Music in Prague from Dubstep to Dvořák

Not doing so well with the daily posting for NaBloPoMo, as I still haven’t finished my posts on Prague and we’ve been back home a week!

Our last night and day in Prague involved music from opposite ends of the spectrum. Thursday evening saw us heading the Archa Theatre for a DJ Shadow DJ set (rather than gig) as a part of the Radio Wave Stimul Festival. Supporting were a band playing ‘psychadelic japanese rock’  called Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO  who were a bit crazy, but the crowd seemed to like them.

Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO @ Archa Theatre

The Archa theatre is a great venue, if a little confusing – their tickets seem to have the standard you ‘must not take photos, cameras are not permitted your mobile phone must be switched off during performances’ etc which turned out to be BS, and although we had e-tickets with scanable barcodes, it would seem the door staff are not equipped to deal with this, therefore you have to go to the box office, where they scan your ticket then stamp it/scrawl on it, to present to the door staff. Once inside you can see that health and safety is not an issue, the stairs (the venue appears to be set over at least 3 floors) are littered with people chain smoking, which seems odd when you are free to smoke and drink on the ground floor of the venue. In very pleasant surprise the drink prices unlike UK Gig venues,  are not inflated  as such where as in the average pub /restaurant in Prague you would pay between 27-32 koruna  (85p -£1) for 50cl (almost a pint)  here you paid 28kr for 40cl – of Budvar, no nasty cheap Carling or something equally as tasteless, spirits & mixers were also reasonable as spirits come in 50cl measures so what would be classed as a double vodka & coke back home is about £3 and again, it’s premium brand. It’s one of the things I love about Prague, going out for a drink or food in a major city and not coming away feeling ripped off (if you DO want to feel ripped off, head to the ‘Irish’ pub off the Old Town square, they’ll happily charge you £3-4 for a crappy pint of fosters if it makes you feel at home). Another thing they had was not only the merchandise stalls you get at every gig (also cheaper than back home), but a guy selling CD’s & records, not just of the performing artists which was nice too.

DJ Shadow @ Archa Theatre, Praha

On to the gig, well the venue posted on twitter & facebook incorrect start times which was confusing, but turned out in our favour – they posted that Shadow would be on at 11pm,. rather than 10pm, so meant that we would be out as late, and we ended up leaving at 12:15am earlier than expected (but we still ended up walking all the way back to the hotel as the tram was gonna mean waiting longer than it would take to walk)…

So.. DJ Shadow did his DJ set, not a gig, which was made perfectly clear at time of announcing”All Bases Covered -DJ Set” , but still a lot of the audience seem to have expected a ‘greatest hits gig’  and really didn’t get this new angle he as approaching despite his fairly detailed explanation, that I’m pretty sure most other DJ’s don’t have to give. The comments on the Facebook events page after the fact were unnecessary and ill-informed  – “shitty dubstep” was the general feeling. Shadow explained his reasoning behind choosing the set as well as  mentioning that he performed the Shadowsphere set here also, which to my recollection (sorry if it’s a bit fuzzy, I only saw the show twice) was also fairly dubstep/breakbeat heavy, so I’m not entirely sure why the crowd was seemed so surprised,  if they are the hardcore fans they claim to be, then surely they saw the Shadowsphere tour that was so musically similar?

Crowd enjoying DJ Shadow @ Archa Theatre, Praha

Anyway, I wont waste time over so called fans not getting a show and therefore not dancing enough, the following day was our last in Prague, so we didn’t want to strain ourselves. Both being fans of classical music  the Dvořák museum seemed a natural choice, especially as it is housed in the Villa Amerika about 3 minutes walk from our hotel (the fabulous Miss Sophie’s if you haven’t czeched it out already).

Villa Amerika – Home to the Antonín Dvořák Museum

Although Dvořák never lived here, there is a permanent exhibition  entitled ‘The Journeys of Antonín Dvořák’ which focuses on the journeys he made across Europe and to America where he taught. The museum was undergoing some renovation work when we arrived which meant the entry fee was reduced, there was a piano along with a plethora of artifacts and letters. My favourite part was a wall with headphones where you could listen to re-arranged songs or remixes along with the originals including reggae and electronic interpretations.

Husband at the listening post in the Antonín Dvořák Museum

this was truly one of my highlights of the whole trip to Prague, I hope next time I can visit  a few more sights as there are several within the umbrella of Dvořák Museum’s to see.

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