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.
The support of the night was Thom Artway, young Czech singer/songwriter who recently released his debut album Hedgehog. The job of an support act is not always easy when you know that people generally came to see somebody else than you. Thom Artway put up a great performance and certainly surprised the audience.
After a short break the waiting period ended and the excitement grew. Glen Hansard came on stage and started the evening with a phrase in Czech "I'm Glen. I'm happy to be back in my second home."
The audience paid attention to every word. You could hear a pin drop. Glen went through his discography with evergreens like Falling slowly, Star star to songs from recent years Bird of sorrow, McCormack's wall and with couple of new ones, one which was based on the story from the Apollo house. Glen brought a very special guest with him on this special night. The guest's name is Javier Mas and he used to play with Leonard Cohen. The audience welcomed him with big applause and enjoyed every song the two musicians played together. Glen openly spoke about his admiration for Cohen's music and said that after seeing Javier Mas for the very first time he wrote his first fan letter to the man and that's where the collaboration started. Mas' guitar added an oriental feeling to the songs. You could see the emotions in Hansard's face through the night. Another emotional moment came when he decided to play Dark days, a song by his long-time friend and hero, Fergus O'Farrell of Interference who passed away last February. He said O'Farrell visited Valmez once and loved it very much and Glen thinks about him a lot, it brings back the memories. In fact the whole night brought back so many memories, according to Glen it felt like going back to times when he was living in Czech Republic. Seemed like time stood still.