Band Prepares To ‘czech’ In At Prague

Discussion in 'Bandroom News - User Submitted' started by tubafran, Aug 16, 2005.

  1. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member



    Players from Killamarsh Silver Band and friends from Old Silkstone, Dronfield, Darley Dale, Maltby, Newstead and Hepworth are packing their bags ready for a tour to the Czech Republic.

    The band, which has 37 players, will be based at Prague during their week-long trip but will also travel to perform at other towns in the Czech Republic.

    Band publicity officer John Fern said: “The tour is the highlight of our engagements every year.

    “We have visited several European cities before but this will be the first time that the band has flown out to a play in another country.

    “Some of the places we are visiting will not have seen many English brass bands before but we hope that they will take to our style of music.

    “The tour is also an excellent opportunity for members of the band to socialise.”

    During the visit the band, from Killamarsh in north east Derbyshire, will play in Prague; at the Church of St Joseph of Nepomuck and the main square in Kutna Hora and at the town of Karlovy Vary.

    The group will also give a performance in the town of Pilsen before going on a guided tour of the town’s Pilsner Urquell brewery.

    The band will leave Derbyshire on Saturday 20 August and return on Saturday 27 August.

    The trip is the band’s first to Prague but follows previous visits to Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Italy in recent years.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2005
  2. postie

    postie Member

    Good luck Francis hope you have a successful tour.
  3. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Harrogate did Prague a few years ago and had a great time, but watch your bags and cameras when using the underground. We tried - and failed - to beat Ronald MacDonald to the city but so soon after the fall of communism band meant military which meant Russian so we struggled to attract audiences to our gigs, but those who heard us seemed convinced.

    We played at the Staropramen Brewery and the beer never stopped flowing - a highly memorable night. I also recommend the Skoda museum for petrolheads in the band, and the Art Deco museum near the Jewish cemetry is certainly worth an hour or two. The State Opera (at the top end of Wenceslas Square) is very cheap and of pretty good quality if you fancy a night of culture, but the National Theatre is pricy. Carriage rides around the old city from the main square are a useful introduction and help you to get your bearings.

    Have fun.

  4. B'aht a band

    B'aht a band Member

    Hope you have a corking time there, and just remember to bring back some duty free's!!! :clap:
  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Have a proper buwdweiser for me!! (Budvar that is)
  6. Well Worth It

    Well Worth It Active Member

    Hope you all have a fantastic time.
    Seriously miffed not to be joining you.
    Probably see you when you get back for a debriefing/curry/debauchery.
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Thanks for all the comments ^. We managed to just about squeeze all our gear into a transit last night and that is now somewhere in France heading for Belguim, Germany and the Czech Republic. Just because there's two percussionist why would they want to take the kitchen sink as well?

    The band fly out tomorrow and our first performance is on Monday. I've just checked the 7 day weather forecast and whilst it should be warm 68 to 78 degrees we've also got thunderstorms, showers and light rain - oh well looks like that means there will be more time to sample the countries most famous export.

    We had a couple of rehearsals this week for the first time with our friends from Old Silkstone who thought as we are a non-contesting band that it would be a nice easy blow - little did they appreciate the music that we are taking - serious hard blows plus loads of sight reading for them. Might just get them ready for the Championship Section next year.

    On one down note Andy Craig who played with us on EEb for 15 years moved to Old Silkstone last year and it was his lobying that got the good people of his new band to join us on tour; Andy however went to Afghanistan last week and although he should have been back yesterday he's staying for a further week.

    We have however had Michelle Taylor from Stratabrass take up Andy's booking so a big thanks to her at such short notice.
  8. Magic Flute

    Magic Flute Supporting Member

    Have a great time! - but yes, watch out for the pickpockets on the Metro and on Charles Bridge!

    Where abouts are you playing in Prague?
  9. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

  10. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Went with work. His boss rang him up and said "Andy you like a challenge would you like 7 days work in Afghanistan" - him thinking it was a wind-up (joke) said "sure" - his boss checked with him twice more and each time Andy thought it was a joke - until he went in the office and was shown the tender documents the company was bidding on.

    He's working inside an American base - they've had some problems setting up their firm alarm system - so it's Old Silkstone Band's EEb to the rescue. It's taken longer than expected and I think they've also asked him to do the same job in Bosnia next.

    I'm sure he's OK - I've spoken to him a couple of times this week he can receive text but cannot send it. The money's good enough for him to miss the tour.
  11. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    I can't believe that the Americans have hired Sheffield's finest alarm fitter!! I doubt you'll see this before you get back but I hope you all have a great time, I wish I was coming to but alas, work and no money prevented me. Without Andy and myself, I hope that someone takes over our pegging mantle and you never know, the EEb Basses might actually manage to play a piece without collapsing in fits of laughter.

    Have a few for me, catch you all again soon!
  12. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Tour Report

    Well we’ve been and now we’re back and after a couple of days rest to get over the week away here’s a few comments on the tour.

    Started with heavy rain and showers but improved during the week to glorious sunshine

    We stayed at the Hotel Juno, 15 minutes from the centre of Prague by Metro in an area called Strasnicka. Hotel was budget value but due to location if we went back to Prague we would find something nearer

    The integrated transport system in Prague is fantastic, sub-way operates to midnight but restarts at 4.00 am (no problems there then). After midnight the night trams are every 40 minutes and these are quite an experience, lots of need for Life Guard and the people get so crammed in we think half the women must have got off pregnant. All transport is NO SMOKING though.

    We also hired a local coach company (Bobs Tours) and their driver was excellent, spoke some English and got us to all our venues with no problems. On the first day he had been told that there was a 5t restriction on access to the centre of Kutna Hora however he got us a police escort (with flashing lights) to 10 feet from the church were we played.

    Due to weather we only played three times during our stay and the best venue was The Mill Colonnades in Karlovy Vary. We also played in a beautiful Baroque Church where the reverberation was enormous, playing in the band it sounded like there were two other bands playing alongside us; the sound for the audience however was superb, all the edges and rough notes were smoothed off into a wonderful sound.

    Social Scene
    Needless to say copious amounts of beer and food were consumed during the week and we have to take our hats off to the members of Clipstone Band (Old Silkstone really) they arrived 6 hours before the rest and settled in for a 12 hour session including table and lap dancers. The band even found a beer tent (the Plastic Fantastic) about 5 minutes walk from the hotel.

    Sad Note
    One of our members had her bag snatched on the way back to the hotel which contained her passport and credit cards etc – she had to get an emergency one to get home.

    Funny Note
    One of our members (Fiona) got fined for smoking in a plaza – skateboarding, dogs and even the wearing of hiking boots was subject to a fine; she hadn’t seen the signs. The fine was 100 Czech Korouna which is £2.50, had she been local it would have been £25.00.

    Not our best tour but still an enjoyable week and now we’ve been and seen what’s what, if we go again it could be one of our best yet.
  13. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Thanks for the report Fran...sounds like another well-planned Killamarsh Trip!!
  14. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    Not sure what the fine would have been for a smoking, skateboarding-dog wearing hiking boots - but then we would all have paid money to see that.:)

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