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Witch Cross • BC Sweet • Gonads • Christie

Christie – The First Time in Estonia

Forty -one years ago, the people of Estonia, a Baltic state then trapped behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed something very strange indeed via Polish television. They saw their first ever long-haired Western pop group in the shape of Christie, at the Sopot festival. And last week, for the first time ever, Christie played two live shows in Estonia – in Tartu, and the capital Tallinn. Over the decades, a host of Estonian bands have covered Jeff Christie’s songs, as evidenced by the reception all of the singles received when we played them, Iron Horse almost on a par with Yellow River.

Jeff finds something suspicious in Simon's goulash as we while away the hours in Munich airport....Fos is amused. (Simon, Soup and Fos have a long history)

Getting there was interesting, involving flights from Alicante for me, bound for Leeds-Bradford, but diverted to Manchester due to fog! -then we all flew from Manchester to Tallinn via Munich (where we had a five hour layover) – and a mere 2 and a half hour layover in Frankfurt on our return. (although we were in danger of having to stay in Germany overnight as we very nearly fell foul of their noise restriction curfew.)

Simon prepares to board the flight to Tallinn

Our promoters in Estonia looked after us splendidly, with the ever-helpful Laurie making sure everything ran smoothly. It was fascinating to visit a new territory as always, and we were actually very lucky with the weather. Mid-November, Estonia is usually  blanketed with snow, but we had clear blue skies for the most part, and cool, thought not bone-chilling temperatures.

Christie land in Estonia

We explored the old town of Tallinn, which was a mixture of Russian and German architecture, and quite beautiful.  Some of the buildings dated back as far as the Fourteenth century, and the architecture alone silently told the story of Estonia’s chequered history as an occupied people.

Tallinn - The Old Town

The beautiful Old Town Hall - built by The Germans

One of the many churches - clearly Russian in origin. Many Estonians wanted this demolished, but politics aside, it is a beautiful building.

On the morning after our arrival, Jeff was interviewed in the lobby of the hotel by Estonian television, such was the interest in all things Christie, and in particular what we are discovering is the increasingly significant landmark televison appearance in 1970.

Jeff waxes lyrical to Estonian TV (apologies for rubbish photo!)

The first show entailed a three hour drive through the heart of the country to Tartu, where we played in the town concert hall to a wonderfully appreciative crowd.

Backstage in Tartu

Live in Tartu

It was a long day, as we had to drive back to our hotel in Tallinn that night. The following night saw us headline at The Rock Cafe in Tallinn – a great gig and a great crowd. There was already talk of us going back in the summer to perhaps play a festival, and we really look forward to that. A great country, and great people.

Fos and Jeff soundchecking at The Rock Cafe in Tallinn

We still had some time on the final day for another wander around Tallinn, and Jeff and I along with another guy introduced to us by Laurie – I believe his name was Andre – apologies if I have it wrong – gave us an interesting insight into the Estonian mindset, culture and history.

View over Tallinn and the port on the Gulf of Finland

We left the hotel around 3pm, fairly civilized compared to our usual touring standards – which often entail us leaving at 3 am!  But it was still a long day ahead, stopping off in Frankfurt for a three hour layover as it turned out, just escaping the noise restriction deadline and being grounded in Germany for the night. But it was certainly worth all the effort, and we hope to return to Estonia in the Summer.

Jeff and Fos kill time in Frankfurt

"It's not Wayne's coffee, it's mine...."

Kev Moore


November 24, 2011 - Posted by | Music, Recording, Rock, Touring, Writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Hi Kev,
    just got back from Kracow myself and I think the whole of central Europe is not as freezing cold as usual.Pretty cold compared to back in U.K. though.Sounds like you all had a good time over there although the travelling sounds tiring.Nice to know I bet, that you are so well known over there.Will have to visit the Baltic countries at some time. Nice to hear about and see the piccys of your travels and gigs.Best wishes to you and the band………………..Tony

    Comment by Tony Fowler | November 26, 2011

  2. Hi Kev ,
    thanks for your interesting story about the band`s trip to Estonia .Wonderful to hear the audience liked Christie`s show very much..Hope there will be several shows in Estonia ,Germany and rest of Europe in the next year .Good luck and greetings to Miki and you

    Comment by Rainer | November 26, 2011

  3. Hi fella,

    Nice blog. Did you know you look like Van Helsing in the top photo?

    Is there more to this trip than meets the eye? We should be told!

    Cheers mate!

    All the best to you n’ Miki.


    Comment by Stef | November 28, 2011

  4. Stef: Bloody hell! Do you mean I look like Hugh Jackman?? I should have asked for more money! 🙂

    Rainer: Thanks for the greetings, and yes, I hope 2012 is very ‘Christiefied!’

    Tony: You obviously get around yourself mate, and thanks for the good wishes. I’m hoping we can explore some of the other Baltic states with the band next year.

    Comment by kevmoore | November 28, 2011

  5. Hi Kev,
    wow – what a picture! You look like django waiting to kill, if they open that giant door.
    We are so glad that you look even better than in Dresden. It seems to be a very funny trip to Estonia, without a broken car and flights in the middle of the night?
    Best wishes and keep rockin’
    Isabel, Sandy and Eric

    Comment by Rosenzeit | November 28, 2011

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