We first realised this wasn’t your typical summer festival when our path to the press centre was blocked by a man wearing not a smile, but a handgun.

In our bid to bring the best music in the world to Scottish ears, your hosts at The Pop Cop are just back from lovely Latvia, where we were invited to check out NEW WAVE 2007 – INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION OF YOUNG SINGERS OF POPULAR MUSIC.

Our suspicions that we had, in fact, stumbled on the set of a new Borat movie seemed to be confirmed when the winner of this X-Factor-meets-Eurovision ‘music’ contest turned out to be a Kazakhstan boyband (honestly, we’re not making this up) called Rin’Go. Here’s their song Po Beregu if you really must.

Among the guests performing at Новая волна 2007 (as the locals call it) were none other than Michael Bolton and his terrifying Russian alter-ego Philip Kirkorov (pictured above), who violated an audience of wealthy men and their designer girlfriends with his sickly cream suit, raging mane and matching 10-inch eyebrows. But the Latvians sure know how to put on a slick show and after partying with the Mafia, we left the Baltics feeling bolder but not wiser.

Find out tomorrow what happened when The Pop Cop bumped into the Stereophonics in Riga…

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