Matador introduces a new webseries about the Kabul-based band White City, and their travels through Central Asia where musicians rock through revolutions and defy death threats — all to be “Big In The ‘Stans.”
JUST BEFORE we started the tour, White City quit work and lived together for two months in a house in Kabul. Nicknamed the “House of Rock,” we really did turn the garage into a rehearsal studio using sandbags, so it also doubled as a bunker.
Living as a “normal” person in Kabul really isn’t dangerous. We knew all the local shopkeepers and police who would try and sell us hash, and were constantly stoned. Also, being musicians, we’re considered pretty low-class and, without any armed guards and riding motorbikes instead of armoured cars, we pose a pretty lame target in a city where the average foreigner isn’t allowed by their company to go to the shops without a personal security detail.
The synths in the above video are genuine bargains from one of Kabul’s bazaars, including the original 1970s era Roland Space Echo. They were probably brought in during the last period of peace in Afghanistan from Russia or Pakistan. Nowadays, sellers usually don’t know what they have and sell them for under $100.