As usual, it’s taken me awhile to get around to writing a new blog entry – this time about our recent trip to Prague, the Czech Republic. It’s not the first time I’ve been there but it’s been awhile since my last trip so it was nice to be there again.
Has it changed any? Yes and no. Yes, in that you can see there are more of the usual megastores in the city centre. Yes, in that you get the feeling they are busy building, repairing, etc. and the city has a feel about it of being in transit. They are not where they were but they haven’t reached yet where they want to go or to be. On the other hand a lot of what makes Prague such a beautiful city is still there (thankfully). The cost of living is still lower than we’re used to, which of course is a nice thing when you’re shopping! This is all just my opinion of course.
Anyway, we arrived late the evening before the gig and we found our hotel easily enough, which we were all thankful for because very few of the people we met seemed to speak either English or German. The hotel was a great big old building and it’s always nice when you have the hotel for more than one day when you’re on the road. We had a few (cheap) Czech beers and hit the hay for the night.
The next morning we skipped breakfast as we all felt like a lie in. We took a tram into town and had a bite to eat there. Suzanne wanted to go shopping (shoes and handbags everywhere) so we arranged to meet the other guys back at the hotel later. I also had a radio interview to do so I had to get back to the hotel too later. I got a taxi out and I had just stepped out of that taxi when another taxi pulled up (with Barbara who was going to take me to the radio station) and off we went again – right back in the same road I had just come out!! Oh well, these things happen. The appointment had been made to meet at the hotel (logical enough) and of course they couldn’t know I’d be in town
and I didn’t know we were going back to the same area basically.
The interview was nice. The station was called Radio 1 and they play mostly independent music, etc. They were celebrating their 15th birthday. The DJ’s name was Gregory Finn and he was very competent. Barbara did the translation work. She was really good! She’d studied Irish literature in Trinity College, Dublin for a year, so she knew the craic!
When we were in town we discovered a shop that sold a lot of vinyl records and old concert photographs. Some amazing photos – all of acts that had played there in the early seventies (Deep Purple, Humble Pie, The Stones – some lovely photos of a very young Mick Taylor – and Rory!). You could easily spend a few hours in there.
They took us to a lovely Pizzeria for a meal before the gig, where we had some more great (cheap) Czech beer. We had an hour or two to kill before showtime but as it was getting a bit chilly I decided to head back to the club. The guys went off to see a few sights, especially Nico who’d only arrived a few hours earlier direct from Austria (he’d been on tour with someone else). They had a support band (Czech) but they were playing Irish music! I kid you not – and fairly decent at it they were too.
Then it was time for us to do our thing. This was going to be a rockier show than we’ve played in awhile because Gerry wasn’t with us. His wife had just given birth to their first child (a daughter) a day or two earlier so it was understandable that he wasn’t able to make the trip. It was fun to play a bit more guitar and the audience were receptive. All in all it was really nice to be back in Prague and I hope we’ll be able to do it again soon.