the arkive

The Bolshoi

The Bolshoi were formed in 1983 in London. The original band lineup consisted of singer/guitarist Trevor Tanner, drummer Jan Kalicki, and bassist Nick Chown. Tanner and Kalicki had previously played together in the short-lived punk band Moskow, based in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Early gigs supported the likes of The Cult, The March Violets, and Lords of the New Church.

In 1985, the band released their debut single, Sob Story, followed by the mini-album, Giants. Word of mouth was such that the Bolshoi were able to sell out many of their early headlining performances.

In 1985 their lineup expanded to include Leeds native Paul Clark on keyboards.

In 1986, they released their first full-length album, Friends, and expanded their touring schedule to the U.S., South America, and Poland. It was followed in 1987 by the album Lindy’s Party, on which the sound was more pop-oriented.

Stylistically, The Bolshoi was difficult to categorize. It has been described as a proto-goth band, similar in their live act to fellow Beggars Banquet signees, Bauhaus. Tanner was recognized for his dark, pensive lyrics that belied a social responsibility and awareness.

After the release of Lindy’s Party, the band recorded a fourth album, Country Life, but various problems impeded its release and they disbanded as the 1980s drew to a close. Country Life was to remain unreleased for almost three decades.

Following the split of The Bolshoi, Trevor Tanner moved to the U.S., where he launched a prolific solo career and continues to release solo albums to the present day, as well as fronting Celtic Rock band Rathkeltair and the gypsy folk-themed Gypsies Ginger.

Paul Clark also moved to the U.S. and launched a career as a solo electronic artist, and has continued to release new material.

In 2015, a quarter of a century after they split, The Bolshoi’s legacy was commemorated with a 5-CD box set released by The Arkive label, containing remastered editions of their three studio albums plus b-sides, as well as the 4th album Country Life, which finally saw the light of day along with a 5th CD of rarities and live recordings titled Voyage of Peculiarities. In 2016, Trevor Tanner released the solo album Trevor Tanner’s Bolshoi Favourites containing acoustic reworkings of various Bolshoi classics selected by fans, and played a tour of the East Coast of the U.S. celebrating the band’s legacy.


Giants (1985)
Friends (1986)
Lindy’s Party (1987)
Country Life (c.1988, unreleased until 2015)
Bigger Giants (1990)
A Way – Best of The Bolshoi (1999)
The Bolshoi 5CD Box Set (2015)

“The Bolshoi’s strength lies not only in the clever use of knobs and strings and keys and thigs, the juxtaposition of profanity and purity, innocence and lies, but also in the dank, darkly secret passages of their will.” — Melody Maker

  • The Bolshoi