BY OUR LAST gig in Tashkent, an annual metal and rock festival called “Iosis”, my voice had completely gone and I was just rasping into the mic. Although the Ilkhom theater had been our most luminous concert, this was a joyous return to our dark, sweaty roots with hundreds of young men and women headbanging along to a band they’d never heard of before.
We recorded a demo in the bowels of the official state television center. The equipment was decent, but the studio was analogue, not digital, straight from the Soviet era.
There’s a short shot of the amount of luggage we had to take back from Tashkent to Kabul. We were hugely overweight, which wasn’t unusual for us and something we’d managed to overcome by paying bribes at airports. However, at Tashkent, they asked something like $200. Our drummer strode off in disgust, but failed to notice his trousers had a hole in the pocket. He ended up leaving a trail of Uzbek notes behind him with our Russian cameraman running after him, shouting, “Boss! Boss! You are shitting with money!” Travka and I didn’t stop laughing until we reached Dubai.
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Musician and video journalist Ru Owen left London three years ago due to a case of extreme boredom and hasn't been back since. Living in Kabul, Afghanistan amongst a small, but dedicated group of rockers, filmmakers, photographers and drifters, she joined White City in 2009 and has since led them all over Central Asia, including playing and filming Afghanistan's first rock festival in 2011. She's currently working freelance, making short news features and promos, while developing Big In The Stans as a full-length documentary.