Glen Hansard has been coming to Czech Republic for 16 years and his relationship with Czech people is very close. He calls the town of Valasske Mezirici (or Valmez for short) his second home. It was there that he met Marketa Irglova with whom he won the Oscar for Falling slowly of the movie Once. Now Glen is back in Czech Republic for a private visit and set up an intimate gig in his favourite town on Easter Sunday April 16th. It was a last-minute event but an intimate feel promised a unique experience that attracted people from all over.
Lasse Matthiessen isn’t an unknown name for Czech audience anymore. He returned there for a few shows this March and brought a band with him which promised a different experience from solo shows. His Thursday stop was Brno where he played a year ago but in a different venue.
Some live shows need to be seen to be understood. That's the case of Hothouse Flowers too. The band has been playing for over 30 years and getting great reception around the world. They're deeply spiritual, full of energy that goes way beyond just one night. And when you see them playing in front of a home audience, that's really something else. Vicar street was packed on Sunday night and you could feel the anticipation.
There is a Celt inside everyone of us and that’s why we like the tunes from Ireland, Scotland and all these parts of the world so much. Those who went to the Stara pekarna club in Brno on Thursday could enjoy an evening of this kind of music lead by fiddle player Jitka Malczyk and guitarist Vojtech Jindra whom some of you might know from the band Bran or from playing with an Irish songwriter J Eoin.
Do you believe in magic? Not the supernatural one but the one when there's no need to say anything, when you just feel the love and connection. Thursday February 2nd marked the 1st anniversary of the death of Fergus O'Farrell of Interference, singer with a golden voice and inspiring human being. Glen Hansard gathered friends and collaborators to celebrate the man. The first gig took place on February 2nd at Cork Opera House and the second one was in Vicar street in Dublin on February 5th. You could certainly feel the magic there.
15 years ago Ireland lost one of greatest songwriters of his generation. Mic Christopher died tragically on November 29th 2001, aged just 32. To mark the anniversary, Glen Hansard gathered friends on Tuesday in Vicar street to celebrate music and life of the charismatic musician who had a huge impact on so many people.
Brno Gospel days, organized by Brno Gospel Choir (which is lead by Zuzana Petlanova), became a tradition in this time of the year. As a part of this event there's always a concert in the Church of Holy Family where everyone can come and sing. You don’t have to be a believer, love for gospel music and will to sing is enough. Another part of Brno Gospel days is a weekend workshop lead by experienced lecturers. This is year was no exception and the workshop was lead by an experienced choirleader from Denmark, Rune Herholdt who came to Brno for the third time. Back home he leads a big gospel choir and is also a member of a swing quartet Gospel Brothers. His liveliness gets everyone who sees him live, he gives himself to people while being on stage and you feel he just can't be without the contact with people. He´s so charismatic, throws smiles around and once you see him singing you won't get it out of your head.
Everyone should be proud of their roots but every nation sees it differently. Irish people are very proud of their roots and it can be seen this year more than ever as the Irish republic celebrates 100 years of independence. There are many events concerning this anniversary and one of the highlights, broadcasted live on Saturday April 2nd on RTE Radio One, was special event at National Concert Hall in Dublin called "Imagining home: This is Ireland"put together by Glen Hansard. It has been sold out for long time and the combination of great musicians and contemporary Irish authors promised an unforgettable experience.
Irish singer/songwriter Niall Connolly is well known among Czech audience. And people love him. So no wonder that when he came to play in Olomouc on Tuesday, February 16th so many people gathered in Kulturní centrum ArtUm that the organizers were forced to move the event to a bigger space than planned.
Despite a typical autumn weather and knowing the name of the venue evokes this time of the year too ( English version of the name would be chestnut), I knew this gig is going to be great, no matter how many people arrive. The venue isn't situated in the city centre, it's quite small but with a friendly atmosphere appreciated by the musicians as well.