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Website:http://www.leningradcowboys.fi/



Short Abstract:The Leningrad Cowboys is a Finnish rock band famous for its humorous songs, ludicrous hairstyles and concerts featuring the Russian Alexandrov ensemble. The band was an invention of the Finnish film director Aki Kaurismäki, appearing as a fictional band in his 1989 film Leningrad Cowboys Go America. The fictional band, however, was made up of Sakke Järvenpää and Mato Valtonen, members of a real Finnish band the Sleepy Sleepers with some additional musicians. In the film, they are joined by Nicky Tesco, former lead member of the UK punk rock band, The Members. After the film, the band took on a life of its own, recording music, making videos and giving concerts. The band appeared in two other Aki Kaurismäki films, the Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses and the Total Balalaika Show, which is a film of a concert performed by the band and the full 160-member Alexandrov ensemble in Helsinki, Finland in June 1993. Kaurismäki also wrote and directed two videos featuring the band: their cover of the 60's folk standard Those Were The Days and Thru The WireIn 1994, the band appeared together with 70 members of the Alexandrov ensemble at the 11th annual MTV Music Awards, at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, where they sang the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic Sweet Home Alabama. .

Backgrounds:Group Or Band

Origin Place:Finland

Years Active:1989 - Present


Categories:Fictional Musical Groups · Finnish Musical Groups · Musical Groups Established In 1989


Labels:Johanna · Megamania · Sony BMG

Genres:Folk Rock · Rock And Roll

Associated Acts:Sleepy Sleepers

Leningrad Cowboys

The Leningrad Cowboys is a Finnish rock band famous for its humorous songs, ludicrous hairstyles and concerts featuring the Russian Alexandrov ensemble.

The band was an invention of the Finnish film director Aki Kaurismäki, appearing as a fictional band in his 1989 film Leningrad Cowboys Go America.

The fictional band, however, was made up of Sakke Järvenpää and Mato Valtonen, members of a real Finnish band the Sleepy Sleepers with some additional musicians.

In the film, they are joined by Nicky Tesco, former lead member of the UK punk rock band, The Members.

After the film, the band took on a life of its own, recording music, making videos and giving concerts.

The band appeared in two other Aki Kaurismäki films, the Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses and the Total Balalaika Show, which is a film of a concert performed by the band and the full 160-member Alexandrov ensemble in Helsinki, Finland in June 1993.

Kaurismäki also wrote and directed two videos featuring the band: their cover of the 60's folk standard Those Were The Days and Thru The WireIn 1994, the band appeared together with 70 members of the Alexandrov ensemble at the 11th annual MTV Music Awards, at the Radio City Music Hall in New York, where they sang the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic Sweet Home Alabama.

The show was seen by an estimated 250 million people worldwide.

That same year, the band and ensemble again joined forces for the "Nokia Balalaika Show", a concert held in Berlin.

Currently, the band has eleven Cowboys and two Leningrad Ladies.

The songs, all somewhat influenced by polka and progressive rock, are performed in English and have themes such as vodka, tractors, rockets, and Genghis Khan, as well as folkloric Russian songs, rock and roll ballads and covers from bands as diverse as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, all presented with lots of humour.10 years after "Total Balalaika Show", on August 23 2003, Leningrad Cowboys and Alexandrov ensemble returned to the Senate Square in Helsinki with UMO and various international performers for the spectacular "Global Balalaika Show", released on DVD, directed by Timo Suomi, on November 21 2003.

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