NME - Fun With Mushrooms compilation CD review

...the mutilated shriek of Boris & his Bolshie Balalaika which is bad drug craziness at its frothing, wild'eyed best. Where on earth do Delerium find such characters?

Wigan Reporter - 20/2/92

Boris is Back

Unsuspecting mothers take note: lock up your daughters, throw away the key, then take the dust'bin to the tip in person, empty the contents down the landfill and see PERSONALLY that the key is smothered under 20 tons of household debris ' Boris is back in town.

To make matters worse, Al's in toe n' all. Indeed the maverick beardie and his balalaika hath returned to torment our ears and cause undue damage to our mental health, and any masochists of lemming like disposition should get down to Cheers Bar on Thursday February 27th. Boris and Plane 'A', be there or be a cubist comedy. EJ

In a Spin - Wigan Reporter Dec 1992

Boris Bops into Town

The band with the wackiest name in the world are playing at the Parlour in the near future ' step forward Boris and his Bolshie Balalaika. Boris, alias Boris, will be strumming his trusty instrument early in the new year in another of Wigan Leisure Services Department's ÐPiering in Wigan' showcase.

Liverpool Echo - May 1993

Boris & his Bolshie Balalaika is beyond verbal description. Bedecked in a day'glo overall, sporting day'glo warpaint and holding a day'glo balalaika ' you begin to get the picture.

His harsh vocal style and crazy word play are combined with some truly esoteric balalaika playing. Cover versions of 'Voodoo Chile' and T'Rex's '20th Century Boy' were given a 21st century reworking. SA.

St Helens Star - October 1992

Gig Review by Ben Canairry - St Helens Citadel 15/10/92

'Balalaika Virgin, plucked for the very first time...'

The Boris experience is somewhat unique ' imagine Benny from Abba dressed as Mork, impersonating George Formby and you're not even close. Armed with a backing band of gizmos and beat boxes, he summoned the very hordes of hell from his souped'up Dairylea triangle, but, at times, was also capable of being deceptively delicate. He is, of course, mad as a March hare, poor chap.

Crohinga Well - 1992

Various Artists 'Fun With Mushrooms'' Delec LP 009 1992

Boris and his Bolshie Balalaika perform (twice) 'Toadstool Soup' which is so corny and hilarious that it would be an irresistible single. It seems there is a whole LP being recorded with this nutter.

The Organ 'underground fanzine' 1994

Boris and his Bolshie Balalaika 'Psychick Revolution'

An advance tape of the material due out on Delerium records at any moment. Boris is a regular star at Club Dog. Nine songs that range from glissando guitar and whistling in the new age style of Steve Hillage circa 'Fish Rising' to weird Beefheartish versions of Purple Haze and Voodoo Chile. Lots of songs about mushrooms, probably powered by the things... bits of trippy blues. Psychedelia, Balalaikas and Club Dogness, original musical statement in a land of bland guitar bands.

The Organ - Summer 1991

Boris & his Bolshie Balalaika - The Jericho Tavern

Who could resist such a ridiculous name? At a time when every other band seems to have a single'syllable name, Boris and his Bolshy Balalaika has forsaken any pretensions of being cool or enigmatic. So its just Boris, a rather odd gentleman with a fluorescent painted face, and his balalaika, a rather odd Russian instrument, triangular in shape and with only three strings. The bolshy bit comes from putting said instrument through about twenty different effects pedals and playing anything from Anarchist protest songs to Hendrix covers on it. It's simple and effective and completely different from anything you've ever heard before or are likely to hear again. Some people chuckle at Boris, others probably consider it arty and meaningful, while anyone from Russia would probably cringe at the spectacle but through it all Boris is probably laughing at us for listening at all. If you think about it too much the idea is quite preposterous. In small doses it is also quite entertaining.

Wigan Reporter circa 1991

Screamin' like a demon on the Balalaika

One of the more unusual acts on the local music scene must be Boris and his Bolshie Balalaika.

So you ask, what's a balalaika? Well, it is a three'stringed traditional Russian musical instrument. In many ways it's similar to a banjo, being roughly the same size, but instead of a round body a balalaika has a triangular body shape.

Boris's instrument does, however, depart from the norm in one or two minor respects. Firstly, his balalaika is electric and unlike its predecessor is played through various guitar effects pedals. The result? Well read on...

With his normally benign features hidden behind a mask of fluorescent war paint, Boris opened his set with a cover of the Hendrix classic, Voodoo Chile. This was to be but the start of an amazing 40 minute set. With wah'wah and distortion pedals kicked in and cranked up, Boris soon had his balalaika screamin' like a demon in need of attention.

Sadly, for this a price was to be paid, and midway through his third song Boris's main amp expired. Such was the ferocity of this oral assault, that the amp suffered the electrical equivalent of a coronary. Undeterred by this, the man just switched amps and ploughed on.

Musically, Boris is the kind of act you either love immediately or hate eternally: certainly he's different.

Admittedly the sound he creates may not lend itself easily to commercial success, but he has very definitely got something going for him, I'll be telling you more about Boris next week when I review his current demo. In the meantime, go see him live!

Wigan Reporter 1992 ' Review ' Psychick Revolution (demo'version)

Bonkers Boris Bowls you Over

Sanity is definitely not one of the pre'requisites needed to make it in the music world, as is perfectly illustrated by this weeks Ðfeatured artiste', Boris and his Bolshie Balalaika.

Old Bo has come to me in the past with his psychedelic ukulele and I must say you cannot fail to be bowled over. I mean, who else would dream of covering a Hendrix classic such as Purple Haze with only a drum box, a Balkan lute and an echo pedal. Full marks for originality.

Anyway, Bo has come to me with a new demo for me to peruse, and I have actually listened to it all the way through. Mind you, by the end I was a little phased by the whole affair, there is only so much spiritually'charged intensity a chap can take and still think in a straight line. I can safely say there ain't nobody sounds like this dude.

The Boris phenomenon is clearly not going to go away, it has been with us for some time, and by the look of his permanent'sounding press release he intends to damage our hifi stacks for some time to come, and why not? The man's entitled to be different.

Perhaps a tour of Transylvania is in order, to see how the natives of the land of the balalaika take to this new George Formby and his sacrilegious abuse of their holy instrument...

Wigan Reporter - Feb 1991 ' Review ' Muzik for Pagans

New side to Boris is quite stunning

NOW for the review of Boris's (of Bolshie Balalaika fame) current demo that I promised you last week.

Comprising 11 tracks in all, this tape is a mix of covers and original material, the covers all being Hendrix numbers.

Though four of the numbers were professionally recorded at a studio in Leeds, the rest were recorded at home, with the aid of a walkman, tape deck, and a pair of speakers, and as such, the sound quality is not as good as it could be. Notwithstanding this however, the demo is still a very decent effort, and certainly worth a listen.

Boris himself has got a very distinctive sound to his vocals which, though they may not appeal to everyone, are still very listenable.

Surprising indeed is the sheer versatility of the balalaika as a rock'type instrument, and when it is combined with guitars, bass and synthesisers, the result is occasionally quite stunning.

The demo shows a new side to Boris's music that is not heard live, this being mainly due to the fact that on stage Boris performs a solo set just with the balalaika. After hearing this tape I would dearly love to see Boris live with a full backing band behind him, as the results could be spectacular.

With a style that does not lend itself easily to commercial recognition, Boris is the kind of act that could either be an overnight success or be destined to remain forever obscure,

Whichever way it goes, I hope he sticks with it, for if nothing else, he is original. The demo is entitled Muzik for Pagans.

Unknown Source

From Hendrix covers arranged for Balalaika and wah'wah pedal to Syd Barrett like weirdness and well beyond, Boris is out on a limb. If it is a mickey-take we should laugh with him. If he's serious, then he clearly belongs on another planet and should have a word with those nice people at NASA.

Aberdeen FIN - 1995 (review of Pick 'n' Mix compilation album DELECD23

Boris' wild rendition of "Purple Haze" ... has to be the best yet