Our 2nd tour in China in November 2007

Between November 10th and 20th, 2007, we took our second tour of China. Maybe it should be called a mini-tour, because finally only two concerts took place in Beijing. The whole act was supported by Czech Centres, who organized a happening called Czech Republic - The Crossroads of Europe in November.

After the arrival to Shanghai, we met our band leader Zdenek, who has been staying in this city for a long time. Several mornings we rehearsed in a hired rehearsal room. The planned concert in Shanghai was unfortunately canceled, partly due to illness and partly to organization reasons. At least we had a chance to meet with our old friends and to see the progress of construction works in Shanghai that might be called a display case of the Chinese economic boom.

After taking together an overnight train to the North, we made two concerts in Beijing. The first one took place on November 16th at Buffalo Stone Bar (Shuiniu shi jiuba) which is the favourite bar of the Czech ambassador, Mr. Grepl, and is located in the famous Houhai bar area. We were the middle one of the three bands playing there - the first one was a Chinese string trio with a piano accompaniment, then our performance took place and the evening was closed by a playback band from Cuba.

The second concert took place another day, on November 17th, at the same club where we played last year. It was the Get Lucky Bar or Haoyun jiuba. We had a Chinese rock band as an opening act here. For this concert, besides the regular repertoire, we also rehearsed with Jan Chmelarcik, who rejoined our band after several years' pause, a couple of songs with guzheng zither, including the famous song by Milan Hlavsa called Muchomurky bile (The White Fly Agarics) sung in Czech (lyrics by Egon Bondy).

In our audience, there were again many young Chinese and Czechs staying in Beijing. Even this time we attracted the interest of the media: Beijing based Czech TV reporter Tomas Etzler interviewed us and shot also a part of our performance; China Radio International showed interest in our band too. Taking into account that the act had much smaller coverage than the last year's tour, during which our competition song was broadcasted by Beijing TV and had a second on many other TV channels and was seen by over 0.3 billion viewers, we were untouched by censorship and other annoying things this time.

(All the photos can be enlarged by a mouse click.)
We would like to express gratitude to Wingstravel, s. r. o. travel agency for discounted air tickets.

(Václav Laifr)

Photo © Jan Chmelarcik, Vaclav Laifr, Iva Bokova a Minjia Hrdlickova