Last week, Wigwam lead singer Åge Sten Nilsen went to Moscow to play a concert with former Rainbow keyboard player, Tony Carey. He was struggling with his voice, due to a cold. Having asked for medication, but being told that it couldn’t be found in Russia, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
The concert took place in Crocus City Hall, a giant state owned arena that opened back in 2009. Before going on stage Åge Sten decided that desperate meassures were needed.
“Russians and vodka is great, I thought, it is after all the home country of vodka. At one point I also amoked a cigarette. I shouldn’t have done.”
As he left the stage after his performance, he was met by a shocked promoter, asking Åge Sten if he was crazy. It turned out that drinking and smoking on a state owned stage in Russia is strictly forbidden. According to Åge Sten the promoter even worried he might end up in jail!
Åge Sten accepted a hefty fine
When Åge Sten Nilsen arrived in Norway the day after the concert, he received the first e-mail stating that the secret police had taken pictures of him during the concert. Eventually, the Russian police imposed a fine on him, of 20.000nok, the equivalent of just over £1800.
“I do of course accept full responsibility for this. When I’m in Russia I have to abide by laws and regulations. I just didn’t realize it was this illegal.”
Åge Sten has been assured that he is more than welcome to return to play in Russia again whenever he wants to. May we suggest keeping the booze and cigarettes to off stage areas in the future?