This year the Beseda u Bigbítu (BuB) festival celebrates its quarter century and to mark this milestone it has added a little warm-up in the shape of an evening concert in Kabinet Múz called Beseda night. It gives a foretaste of this year’s Tasov and the evening will be introduced by the Šumperk-Brno group Acute Dose. Last year’s wind brought in the group Please The Trees and the composer and DJ Václav Čásenský aka Atrey.
Acute Dose has great promise on the domestic scene especially after the issuing of their second disc which came out at the end of last year and is named after the Roman numeral II. Reviewers praised a shift to a more personal sound, imaginative arrangements and a combination of genres, and all that could be heard on Thursday in Kabinet Múz. The group primarily drew on their new album, from which in the hour-long set numbers were played like Everybody, First Rap, Yes!, Breaking Balls, Croatian, No Date and the older Rockin’. The hall pleasantly filled during and the energetic group immediately got the audience going. The guys did not spare their guitars and everything was crowned by the disarming performance of the drummer. His expressive playing was definitely the high point of the performance. Some tracks on the disc contain a violin part by Alexej Aslamas and I think it certainly would not be a bad idea to sometime invite him to take part in a live performance, for example in Tasov. In any case even without Alexej this hour-long indie rock-pop avant-garde whirlwind did not for a second let up and perfectly prepared the scene for the matadors Please The Trees (PTT).
Another hour-long set was on the shoulders of PTT, which perhaps does not have weaker moments and whose inviting essentially gives the organisers the certainty that they are ordering a quality that goes beyond the borders of the Czech musical scene. With the first notes a typical pleasantly heavy atmosphere spread through the hall rang and the audience was carried away on raw sound calmly to the summer Beseda since the temperature in the hall certainly suggested it. The materialised sound emanated through space and drew intensive psychedelic and melancholic images supported by light effects. Václav Havelka spoke at the end of the set, when he dedicated the whole concert to Chris Cornell, who so suddenly decided to abandon not only the musical world. This significantly sketched out the slightly introverted nature of the whole performance. And many there heard this rather bad news for the first time only from Havelka.
At around midnight Atrey took over in Kabinet Múz. They took the entire set seriously, even though their magic, inspired by the eighties, supported by a strong groove, was performed to a nearly empty hall. It was my first encounter with this shaman but definitely not my last. Through soundcloud I slid back and forth, and I hope to soon have a chance to enjoy his art in a full and no doubt applauding hall.
The whole evening had a touch of an almost family atmosphere due to the presence of former and current creators of the festival and of course hardened fans of the Tasov open air festival. Including the traditional chess at the start of the evening Beseda Night was an excellent induction to the summer festival, which is fast approaching. Beseda made it clear that it still has something to offer. For the anniversary the Swede Anna von Hausswolff, who was a guest on the last tour of the Swans, will be playing. There will also be a chance to hear the American Wrekmeister Harmonies, Poland’s RSS Boys, the Slovak The Ills and Katarziu or the local Priessnitz, Midi Lidi and Fiordmoss. More can be found at http://www.besedaubigbitu.cz/program.