After years of rocking the Ukraine, a top band including two Leeds musicians is on its first tour of England.
For six years the founders of Death Valley Screamers – Sean Carr from Thorner and Mick Lake from Beeston – had been trying to get entry visas for the band’s Ukrainian members, guitarists Sergiy Ozeryan, Sergiy Lukasevych and drummer Volodymyr Butiaiev.
Finally the band, which has also successfully played the USA’s east coast, is on a 15-gig tour of England playing to appreciative audiences in Sean’s Leeds and both the north and south.
The tour is the latest twist in the eventful life of 43-year-old Sean who was once a cobbler in Kirkgate Market. In 2005 he married Zhenia Tymoshenko – daughter of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuliga Tymoshenko who was jailed recently in a trial over a gas deal with Russia.
Sean and Zhenia were first attracted at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Egypt but they did not meet while Zhenia was a student at the London School of Economics.
She contacted Sean and they met at a bikers’ festival in Leeds.
Sean began life in the Ukraine with his new bride who encouraged him to revisit his teenage love of rock music.
Soon he invited his pal Mick to join and the pair persuaded the two Sergiys and Volodymyr to leave their current band to join the Death Valley Screamers.
Initially recording with the Ukraine’s Moon Records, the band now has its own label – ‘69 AD’.
DVS are a regular on the Ukraine’s MTV channel and the biker festival circuit and Sean was dubbed by the Kiev Post as “one of the 10 most influential foreigners” in the Ukraine.
The band was on a line-up playing to 250,000 people during independence celebrations in Kiev’s Maidan Square.
But making money and keeping track of record sales in the Ukraine is difficult and touring is essential.
Now against the backdrop of protests to free his mother-in-law, Sean, Mick and the band are working to thrill audiences.
The band have played a number of concerts after a race to get their visas and they are back in Leeds tonight performing at the New Roscoe.