Independence Day (4th of July), we asked Walton and Assel if they would like to try out La Rivière. We arrived to find that it was less a café (which some would assume meant it was not as expensive as some restaurants), but decided to try it out anyway.
We knew there was the possibility of some live musical entertainment from Irina’s friend’s description, and we weren’t disappointed. When I saw the female singer (see previous posts for the male), my first impression was that she looked very good, and I therefore assumed that her vocal talents might not be as impressive. Although a few songs seemed to be outside of her comfort zone, the recordings below don’t really do her justice for the most part…

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The lady singer preparing for her show at Rivière.

Here we have her version of You’ll See by Madonna, as well as a quick glimpse of a hookah/hubbly bubbly/water pipe that we had (water melon and grape was the flavour tobacco we chose I think.)

This time she is singing “Sweet About Me”, and another quick shot of the hookah

This was a cover of the Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

Penultimately we have Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music”

And finally, she sang “Its A Wonderful Life” (Black I think? A group that has a colour as their name at least.)

The food was quite expensive, and there was apparently only a choice of two beers. However the cheeseburger (I know, I’m a classy guy 😉 ) was tasty, and the local Line Brew was relatively cheap and appeared to have alcohol in it 🙂 The samsas that were supposed to be a starter didn’t arrive until after the main course, but were OK. The service was great (especially by local standards), though if your company has given you a discount card for La Rivière, be aware that there has apparently been a management change, so these cards are no longer accepted. The water pipe was nice (we didn’t splash out on the extra money required to have a pineapple used as the charcoal bowl), and when the charcoals had died out, they didn’t try and charge us for more, so we were able to finish off the tobacco. The big screen (well projector and screen) looks like it could be good for the next World Cup match we go out to watch, though we may need to reserve a table in advance. Overall, I’d recommend this place if your budget isn’t tight, or if you only plan to have a couple of drinks and want to chill out outdoors, with the possibility of live entertainment.

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Oct 15 2009

10 And A Half Weeks

Category: Friends,Personal,PicturesChrisM @ 2:12 pm

starring DanD. Not a low budget remake of a classic 80s movie, but instead some photos from his birthday meal that are a little late in being posted. We were still able to eat outside at the time, and so he chose Tiflis, a Georgian restaurant here in Astana. Badger lady hasn’t been seen in a long time (a singer with a badger/Pepé Le Pew style hair colouring), but there was a man singing along to some karaoke. Dan had had enough drinks to decide that we should all hear his dulcet tones, however the singer explained that he charged people to use the microphone!

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Oct 18 2008

Miss Lilly

Category: Eating Out,Friends,PersonalChrisM @ 3:54 pm

Amended time for cocktail happy hour. Thanks to Mel for the correction.

I have been meaning to post about Miss Lilly, an American singer who has taken up residence in Northwind (is that the right term? She will be there six nights a week for six months, anyway.) We have been to see her three times so far, and not been disappointed yet 🙂
Anyway, I promised her on Friday night that I would post details about what is going on this Monday, so…

Monday 20th October 2008
Northwind (“English Pub”)
Prospekt Respublika

Now I had little bit too much to drink on Friday (thanks to Dave, Mel, and Dave’s friend’s friend for getting me home safely), but I’m pretty sure that Miss Lilly said that this Monday there would be 50% off cocktails from 7pm-8pm, and a little later there would be karaoke. CORRECTION: Either 7-9 or 8-10 IS THE CORRECT TIME.
I could be off on the timings though, so do check at the bar first. I’m hoping that Ira and I can make it, and possibly bring the in-laws.
I tried to search online for some photos or videos of Miss Lilly performing, but can’t find any right now. I think I have some (very blurry) pics on my phone, so when I get back to the flat I’ll upload any that are vaguely useful.

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Sep 05 2007

Astana Day Concerts #9

Category: Friends,Kazakhstan,VideosChrisM @ 2:44 am

This is it… the last four videos recorded on the evening that Astana had a concert to celebrate the President’s birthday and also that Astana became the capital of Kazakhstan almost ten years ago now.

Here we have the fireworks starting, with a message in Kazakh, and some more carnival dancing and music in the background.

The fireworks have properly started, and we also have the Rio Carnival procession finally makes its way to the stage.

Excuse the strange start to this video – I couldn’t believe it when a heavily pregnant woman stood on top of an unstable chair to take some photos, so I got a little distracted. Anyway, it leads into the 13th act with singing in both Russian And English. The track Dancing On Broken Glass has also received a fair amount of air time on the radio stations over here. The President had already left by this point. Apparently the singer is quite popular, at least amongst woman. Ira was recently on the same flight as him, coming back from Moscow, though sadly there was no gossip to report back…

The end Of the Astana Day concert, with a cameo by AlexC, testing the low ambient light setting on the camcorder.

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Sep 02 2007

Astana Day Concerts Videos #6

Category: Kazakhstan,VideosChrisM @ 5:07 pm

The 9th Act a the Astana Day Concert. Singing in Russian, as far as I can tell, the song was dedicated to the President (as it was his birthday) and to Astana itself. Pretty scenery from around Kazakhstan is projected on the screen behind the singer.

This act certainly woke the men up in the audience, as three women sang and swayed in their aqua blue dresses. At the same time, we had some aerial gymnastics from people suspended from a crane, with no safety net or harnesses! The singing was in Kazakh. Well, OK, I don’t know that for sure, but I can’t recognise a single word in the songs, so I am just presuming it wasn’t Russian. Happy to be corrected 🙂
If anyone can tell me exactly what I was attempting to zoom into at around the 2:40 mark, please do let me know…

Part 1 Of The 11th Act at the Astana Day Concert. Singing in English, commentary in Russian. Another act that appeared to enliven at least 50% of the audience. The three women all wore black skirts/dresses of varying styles, the knee high stockings on the 3rd lady did not do much for me personally, but each to their own…

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Apr 30 2007

Whoop Whoop!

Category: VideosChrisM @ 2:24 pm

Since seeing this on a French music channel, I can’t get the tune out of my head!

I challenge you to listen to it (for the male readers out there, maybe listen to the video with the monitor turned off – you may find the visual aspect to be too distracting to appreciate the audio side of it ;> ) without becoming hooked.

According to YouTube’s comments for this video (obviously close to an Encylopedia Brittanica reference LMAO), the singer (Natasja) is half Sudanese, half Danish, and is the first non-Jamaican to win the Irie FM Big Break Contest (in 2006)

I’ve also heard the Alex Gaudino version (more popular in UK dance scene apparently) , which samples a lot of the same bits as this track does, and whilst his video is equally distracting to anyone who admires the female form, I personally prefer the approach taken by Natasja.

Once more, this post ISN’T sponsored, I just liked the tune.

So, watch the video, and let me know what you think…

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