The group Billy Barman from Slovakia ended its Czech-Slovak tour at Brno’s Fleda. This series of concerts was interesting not only its purely acoustic form but especially for bringing together five singers from SĹUK (the Slovak Folk Artists’ Collective). This fusion of pop music and folk was originally created for the Tatra Flowers festival. Its unprecedented success, however, made the musicians decide to expand their repertoire and perform not only in the Slovak Republic, but also for their Czech neighbours.
The band members describe their style as indie-rock’n’roll and are among the best known in this area in the Slovak Republic. In the Czech Republic the band certainly has not achieved such popularity. The full auditorium was therefore rather due to Slovaks and the popularity of the songs was obvious. Hall resonated not only with the voices of the singers, but also those of most of the audience.
Although folk is currently inspirational material for a growing number of artists, it is not always a desirable combination. In this case, however, there were no faults to be found. Fans of both genres were well served. Both bodies appeared as soloists and in joint arrangements. The whole sounded compact and harmonious. Possible concerns of viewers who knew only one of the participating artists were dispelled by the same ratio of the forces involved.
It is however necessary to highlight the performances of the singers. The band itself during its decade of existence has given many concerts and is used to this kind of performance. So it could be expected to give the balanced performance its audiences are used to. The singers however confirmed their professionalism and did not let the new environment put them off. Their flawless and pure voices delivered arrangements of songs from many Slovak regions. From among these were for example Podpoľanie and Ruthenia. The moments when these beautiful women pulled out their musical instruments and accompanied themselves on them had to impress even the most sceptical audience members. The boundless inspiration that folk offers again fell into good hands. Hopefully this will more and more often be the case.