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August 2, 2003. Petr Kilian’s house, Hluboãany, Moravia


Our first non-Prague appearance. We made our Moravian debut in the back yard of Petr Kilian, a businessman who once upon a time employed a number of guys that Barry ended up poaching for his company. There’s no bad blood over it, I guess, because we were one of six or so bands invited to play a beer-n’-food-n’-music party at Kilian’s place to commemorate the birth of his son.

And there was an awful lot of commemorating going on. If you believe the locals, the beer produced in Vy‰kov, the nearest big town, has a way of making people crazily drunk. Oh excellent, I thought. This is exactly who we want to be playing to – a crowd of inebriated lunatics.

The setting was good, though. Kilian is a man who’s obviously planned big parties before, as this was well organized and done with a lot of thought. A homemade stage, big enough to house a four- or five-man band, was erected just behind the house. Further down the very long back yard (which seemed to stretch into the hills and fields beyond) was a pair of tents with food and drinks. Beyond that, just before the hills and fields, a smaller tent had been set up, with a stereo system playing chillout techno for the people that wanted a break from the crazy Vy‰kov beer and the live rock and roll.

We went on second-to-last, after an Ozzy “revival” (i.e., tribute) band, featuring a singer whose long blond wig looked in serious danger of falling off during a few numbers. For some reason they didn’t play “Crazy Train”, which I would think is pretty much a requirement for any Ozzy cover band.

Regardless. We followed them, at which point it was around midnight. The crowd sloshed around the stage, certainly loaded but not yet wild and silly. When we played, at least a few of them danced, particularly during “Na Sracky”, which seems to be our crowd-pleaser. It was a strange thing to see from where we were, because there were these cheesy disco lights onstage that keep flashing green, red, purple, hot white at us...and there was no illumination in the crowd. So to us, the crowd was just a twisting bunch of dark shapes. It was almost like we were playing to a group of aliens.

The music didn’t go smoothly. “Sex” and “I Don’t Care” were the victims of sloppy execution in the late stages, which we somehow managed to cover but weren’t very pleased about it. The crowd didn’t seem to notice or care – that Vy‰kov beer sure came in handy! We also attempted our newest song, “Skatalogical”, but as we barely had that one down, there was little hope of it going smoothly this messy evening. It fell apart around the time we got to the song’s bridge. We managed to cover that too, but all of us would’ve been much happier if we’d done it correctly.

After we left the stage and packed away the equipment, the evening stretched on into twilight, then morning, then afternoon. As opposed to Praguers, who encounter foreigners on a regular basis, some people in other areas of this country are genuinely curious about non-Czechs. I had a few conversations with people about America, Americans, and just what in the world I was doing living in this country. Unfortunately, most of those I conversed with insisted on getting me a fresh glass of beer while I talked. I drank very slowly, hoping that I wouldn’t end up face down and comatose on the ground somewhere.

One fun piece of interaction Brian and I had was with Sebastian, a local eleven-year-old kid. Sebastian goes to a public school, where he studies English and plays in the school’s American-style football team. He had a football with him, and he, Brian and I tossed it around for the better part of an hour. I was impressed – the kid really could run and catch! He also had a pretty nice spiral to his throw, which was actually better than Brian’s, ha ha ha.

I would’ve done the football thing with Sebastian much longer, but his pub owner dad came along, saying they both had to go home. Wise idea, as it was something like 5:30 in the morning. I stuck around for an hour or so more, talking with Barry in the drinks tent, but things were growing a bit wild...the Vy‰kov crazy beer was getting to some of the guests, who were becoming very loud and very sloppy. A good time for a rest, I felt, and eventually scored a spot on Kilian’s office floor for my sleeping bag. Barry and Brian kept going, going and going while I slept. Which was fine with me, as I was totally spent.



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