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In episode 8 of the Big In The Stans tour, White City plays a club with “go-go dancers.”

ALMATY IS TRULY the Dubai of the ‘stans. Skyscrapers and cars abound and very few people walk. Kazakhstan’s resources and size have made it wealthy, but the wealth trickles down to very few. Drive into the countryside and you’ll find the same poor villages as in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Apart from crossing the border, you’ll see most of our initial footage is shot at night. Almaty has a thriving club scene, much of it on the seedier side. We were invited to play a rock club with “go-go dancers” that turned out to be a strip club. As well as strippers, karaoke is incredibly popular here.

About three days into our arrival in Almaty, we read news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Most people in Almaty either did not care or believed it was propaganda disseminated by the Americans.



About The Author

Ru Owen

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.

  • Root Leaf

    Ru Owen, have you considered that perhaps staying in London would at least SPARE THE REST OF THE WORLD OF THE EXTREME BOREDOM that you have been so unfortunate to incarnate? You are making a documentary about what, about you and your friends exhibiting their personal quirks in supermarkets around the world? It’s plain self indulgence with a side of… stan! Guys, please, by all means enjoy yourselves, but please, get the name of my hometown off your fucking video clip, because you have no idea what the fuck you are talking about.

We headed off to the picturesque Kapchagai Lake for a bikers' festival.
Being musicians, we're considered pretty low-class.
Travka tried to bribe the hotel workers to let us party all night but it didn't work.
The second installment of Matador's new webseries.
Compared to Afghanistan, it was a culture shock.
Golden-toothed women poured onto the train, selling beer and bread.
Nubian music traditionally drew inspiration from the Nubian landscape.
It should come as no surprise that "Hee-hee" and "Shamone" are their own translations.
I almost feel like I can hear which shards spread left and right.
Here are some massive talents taking it to the next level.